Trauma Informed and Responsive Practice in Dementia Care

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The Scottish Government and COSLA have a shared ambition for a trauma-informed and trauma-responsive workforce and services across all sectors of the workforce in Scotland.  Scotland was one of the first countries in the world to publish a knowledge and skills framework for psychological trauma, developed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES). This framework sets out the knowledge and skills needed by everyone in the Scottish workforce to be able to recognise where an individual may be affected by trauma and to adapt their practice accordingly in order to minimise distress and support recovery through a safe and compassionate response. While the names of the four practice types in this framework are similar to those in the Promoting Excellence Framework, it is important to remember that a worker’s Trauma Practice level relates only to their responsibility in supporting people who may have been affected by trauma and adversity. It is therefore possible for workers to be operating at a Trauma Practice level that is different to their Promoting Excellence Practice level, which will continue to guide their wider role within dementia care.

Being ‘trauma-informed’ means being able to recognise when someone may be affected by trauma, collaboratively adjusting ways of working to take this into account and responding in ways that support recovery, does no harm and recognises and supports people's resilience. However, there is a complex relationship and rich interplay between trauma and dementia and we need to consider trauma and its impact on people living with dementia in a different way to that of the general adult population. As a result, NES Psychology have developed specific learning resources to help workers understand the complex relationship between trauma and dementia, and to support routine implementation of trauma informed practice in dementia care.

You can access our Trauma skilled practice in dementia care e-learning module by clicking here.

Trauma Informed Practice