Bullying Common In Senior Living Environments

By Matthew Kling
Published: Friday, May 18, 2018 - 8:02pm
Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 5:05am

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Senior Living Bullying
Ambar Favela/KJZZ

Bullying has been an issue that children have faced for a long time in schools and on playgrounds. But bullying isn't just a problem among kids; older adults face bullying as well.

Robin Bonifas is a professor at Arizona State University's School of Social Work. She is the author of "Bullying Among Older Adults: How to Recognize and Address an Unseen Epidemic." 

In her study, she found one in five seniors reported bullying in their living environments.

Bonifas said that a lot of the inspiration among older bullies is nearly the same as children.

"How do I have meaning here?" Bonifas said. "How do I get people to notice me and how do I make a name for myself? For some people, they manage that type of dynamic within themselves by picking on other people."

Bonifas said the most common forms of bullying among seniors is through gossiping and name calling. 

Nationwide, groups including the National Center for Assisted Living have been pushing to spread awareness for senior bullying. Bonifas said some senior living environment leaders have added training for workers on how to handle bullying.

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