Providing Services for Holocaust Survivors

Holocaust survivors endured events and experiences that can affect their health needs. They may also have difficulty accessing long-term services and supports. Service provider networks for older adults must be mindful of a survivor’s traumatic experiences. Understanding trauma-inducing situations and triggers can help ensure 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. Answering questions, waiting in line or seeing food go to waste may 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

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