Caring for Aging Survivors of the Holocaust

Manual offers expert advice on caring for aging Holocaust survivors

Baycrest’s expertise in caring for aging Holocaust survivors is world-renowned. Now, that expertise has been put into a practical manual for health care professionals, support staff and families of aging survivors.

Caring for Aging Survivors of the Holocaust: A Practice Manual is designed to sensitize and educate caregivers about the challenges presented by this special population. The manual provides invaluable advice and strategies that can be adapted to help victims of any war or genocide.

“Our aim is to help caregivers provide the most sensitive care possible and thus enhance the quality of life for survivors everywhere,” says social worker Paula David, who spearheaded the project as Baycrest’s Holocaust Resource Coordinator.

“Family members and health care providers need contextual and practical information about how to handle challenging situations with survivors. The most effective way to respond to the needs of this diverse group is to learn about the range of experiences and trauma that they went through and then provide compassionate, sensitive and individualized care.”

The topics are wide-ranging. The section on “Understanding Survivors,” for example, includes discussions on challenges that may elicit difficult memories, environmental factors and potential triggers, and communicating with survivors (terms and translations). Another section, “Family Members as Caregivers,” focuses on topics such as caring for parents in a long-term care facility, tips for dealing with stress and tension, and lessons learned from children of survivors.

Several Baycrest health care professionals contributed articles to the manual, which was made possible with financial assistance from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc.

View the online manual


Reader Feedback

“I am a social worker…at Maimonides. Since we were talking recently of the importance of helping families to have quality visits with our residents, I decided to visit the Baycrest website to see if you were doing anything specific. And I struck gold, devouring [Visiting with Elders] over the weekend.”

– Linda August
Assistant to the Director of Nursing and Clinical Services Centre Maimonides Geriatric Centre

“This is a resource many long-term care facilities in the States should read and learn from.”
– Ross Miceli
St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore, MD

A sampling of organizations who recently purchased copies of the book:

  • Yukon Territorial Government, Health and Social Services Continuing Care Division
  • Alzheimer Society of Belleville-Hastings Quinte
  • Alzheimer Society of Ottawa