August 26, 2020 Elder Abuse Prevention Committee

Trauma-Informed Approach for Adult Protective Services

ABA SLD Elder Abuse Prevention Committee

Adult Protective Services Technical Assistance Resource Center (APS TARC") released Trauma-Informed Approach for Adult Protective Services, a brief on trauma-informed care and its importance to Adults Protective Services ("APS") clients. This brief is part of a growing number of resources underlining the importance of trauma-informed care and services for older adults.

APS addresses "adult maltreatment, including abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation." Older adults connected to APS have often experienced abuse and are coping with the resulting trauma, making a trauma-informed approach at APS vital to effective care and service provision. The brief outlines the "Four Rs of a trauma-informed approach":

  • "Realize the widespread impact of trauma and understand potential paths for recovery."
  • "Recognize the signs of symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system."
  • "Respond by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practice."
  • "Resist re-traumatization of clients as well as staff."

While this brief is targeted toward APS programs, the insight and resources included are important for all professionals, including attorneys, that work with older adults who may have experienced abuse.

The SLD Elder Abuse Prevention Committee looks to educate the legal community on the problem of elder abuse and advocate for its victims. The committee efforts include preventing scams and financial exploitation. The group has compiled a list of resources in each state where elder abuse can be reported.  Participate in Elder Abuse Prevention Community.