By Dr. Uchechi Wosu Isirimah – Owner | August 23, 2018
There’s a tendency to think of bullying as something that happens in school.
Recent news articles have brought bullying among seniors to light. It’s become prevalent enough that some senior centers and assisted living communities have started teaching staff how to recognize the signs and stop it before it worsens.
In a 2017 report from the National Center for Assisted Living, it’s said that most bullying among seniors falls into the category of verbal abuse. Those who bully often have low self-esteem and tend to target new members of a senior center. Putting those newcomers down makes the existing member feel more powerful.
Senior centers are essential tools in helping combat isolation and loneliness. They are excellent resources to ensure your parents get out and socialize. As they can also be a place where bullying may happen, you should be aware of the signs and make sure your parents know what to do to put an end to this kind of behavior.
Signs of Bullying
Verbal bullying involves snide comments that can make your parent feel bad. Another member at the senior center might tell your mom she’s never going to have any friends if she doesn’t learn how to dress appropriately. The bully may tell your dad that he needs to answer to that bully if he wants to stay.
An argument over who was allowed to sit at one senior citizen’s table triggered a bullying incident in Oklahoma. This incident has gotten media attention. After entering the dining room for the first time, the senior tried to sit at several tables and was told the empty seat was reserved. When she tried to sit at one anyway, one of the women at the table threw a cup of coffee at her.
In a Californian senior center, some women stopped attending dances when others would ridicule the dresses they wore. Karaoke nights ended with attendees insulting those who got up to sing. The center decided to offer classes on what bullying is and how people can stop it. Since then, more seniors are standing up to bullies and putting an end to the behavior.
What Can Your Parents Do?
If your parent is in a situation where someone at a senior center is bullying them, they need to tell the staff. If the staff does not stop the behavior, your mom or dad should stand up to the bully with the help of others. A bully is far less likely to continue if there is a full group of people ready to end a conflict.
Make sure your parent has a strong support team at home. When you can’t be there, hire senior care professionals who can. You want someone your parent is comfortable talking to about any issues at home and at local senior centers. Call a senior care agency to find out more about the benefits of care services.
As a physician who lives and serves in Northern Virginia, I have come to know several people who at some time in their life needed home care services. In my office I hear stories of good and bad experiences and I desired to offer something better – a company that would serve as a blessing to the clients we serve by providing them with reliable, quality, and compassionate care. Having served as a primary care physician, I understand the needs of patients and their family who often times do not have the assistance they desperately need. So I have created a company that delivers on providing peace of mind, recovery time, a lending hand, a stress free environment, and a constant companion.
As a native of the Washington, DC, I have truly enjoyed working in this area and volunteering my time in a variety of social and civic organizations in DC, MD and VA. I feel is it important to give back to your community and be of service to others.
I also believe in the importance of living healthy and having emotional stability and peace of mind. As a local physician and health coach I will add a sense of confidence, trust, and expertise unlike any other home care agency.
I work hard everyday at Brighthope Homecare to do what I do best – care for those in need and make a positive impact in the lives of our clients!
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