Healing Trauma: Holistic Approaches for Survivors of Abuse in Elder Care

Learning that more and more older people face abuse and trauma when seeking support every day is not only shocking but worrying. Even more surprising, these abuses occur in elder care, which should be a haven for people in their golden years.

If you’re an abuse survivor, you should implement a more practical approach to heal your trauma. This article will inform caregivers and survivors of abuse about trauma recovery and the most effective healing strategies.

Trauma-Informed Care

Abuse, including physical and emotional, can cause significant trauma. As a result, it impacts seniors’ perception and quality of life if not properly managed.

Emotional neglect and sexual abuse in nursing homes have become more prevalent. If you’ve ever faced such abuses as a senior, prioritizing trauma-informed care can be the way to go.

Trauma-informed care shifts the narrative and focuses on the victim as the oppressed rather than their fault. It enables people to understand that patients need help and attention to recover instead of ridicule.

Some seniors often face ridicule for not standing up for themselves when facing abuse, forgetting that they’re the most vulnerable in such situations. However, this perception can change as caregivers may be more informed to provide trauma-informed care.

Education and Support

Seeking support can help you heal from trauma as a senior. Physical and sexual assaults are the most common violations that can negatively impact you. While abuse, whether physical or emotional, impacts patients differently, the damage that these assaults have can be profound.

Thankfully, there are numerous support organizations you can reach out to as a trauma survivor. There are also countless resources online to help educate you on the appropriate and effective ways of dealing with abuse trauma. Caregivers can identify what works best for their patients by ensuring continuous education and guaranteed support.

Support can include breaking the stigma around abuse survivors by educating family and friends to acknowledge the patient’s reality. Encouraging patients to be more resilient and build a sense of control in their lives can also help heal trauma in elder care.

Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones

The urge to distract yourself with bad habits to keep away traumatic flashbacks can be high, but please don’t fall into this pit trap. Substance abuse can get you into an addiction, which may be hard to get out of and further complicate your issue. Avoidance, aggressive behaviors, and dissociation all escalate your trauma and slow down the healing process.

Replacing these destructive behaviors with good habits may help you heal from abuse trauma in elder care. Although adopting good behaviors can be somewhat challenging, they can help you become a much better individual in the long run. The more you try, the better you will appreciate yourself, and your sense of self-worth and importance may improve.

Respect and Validation

You may feel unworthy after surviving an abuse and perhaps blame yourself for what happened. The result is that the feelings of shame and guilt may engulf you, leading to trauma that lasts for a long time.

Developing a positive self-image may be your best shot at recovery and feeling like yourself again. As a caregiver, constantly validating your patients makes them feel heard, develop self-acceptance, and process their emotions well. Validating yourself and recognizing your worth as an abuse survivor can be the first important step you must take to guarantee recovery.

It’s also good to have a sense of self-respect and worth despite having faced abuse in the past. Building the mindset that none of what happened or the pain inflicted upon you was ever your fault can get you closer to trauma recovery.

Self-Care

Prioritizing self-care through positive affirmations, mindful meditation, and practicing self-compassion can eliminate self-blame and shame. Ask yourself, “What’s the most loving thing I can do to myself to feel worthy again?” Doing some soul-searching and deeply consulting with yourself can help.

Connect with friends and family and ensure they deeply understand what you’ve been through. Joining a therapy session can also help you share your story and learn from other survivors. Doing that can help you realize you’re never alone in this fight.  

You can also try getting into a workout routine to keep yourself more engaged—perhaps you may begin appreciating and loving yourself more as you get in shape. You can also indulge in hobbies like artwork or gardening to keep yourself busy and involved. Whatever suits you, please ensure it allows you to escape the constant loop of endless thinking and stress.

Seek Professional Help

Psychiatrists and therapists can help you recover from abuse trauma. They have the right training and experience to understand patients’ pain points and can closely work with them to improve their conditions. These experts can be your go-to when it seems like you’re hitting a brick wall in your journey toward recovery.

Healing from your trauma can be way faster when you work with professionals than when you tackle this issue alone. Try finding psychiatrists and therapists specializing in elder care in healthcare centers and nursing facilities and allow them to help you heal. Please ensure they have proper certifications and experience before engaging them.

Conclusion

Healing from trauma due to abuse in elder care requires a more practical approach that guarantees recovery. As a senior struggling with a difficult past, seeking support and being kind to yourself can be the first and most important step toward getting the healing you deserve. As you take on this journey, please understand that what happened in the past was never your fault, but you have a brighter future ahead. 

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