When most people think of bullying, the nursing home is one of the last places that come to mind. Unfortunately, according to a recent article by W-USA-9, bullying is becoming increasingly prevalent in the culture of nursing homes. It is becoming more common to hear cases of nursing home residents having negative interactions with their fellow residents. Sadly, some of these interactions even become violent. Studies show that 1 in 5 nursing home residents have encountered some form of bullying.
Some suggest that many senior citizens may have a difficult time adjusting to living in a group setting and that they may become more irritable after residing in such close quarters for an extended period of time. Others express the idea that seniors tend to lash out because of their loss of self-control and independence. Regardless of the causes, instances of bullying that are taking place in nursing homes are happening in a variety of ways, from disputes over dinner to teasing and exclusion during social events.
If you are looking for the right nursing home facility for your loved one, the culture amongst the residents who currently live in the nursing home should be an important factor to consider. Since bullying has become such an immense epidemic in nursing homes, some nursing homes have decided to include programs for sharing anti-bullying messages around the facility. Those types of efforts are a sign that a nursing home may be acknowledging the problem and working towards a positive solution, rather than ignoring it and hoping it will just go away. See what type of policies or programs (or lack of either) that a prospective nursing home has for situations in which bullying occurs.
Also remain mindful of community events that are held at the facility. The more time your loved one gets to spend with the community engaging in recreational activities, the less likely they are to become victims of bullying. Do not be afraid to ask a specialist at the nursing home if there are any anti-bullying programs in place to combat the problem. Finding out all you can about the nursing home and how the residents interact with each other will benefit you and your loved one in the long run. It is never too early to become a strong advocate for a safe nursing home.