Senior Bullying - Otherwise Known As Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can consist of bullying too. Seems like bullying has been making a lot of headlines lately.
First, what is elder abuse? It can mean different things. As explained in fnnc.org,
Abuse rendered on a senior citizen can include: physical, psychological, neglect or financial exploitation. Abuse can also include self-neglect, a person that does not take care of himself properly. Although physical abuse may be readily detectable by bruises, scars, broken bones, or cuts, the other forms of abuse may be harder to detect and harder to cure.
Senior-to-senior bullying can take place in senior centers, assisted living centers and nursing homes. But how can you tell when this is happening to your loved one? Again this article says...
If the senior is suddenly acting differently -- pay close attention. Some other things to look for:
- Overly medicated
- Unexplained bruises and broken bones
- Never any money
- Overly protective child
- Fearful of child
- Verbalizes abusive situations
- Never leaving the home in which they live
Lauren Searson in a different article goes further to explain
[...] It is estimated that 10-20% of seniors have experienced some type of senior-to-senior aggression in an institutional setting, much of it verbal abuse. Men and women are equally likely to be the victim and the aggressor. Women tend towards passive-aggressive behavior like gossiping and whispering about people when they enter a room, while men are more direct and “in your face”. [...]
]...] Features to be alert to include the following:
-Repetitive, negative behavior towards another person which violates standards of appropriate conduct
-Negative behavior occurring over a period of time, typically becoming more extreme
-Behavior which may be consciously or unconsciously committed by the bully
-Behavior which is unsolicited by the victim
-The effects on the victim are lasting and harmful [...]
Read complete article here - Senior Bullying
Elder Abuse Video - Break The Silence
This is an eye opening video that gives some insight on the subject. While this video was made in 2009, it still applies today.
So what now? Well first of all be aware of senior bullying or elder abuse. Keep your eyes open and pay attention to the warning signs listed in this post. The first step is to identify if it is happening. If you have any suspicions at all, take action.
If know or have suspicions, go to National Center on Elder Abuse. There you will find State Directories of Helplines, Hotlines and Elder Abuse Prevention Resources.
If you found this post helpful, please share with other senior citizens, families of senior citizens and senior caregivers.