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Sat May 12, 2018, 05:39 PM

Seniors confront an unwanted late-life pest: Bullies

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ó

The unwanted were turned away from cafeteria tables. Fistfights broke out at karaoke. Dances became breeding grounds for gossip and cruelty. It became clear this place had a bullying problem on its hands. What many found surprising was that the perpetrators and victims alike were all senior citizens. Nursing homes, senior centers and housing complexes for the elderly have introduced programs, training and policies aimed at curbing spates of bullying, an issue once thought the exclusive domain of the young.

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At a senior high-rise, a woman who saw herself as the queen of the parking garage would key the cars of those who crossed her. Elsewhere, laundry rooms became vicious places where the bullied had their detergent stolen and their clothes thrown on the floor. Bingo rooms so often devolved into battlefields ó with lucky newcomers badgered and accused of cheating by veteran players ...

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Marsha Wetzel moved into a senior apartment complex in Niles, Illinois, after her partner of 30 years died and her partner's family evicted her from the home the couple shared. At Glen St. Andrew Living Community, she said she was met with relentless bullying by residents mostly focused on her being a lesbian. One man hit Wetzel's scooter with his walker and unleashed a barrage of homophobic slurs. A woman rammed her wheelchair into Wetzel's table in the dining room and knocked it over, warning "homosexuals will burn in hell." In the mailroom, someone knocked her in the head, and in an elevator, she was spit on.

"I'd just go in my room and barricade my door and just pray," said Wetzel, now 70 and living at a senior complex in Chicago. "I just felt like a slug, like I was nothing, like I wasn't even human."

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/education/article/Nursing-homes-senior-centers-find-bullying-has-12909393.php


Marsha Wetzel sits for a portrait in her room at Glen Saint Andrew Living Community in Niles, Ill. Wetzel moved into the senior apartment complex after her partner of 30 years died and her partnerís family evicted her from the home the couple shared

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Reply Seniors confront an unwanted late-life pest: Bullies (Original post)
left-of-center2012 May 2018 OP
enough May 2018 #1
femmedem May 2018 #2
Nitram May 2018 #3
dhill926 May 2018 #4
BigmanPigman May 2018 #5

Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2018, 05:43 PM

1. The sad fact is that we are the same people in old age that we were all along.

Lifelong bullies donít become open minded and friendly when they get old.

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Response to enough (Reply #1)

Sat May 12, 2018, 06:07 PM

2. And people often lose their filters as they age

often blurting out the nastier thoughts they might have formerly kept to themselves. My grandmother became overtly racist and selfish as she started to suffer from cognitive decline.

Which gives me some empathy for the bullies as well as the bullied. I don't think all of the bullies were necessarily like that when they were younger and healthier.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2018, 07:12 PM

3. The boring sameness of life in an institution leads people to create drama for stimulation.

It becomes such a very small world after a while, and it can bring out the worst in people.

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2018, 08:08 PM

4. Jesus christ this is depressing...

my Mom is in assisted living that seems pretty good. There would be hell to pay if anyone tried this on her...

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Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Sun May 13, 2018, 01:29 AM

5. People can have physical problems that aren't visible and that can effect

their general behavior. My grandfather grew extremely violent and was kicked out of two nursing homes and away from my grandmother. It turned out that he had water pressure on his brain and it effected his behavior. His whole life he used to say that he wanted to live to be 100. When he began to lose his sight he realized that living to be 100 was no longer his desire. I think he was pleased to die at 84.

My great uncle became a pervert and flashed a lot of women in his nursing home while he was in his 80s and it was not "cute" or "funny". It was sexual harassment.

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