On Friday November 13, Irit Felsen will give a presentation, entitled “Managing Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress in the Older Adult Population“, at the Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living in Somerset, NJ.
The presenation is intended for mental health professionals and case managers working with older adults. The prevalence of traumatic histories among the elderly is high. There are many who have lived through experiences of war and persecution in different parts of the world prior to arriving in the USA. Others were exposed to combat trauma, and yet others had been exposed to various traumatic experiences during their lifetime. The prevalence of Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the general population in the USA is about 8%, but many more people had been exposed to trauma at sometime in their life and might experience post traumatic symptoms that are sub-clinical yet severe enough to cause distress in older age. Moreover, a history of prior trauma constitutes a risk factor for many somatic and medical conditions, earlier and greater loss of functional abilities and onset of cognitive impairment. Time does not heal all wounds and research has established that the physical, mental and social changes that come with old age sometimes aggravate symptoms even in individuals who seemed to have overcome their past and who manifested good adaptive functioning for decades. As a result, the prevalence of PTSD and other post-traumatic reactions in the elderly in long-term care facilities and other medical settings requires that those who work with this population will be familiar with the presentation of PTSD in older age and with available intervention to alleviate the suffering it causes to older clients.
More information about the presentation and schedule is available at