Yesterday was pink shirt day, an anti-bullying platform, whose focus is to bring awareness to this terrible situation with school-aged children. The funny thing is, the behaviour does not go away, and can be seen in seniors’ living communities as well.
It is estimated that 10 to 20% of seniors living in these environments have experienced peer to peer bullying at one time or another. Francis Shani Parker, in an article at KevinMD.com, says that the type of bullying is different, but it is there nonetheless.
Talking down to, or insulting people who are not as mentally acute, spreading rumours, and making rude gestures are all the actions of a bully. Not inviting another resident to sit at the table for a meal when there is a spare available can be seen as controlling and manipulative. These actions may seem innocent enough, but they can be very hurtful to those on the receiving end.
As staff members in a seniors’ community, it is the job of all of us to correct these behaviours as soon as they occur. We have an obligation to ensure that all who live within our walls are treated with dignity and respect.