Transfer Trauma Checklist

What is Transfer Trauma?

Transfer trauma is a term used to describe physical, mental, and emotional changes, which occur in residents who are moved from one place to another.


What are the major causes of Transfer Trauma?

Loss is the major cause of Transfer Trauma.  The elderly resident has usually experienced one or all of the following:

  • Physical Loss 
  • Loss of Independence
  • Loss of Social Contacts
  • Loss of Power
  • Loss of Familiar Role
  • Loss of Mental Stability
  • Loss of Financial Security
  • Loss of Dreams


How does Transfer Trauma affect a resident?

  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Manipulation
  • Regression
  • Rejection


When might Transfer Trauma happen?

  • Transfer from home to Assisted Living Facility (ALF) or Nursing Facility (NF)
  • Transfer from one level of care within ALF or NF to another
  • Transfer from an ALF to a NF or from a NF to an ALF.
  • Transfer from ALF or NF to emergency room
  • Transfer from ALF or NF to be admitted to hospital
  • Transfer from one room to another in the home


Why is it important for the caregiver to understand Transfer Trauma?

  • Responsibility to prevent harm
  • Responsibility to protect residents


How long does Transfer Trauma last?

 Up to several weeks following the transfer



  • Age
  • Family support
  • Staff support
  • Disease

Know your resident!

 Explain, Explain, and Explain!

  • Past habits
  • Likes/dislikes
  • Hobbies
  • What gives comfort to resident?
  • Behavior characteristic

Orient to Surroundings

  • Listen
  • Be discreet
  • communicate with families and doctors



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