As seniors plan for retirement, one of their chief questions is, “Where will I live?” We deal with this question every day with our clients. For many healthy seniors, the perfect solution can be one of the growing number of “senior living communities.” These communal facilities allow seniors to avoid more traditional institutional care by choosing an environment that maximizes independence and quality of life while offering such amenities as fine dining, cultural outings and lifelong learning opportunities.
However, according to an article published on the website SeniorHomes.com, a surprising number of retirees living in senior living communities find themselves having to deal with a problem that sounds more like junior high school: bullying. (Read the article here.) In this instance the bullies are not abusive staff, but fellow residents! Sadly, this phenomenon of seniors being mistreated by their peers is no joke, sometimes leaving the victim feeling isolated, lonely and depressed.
What does senior bullying look like? It can take many forms. Sometimes a new resident finds all the choice seats in the dining room or on the community bus saved for others, leaving the newcomer to sit alone. Other forms of bullying can include criticism and ridicule, stealing, lying, even verbal and physical abuse. A few years ago, says the article, AARP reported that between 10 and 20 percent of seniors in senior living communities were routinely subjected to these types of bullying behavior, with most of the violations going unreported, often due to embarrassment.
The reasons for bullying are complex and individual. As the article explains, sometimes the bully is reacting to his or her own loss of independence. The bully may feel powerless, so he or she acts out by exerting control over weaker peers. But no matter what the cause, there are important coping skills and strategies you or your loved one may need to learn in order to control and eliminate bullying behavior. If you’re a senior who is experiencing bullying from fellow residents in your community, or if you’re concerned about a loved one in a senior living community, this article is a Must Read.
To explore a full range of housing options and the pros and cons of each, we invite you to attend one of our upcoming Life Planning Seminars in your area. Click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website for dates, times and locations.
(Originally reported at www.seniorhomes.com)