“Stopping senior bullying means defining it clearly and empowering residents and staff with simple counter actions.”
by Tim Johnston
“Just because individuals get older doesn’t mean they get any nicer, and when professionals begin working in congregate settings they are surprised to see bullies, mean girls, cliques, and the same dynamics many may remember from high school.
“For most adults, the only time they are forced to live, eat, and socialize with a single group of people for an extended amount of time may be on a cruise ship. The rest of life is often spent traveling between family, work, social circles, and community activities. This all changes when a person moves into a long term or post-acute care (LT/PAC) setting, and socializing with the same people all day, every day, means that conflict and tension are inevitable. How can staff know if the conflict or negativity they are seeing is just the normal bumps and bruises of community living, or if it is bullying?
“What Is Bullying?
“Most researchers and activists agree that bullying has three characteristics:
- There is an intentional harm.
- A power imbalance exists between the bully and their target.
There is a threat of future or continued harm”