Mariah Robertson, Jessica Colburn, Megan Gerber

Applying a trauma‐informed approach to home visits

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

AbstractThe concept of trauma and traumatic stress and its impact on health and mental health has been studied for nearly half a century. Trauma‐informed care (TIC) is person‐centered care designed and delivered based on knowledge of the ubiquity of trauma. It requires building an understanding of the role that trauma plays in the lives and health outcomes of survivors. In doing so, it helps promote physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both clinicians and patients. Trauma and traumatic events are cumulative over the lifespan, and individuals who have experienced trauma are at higher risk for re‐traumatization and poorer health outcomes. TIC approaches have been applied in many healthcare settings successfully; however, to date, there have not been any recommendations made about applying these approaches to care of homebound older adults, even though it may be surmised that this population is at an especially high risk for prior trauma and entering a person's safe space could be especially sensitive for trauma survivors. This paper serves to provide specific recommendations for applying a trauma‐informed approach to a home visit and provides recommendations to home‐based primary care groups and health systems about implementing universal trauma‐informed care to homebound older adults.

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