Providing Services for Holocaust Survivors

Holocaust survivors endured events and experiences that can affect their long-term health and associated needs, including difficulty accessing long-term services and supports. Service provider networks for older adults must be mindful of a survivor’s traumatic experiences to provide sensitive and appropriate care. Understanding trauma-inducing situations and triggers can help create respectful methods of service delivery.

Survivors may:

  • Have a higher incidence of post-traumatic stress disorders and exhibit trauma-induced behaviors.
  • Be wary of strangers and authority figures and may not disclose that they are a survivor.
  • Take longer to trust and discuss issues with medical and service providers.
  • Exhibit self-neglect behaviors.
  • Not share with their family members and caregivers the full extent of their experiences.

Providers should design services and supports to meet survivors’ needs. Actions and activities that can seem commonplace, such as answering medical questions or waiting in line, may be a catalyst and re-traumatize survivors. By adopting specialized approaches, different providers can connect the survivor to appropriate services and reduce the risk of re-traumatization.

For more information, call 800-252-9240 or email Holocaust Survivor.

Resources and Training

Session I: Introduction to Serving the Holocaust Survivor

Session Goal

To provide guidance for the outreach and provision of care to Holocaust Survivors enhancing the service quality and capacity.

Disclaimer: The information on this web page and the training sessions may be uncomfortable and may contain triggers for those who have experienced trauma.


  1. Identify the Holocaust Survivor population: where and how best to reach out to those within this population.
  2. Identify barriers to arranging and providing services to this population
  3. Brief overview of the person-centered, trauma-informed approach

Introduction to Serving the Holocaust Survivor

Session II: Person-Centered Thinking

Session Goal:

Build information-finding skills that can help you improve quality of life for other people, for example, by gathering information that indicates what is important to a person and what is important for a person. This discovery process leads to finding a balance in service delivery by creating a description of a person that leads to action planning.


As a part of the training, participants will develop their own descriptions using the skills learned. By learning to support people, you can contribute to improving the lives of all people. Begin by understanding and practicing the skills on yourself before attempting to use the tools with someone else.

Those who successfully complete the training can apply their own skills but are not certified to train others.

Introduction to Person-Centered Planning

Session III: Trauma-Informed Care

Session Goal:

To understand the effects trauma has on human developmental processes and learn strategies to incorporate trauma-informed care into services.


  1. Increase knowledge on the impacts of trauma in the adult and aging population
  2. Increase understanding of trauma-informed care and how to incorporate a trauma-informed care framework in services for older adults
  3. Learn strategies to engage older adults affected by trauma and recognize signs of trauma in this population

Introduction to Trauma-Informed Care (PDF)