It's like the movie Mean Girls, but in a senior community or skilled nursing care setting. And it's not just happening among women - it's happening among men too. The issue of seniors bullying other seniors is real and it's getting more attention. According to a pilot study by Arizona State University, 10-20 percent of seniors say they are mistreated by peers.
So with more and more seniors living in independent and assisted living residences, and other retirement communities, how can the companies operating these facilities deal with this issue?
Caroline Berdzik, Esq., a partner with Goldberg Segalla LLP in Princeton, recently partnered with CIS Management, Inc., property manager of Heritage Village at Elton Corner in Freehold, N.J., to lead an educational forum addressing harassment among seniors.
"It's important to foster an environment of inclusion," said Ms. Berdzik, "and to realize all of the factors that can contribute to this behavior in seniors. It's equally as important to be clear about policies and the results of continued bullying, which could ultimately lead to further action by the property management team."
Ms. Berdzik also noted that as more of the American population ages, trends such as senior bullying and other challenging social issues will have to be confronted in compassionate, yet realistic ways that will help ensure the safety of all seniors. She calls on her extensive knowledge of the senior care industry to represent clients in the areas of employment law, social media, health care and litigation.
CIS Management, Inc., the award-winning property management affiliate of Community Investment Strategies (CIS), Inc., regularly hosts educational forums like the senior bullying seminar to educate residents and staff alike at its affordable living communities. The company oversees comprehensive and responsive 24-hour/seven-day-a-week on-site management services at more than 2,000 apartment-rental units encompassing a broad spectrum of multi-family properties valued in excess of $350 million. In addition to Heritage Village at Elton Corner, the company provides day-to-day management tasks at CIS' seven other Heritage Village communities in Bordentown, Elizabeth, Lacey Township, Lambertville, Lawrenceville, Manalapan and Rahway.
"We are dedicated to creating an atmosphere where each person is encouraged to participate in resident education programs and social gatherings, while being supportive of one another, through actions and words," said William Dailey, president of CIS Management. "There is a sense of pride in place and responsibility associated with residing at one of our communities and we are committed to instilling this in residents of all ages."