Trauma Informed Care – The Time Is Now

Angie Szumlinski News

We all know the negative impact of isolation on seniors living in our communities, but I had never heard it referred to as “confinement syndrome”. In an article published in JAMDA, that is the term used to describe the signs of depression, isolation, delirium, decreased cognitive awareness, etc. that our residents have experienced since the beginning of the pandemic.

If you think about it, everything the residents were used to was taken away in about 20 minutes in March 2020. Their social time, BINGO, community dining, group activities, skilled therapies, family visits, you name it, BAM, gone! For us living independently and watching the news daily, it wasn’t a surprise and we adjusted over time, but the residents were given little, or no warning and they were not able to comprehend what was happening, very sad.

We are moving in the right direction with the pandemic, but we can and need to do more for our residents. It is probably the perfect time to evaluate where you and your team are with regard to trauma-informed care. You remember trauma-informed care, right? We need to minimize the trauma our residents have lived through if we are to prevent re-traumatization in the future. Consider meeting with your team, set up a schedule to assess each resident individually to assist in identifying changes in care needs/cognition. This would be a great start as residents presenting with decline may have indeed been traumatized by the past 20 months of chaos. Stay well, stay informed, and stay tuned.