By: Cecile Anthony-Bryan

Most times when we hear the word “bullying”, it usually conjures up an image of mean-spirited adolescents concerning another child in school, but bullying is not limited to children.  Bullying happens within the schools, the work place, as well as the homes (primarily with seniors).


Bullying in school is the number one form of bullying.  This is usually the first place a person will encounter a form of bullying, whether physically or emotionally.  Children tend to pick on those who stay by themselves or on groups of children that are quiet or targeted as the smart/nerdy kids.   Typical school bullying is usually someone who always wants to fight, wants what you have, don’t like how you look or dress, etc.  Sometimes teachers are not obvious to the signs and/or are not taught to notice the aggressor out of the group.  Another form of school bullying could also be a student to a teacher.  Often times we watch videos where the student wants to start fights, curse and be disrespectful to the teacher, all because they have an audience or one person cheering them on.


Workplace bullying is a persistent pattern of mistreatment from others in the workplace that causes physical or emotional harm.  It can include such tactics such as verbal, nonverbal, psychological and physical abuse and/or humiliation.  Typical workplace bullying is usually from someone of authority over the victim.  However, bullies can also be peers (people who are friends with those of authority).  My studies show workplace bullying to be how someone talks to a person or lack thereof (not acknowledging a person until you need work), consistent aggravation causing a hostile environment because of a dislike of a peer, falsification of reports to authority, etc.  Negative effects sometimes leads to decline of employee morals.  Sometimes it is ignored by superiors, because they prefer to not deal with the bully themselves.


It is estimated anywhere between 10-20% of seniors are bullied, either in their home by home health aides or by other seniors at assisted living.  Much of it is verbal abuse, in some cases we have seen videos of seniors being abused physically.  Many cases of senior bullying is staff to patient and on occasion, senior-to-senior.  In cases where it is staff to patient, they tend to take the person kindness for weakness and/or think the person will not tell.  Whereas, when it is senior-to-senior, they might take the other person’s items or money without permission or walk in and take control of the room.

This article touches on just the basics, but “bullying” is world-wide and much bigger and deeper than we think.  With that being said, parents please speak to your children, spouses please speak to your mates, and adults please speak to your parents.  Pay attention and hopefully we can save a life.