Dan was turned away from a table in the cafeteria. They laughed at him. Angie was mocked for her speech impediment. Jerry was excluded from playing games with the rest of the group. A staff member refuses to feed someone who was unable to make it to the restroom on time. Marsha was met with relentless bullying focused on her being a lesbian. Her table in the dining room was tipped over and she was knocked on the head, and in an elevator, she was spit on.
Just another day of bullying at your local middle school? Not quite.
It’s just another day at your local nursing home. You’d think that by placing a loved one in what seems to be a respectable facility would result in respect and genuine care.
According to a recent article from Associated Press, “Nursing homes, senior centers and housing complexes for the elderly have introduced programs, training and policies aimed at curbing spates of bullying, an issue once thought the exclusive domain of the young.”
Fortunately, many facilities have started to act, such as the new anti-bullying program at San Francisco’s 30th Street Senior Center. A Fargo middle school is working on a special project conducted by students themselves to combat bullying against seniors.
Both staff members and residents at care facilities are being taught to recognize the signs of bullying and how to stop it.
Robin Bonifas, a social work professor at Arizona State University and author of the book “Bullying Among Older Adults: How to Recognize and Address an Unseen Epidemic,” said existing studies suggest about 1 in 5 seniors encounters bullying. She sees it as an outgrowth of frustrations characteristic in communal settings, as well a reflection of issues unique to getting older. Many elderly see their independence and sense of control disappear and, for some, becoming a bully can feel like regaining some of that lost power.
Sadly, bullying of older citizens is more common than you think. You don’t hear about it as much as bullying of young people because many of these seniors are afraid or unable to speak out. Sometimes, bullying can lead to lack of care, severe injuries, or even death.
If you have a loved one is in a care facility and you suspect mistreatment by other residents or supposed caregivers, Theodoros & Rooth wants to hear your story right away. There is no excuse for vicious and harmful bullying of people at any age. If you or a loved one has suffered serious personal injury due to the mistreatment at a nursing home, call us today. Theodoros & Rooth has decades of experience dealing with personal injury, including nursing home abuse. We will represent you until justice is served. There is never a fee until that outcome occurs.
Sources: Associated Press, Fargo Forum Newspaper