The median age in the United States continues to increase and Northeast Ohio is growing older faster than most other urban areas. With that in mind, it is great to know the area is blessed with many great non-profit nursing homes and assisted living facilities that meet the needs of our aging society. Unfortunately, I was recently made aware of a new issue that is cropping up in some non-profit and for-profit facilities, Bullying.
Seniors bullying seniors is not that different from bullying experienced by children. The goal of bullying remains unchanged – the bully wants to control others and the means of control are the same: verbal, social, and physical.
- Verbal Bullying may include the use of derogatory terms, name-calling, or insulting the victim.
- Social Bullying may include excluding others from events, spreading rumors, or just plain old negative gossip.
- Physical Bullying may include punching, kicking, or threats of physical violence
To limit bullying, the nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult daycare center must establish clear guidelines regarding permissible behavior. It must create dialogue and establish guidelines that can be accomplished through meetings with staff, clients, and joint meetings. A confidential reporting mechanism for clients to report bullying or suspected bullying as well needs to be established.
If bullying is going on in your facility, staff must be trained in how to handle the situation. Clients also need to learn how to respond to bullying. Some simple techniques to deal with bullying can include:
- Non-reaction to the behavior. Do not let the bullies know their actions have had an effect on you.
- Do not be a silent bystander. Speak up and support the person being bullied.
- Report the situation to the appropriate staff member.
Before you renew your insurance contact your Trusted Choice Independent Agent at Richey-Barrett Insurance to ensure you are properly covered and to discuss your anti-bullying and risk management programs.
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