Free JFCS seminars will examine effect of traumatic memories on older adults

Kelly Burroughs
Sharon Glassberg
Raisa Moroz

Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona will present a free two-part training series this month for all those who care for older adults and want to understand how past emotional experiences affect both the people in their care and themselves. The target audience for “Person Centered Trauma Informed Care for Older Adults” includes caregivers, baby boomers caring for aging parents, behavioral health and medical providers, home health care agencies, senior service providers, clinical staff and administrators.

The workshops will take place Wednesday, June 6 from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and Wednesday, June 13 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, 3718 E. River Road. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. The training is valid for three continuing education units.

The first workshop will offer an in-depth look at the components of “person-centered trauma-informed care,” understanding the science behind memory and psychological trauma, and how traumatic memory can affect current functioning. Workshop participants will learn how to incorporate personal histories into caregiving strategies to avoid triggers or re-traumatization of the people in their care. 

As we age, memories and emotions from past experiences often resurface and intensify just as we are becoming less resilient and more dependent on others for our wellbeing and care. The training will provide a deeper understanding of the psychological trauma histories of older adults, drawing from JFCS’ expertise in providing support for the Holocaust survivors in our community whose hope, strength and resilience serve as guiding lights, says JFCS Vice President of Clinical Services Kelly Burroughs, MA, LAC, BHP, CCTP, who will facilitate the series.

Exposure to others’ stories of psychological trauma is often referred to as “secondary or vicarious trauma.”

The second workshop is designed to build awareness about caregivers’ exposure to stress and help them understand their own vulnerabilities and reactions when working with older adults with trauma histories. Workshop participants will learn techniques for improving self-care, and explore strategies for incorporating person centered trama informed care at an organizational level.

Burroughs has more than 20 years of experience in publicly funded behavioral health and social services for children and families. She will be joined by Sharon Glassberg, M.C., a clinical therapist and Jewish community educator, and Raisa Moroz, both of whom provide Holocaust survivors with behavioral health and support services at JFCS.

For more information and to register, visit  https://tinyurl.com/JFCS-PCTI.

The program is made possible, in part, by federal funds from a grant through The Jewish Federations of North America Center for Advancing Holocaust Survivor Care. Funds also were provided by the Mel Sherman Institute.