Saskatoon Council on Aging - Age-friendly community

Senior-to-Senior Bullying


For many older adults, aging in place means moving from the family home into some form of congregate living such as a retirement home, or assisted living. Resident-to-resident bullying takes place where those involved live and call home. Residents who are being bullied have very few if any places to escape from the bullying. Many are less likely to leave their homes due to decreasing health or mobility issues. Older adults living in congregate living facilities are also less likely to have social supports. Lower income seniors are particularly vulnerable and face limited choices.


2018: Building Respectful, Inclusive Communities


The project addresses the need to ensure that all older adults living in congregate living communities feel safe, respected, and included in the life of the community through education, information, and empowerment toward positive change presented to older adults by older adults.
Goal: The goal of this project is to develop a Train the Trainers Guide on senior-to-senior bullying, recruit older adults to take the training, and then have older adults make presentations to the older adults living in congregate housing. The project will also offer ongoing support to the older adults trained to give presentations.
Timeline: three stages:
1) Development of Train the Trainer Education Guide;
2) Recruiting older adults from Saskatoon, Prince Albert, The Battlefords, and Humboldt for Train the Trainer sessions;
3) Evaluation of both Train the Trainer, and the community presentations.

Building Respectful, Inclusive Communities will help older adults by:
1) Promoting aging in place (a major goal for older adults is to remain in their own home as they age);
2) Providing education about bullying warning signs, and how to address the problem in a positive way;
3) ducating and supporting staff and management of congregate living buildings--especially low income housing--on best practices, intervention, and support for addressing the issue.

Resource materials will be made available upon completion of the project.


Resident-to-resident or senior-to-senior bullying in housing facilities for older adults was identified as a major concern to SCOA during SCOA’s Age-friendly Saskatoon Initiative, 2011 – 16, and to SCOA’s Older Adult Abuse Task Force in 2015. SCOA has responded to these concerns raised in the community through three initiatives.

1. The Older Adult Abuse Task Force’s annual World Older Adult (Elder) Abuse Awareness Day workshop in 2015 focused on senior-to-senior abuse in congregate housing, attracted members of Saskatoon’s seniors’ housing facilities as well as older adults, and confirmed the scope of the problem and the lackof resources to deal with it.
2. The Age-friendly Saskatoon Initiative began developing and making presentations on senior-to-senior bullying on request to seniors’ housing facilities in Saskatoon and Prince Albert that identified need.
3. The Older Adult Abuse Task Force collaborated with Dr. Donna Goodridge, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan in participatory research on peer bullying in seniors’ subsidised apartment communities in Saskatoon in 2016-17. Older adult volunteers in SCOA’s Older Adult Abuse Task Force learned about senior-to-senior bullying directly from those experiencing and witnessing it. Report