Posted by Marsha Frankel

created at: 2011-04-08What happens to the mean girls and bully boys that we have been hearing so much about? Unfortunately too many of them grow up and continue to bully others – even into old age and into assisted livings and nursing homes.

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at a conference for nurses, social workers, and administrators who belong to the Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities Association. My topic was “Creating a Caring Environment that Reduces Bullying.” Researching the topic of older adult bullying was eye-opening as I learned that 10-20% of elders in assisted livings and nursing homes experience some type of abuse from fellow residents. And this doesn’t include the staff that often experience bullying from both residents and family members. One nurse at the conference spoke of the young aide who was screamed at by an elder and her daughter because the resident’s bed was made with unmatched sheets. The daughter pulled all the bedding off the bed and threw it at the intimidated young aide. I have heard elders yell at a young server in an assisted living dining room for not serving them quickly enough. This older man screamed racial slurs and called the teenage server “an idiot.”

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