Bullying Among Older Adults

How to Recognize and Address an Unseen Epidemic

By Robin P. Bonifas, Ph.D., M.S.W.

ISBN 978-1-938870-09-5
200 pages
6 x 9 paper
© 2016

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Product Description

2017 Mature Media Award Winner logo

Unbeknownst to many, bullying is not an experience limited to childhood, but is an epidemic occurring far too often among older adults as well. Studies have revealed the alarmingly high rate at which older adults in senior programs and care settings are bullied by their peers, resulting in profoundly negative effects on the elders, the staff, and the community in which it is occurring. Bullying Among Older Adults is the first resource to address this critical issue, providing the knowledge and tools to recognize bullying and develop constructive ways to intervene and prevent it.

As an expert on peer bullying among older adults, author Robin Bonifas draws upon a growing body of research as well as the voices and actual experiences of the targets and perpetrators of bullying. She exposes the nature of this phenomenon and then presents positive, proactive ways for community-based or long-term care staff to minimize and prevent it from happening. Filled with practical resources and examples, this book offers effective interventions, including empathy and civility training, empowerment strategies, bystander interventions, and more.

Increase staff awareness and improve day-to-day interactions with:

  • detailed, step-by-step assessment strategies and anti-bullying interventions
  • effective coping strategies to minimize negative consequences for those bullied
  • pro-social activities to promote empathy and civility
  • specialized approaches for residents with dementia or mental illness

Bullying Among Older Adults is an invaluable resource in creating an atmosphere of caring and respect among both residents and staff.

Practical resources and examples include:

  • Learning activities
  • Case studies
  • Model intervention programs
  • Sample forms and policy guidelines (also downloadable!)
  • Social Interaction Survey (also downloadable!)
  • Bullying assessment form (also downloadable!)
This book is perfect for:
Long-term care providers (administrators and department managers); Directors of Nursing; social workers and case/care managers; ombudsman; psychologists and psychiatrists; lawyers; older adults and family members. Also can be used as a supplemental text in college courses.

Format: E-book
e-ISBN 978-1-938870-48-4

E-book available through:

Also available through: Baker and Taylor, OverDrive, Gardners, and Follett

Downloadable Resources
About the Author
About the Contributors

PART I: An Overview of Bullying Behaviors Among Older Adults

  1. An Introduction to Bullying Behaviors Among Older Adults
  2. Understanding Bullying Among Older Adults: What Do We Know?, with Jamie Valderrama
  3. Understanding Older People Who Bully and Those Who Are Bullied

PART II: General Interventions to Address Bullying Among Older Adults

  1. A Framework for Anti-Bullying Interventions
  2. Foundational Approaches for People Who Bully
  3. Foundational Approaches for People Who Are Bullied

PART III: Creating Caring Communities

  1. Bullying Assessment Strategies and Interventions, by Eleanor Feldman Barbera
  2. Empathy Training: The Different Like Me Culture, by Alyse November
  3. Social Wellness Initiatives to Reduce Bullying Among Older Adults, by Katherine Parker Cardinal
  4. Future Directions: Policy Imperatives to Address Bullying Among Older Adults, by Alyse November and Stephanie Langer


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3 reviews for Bullying Among Older Adults

  1. Administrator

    “This much needed, clearly written resource is well researched and full of practical tools that can be used by a wide range of practitioners to recognize and stop the many interactions that comprise bullying. Anyone who works with older adults, or is planning to, should know what Dr. Bonifas and her contributors have gathered in this impressive volume and keep it handy as a practical reference in their day to day work.”
    Judah L. Ronch, Ph.D.
    Dean and Professor, Erickson School
    Affiliate Professor, Information Systems, University of Maryland Baltimore County

  2. Administrator

    “This book provides a foundation for understanding bullying behaviors among older adults. The book is particularly useful for staff members in nursing homes, assisted living centers, and senior centers who may be challenged by these behaviors. The book provides many case examples as well as tools for practitioners to use to intervene and stop the bullying behavior. Educators and researchers will also find this book useful because of the seriousness of the issue and also because there are so few other resources available. This book addresses an important gap in the literature. I strongly endorse this book.”
    Mercedes Bern-Klug, PhD, MSW, MA
    John A. Hartford Geriatric Social Work Faculty Scholar and Director, Aging Studies Program
    University of Iowa

  3. Administrator

    “[This book] is an important reference in how to combat bullying. Bonifas offers advice on empathy training and organizational interventions. The book is academic, but written in a way that you feel as if you’re chatting with a friend.”
    —Elizabeth Leis Newman
    Senior Editor
    McKnight’s Long-Term Care magazine

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