Trauma-Informed Care Requirement is Here!

 While we don’t know exactly how the surveyors will assess compliance with the Trauma-Informed Care requirements, being prepared demonstrates an intent to comply and may “educate surveyors” on how a facility can meet this resident-sensitive regulation.

Premise of FTag699 – Trauma-Informed Care

The premise of trauma-informed care is to provide sensitivity to residents who have experienced trauma(s) and increase awareness that living in a nursing home may “trigger” old feelings and reactions. 

The Purpose of Trauma-Informed Care Regulation

The purpose of this new regulation is to increase staff awareness that the nursing home environment can activate past experiences of trauma and to encourage staff to make every effort to avoid re-traumatization.

The Symptoms

A resident who has experienced trauma may have symptoms such as an exaggerated startle response or repeated intrusive thoughts, anxiety when personal care is provided or crying for no identifiable reason.

Screening, Assessing and Interviewing

Screening to assess if a trauma has occurred is a first step.   Staff need to ask questions in a manner that avoids possible retraumatizing the resident. Normalizing the interview and explaining the purpose of the questions is essential. Resident’s should be reassured that they do not need to answer any questions they are uncomfortable with. 

Interviewers should be trained and, be comfortable with sensitive and very personal information that may be shared.  When very sensitive and emotionally laden information is shared, interviewers need to be able to gently assure the resident that they will be offered help and support from a social worker or psychologist.  

Screening and Assessment Tools

While there are several Screening and Assessment tools to assessment for trauma, most are not sensitive to the elderly resident who may have cognitive impairments and who may have chosen denial as a coping strategy. 

A screening question can be as simple as – You don’t need to tell me any specific details, but has there been any trauma in your life?”  If the answer is yes, then an assessment can be completed.

SSD Online Training has developed screening and assessment tools that can be easily modified for each facility’s population.


Documenting a traumatic experience requires sensitivity and few details.  Rather than discuss the details of the experience, document possible mood and/or behavioral manifestations. Such as yelling when alone or agitation when male staff perform personal care.


McKnight’s Long -Term Care News
Eleanor Feldman Barbera, PhD
“The last-minute guide to trauma-informed care”, November 19, 2019

SSD Online Training By JodyGiac offers a Trauma-Informed Care Course – it is a course specifically designed for all nursing home staff.  It meets the Mega Rule Phase 3 for Trauma-Informed Care, effective November 28, 2019.

This course is written for ALL STAFF to create awareness and sensitivity to traumas that our residents may have experienced. 

Additional information and handouts are provided for CLINICAL STAFF-Social Services and Nursing on screening, assessment and interventions. 

This course is written to recognize the unique characteristics of nursing home residents , such as  age,  cognitive abilities, and respecting experiences that may have been private most of their lives.

Train your entire facility staff for as low as $400 per facility

Contact Jody at (805) 455-1818 for discount rates

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