Monday's Facebook story of the day is about senior citizen bullying. How prevalent is it in our society, and what can we do it about it?
It's a group of bullies that often goes unnoticed, but senior citizens fall prey to other seniors every day in the form of manipulation, yelling or verbal abuse, experts said. And unlike grade school bullies, their techniques can be subtle. At the Senior Center in Marquette, social workers said those who bullied while they were young often continue to bully in their later years.
"There's absolutely a connection," said social worker Vickie Bullock. "There's no doubt that those who may have been bullies when they were younger continue to do it as they age."
Our Facebook viewers agree. Sheila Marks wrote, "Bullying can happen when someone feels superior over another. Seniors are no exception to this."
But we wanted to know why. The issue stems from those who don't adjust well to aging, Bullock said. They become disruptive and abusive, pushing others away from group activities, social gatherings or meal time.
"You will see people who will not join the group; they will sit off to the side and become more isolated, and then there would be some people who will stop coming all together to any of the activities," Bullock said.
At Snowberry Heights in Marquette, officials wouldn't speak to us on camera but said they report any bullying at the facility to the senior center. Social workers at the center are trained to observe and address bullying because oftentimes seniors don't report it.