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When Bullying Turns into Elder Abuse

Judie Rappaport
May 27, 2014

Dear Judie,


Mom’s (84) lived in assisted living for three years. She was very happy until she got a new tablemate at dinner last week. The newcomer, Martha, bullies Mom publicly, calling her stupid and ugly. Martha also stole Mom’s cell phone and refuses to return it. Martha threatened to tell the administrator that Mom stole her money if Mom complained. Mom’s terrified; she didn’t even tell me until Martha threatened Mom if she didn’t give her money. Should I call the police?

- Paul, Vero  


Dear Paul, 


Martha’s more than a bully; she’s an abuser who’s financially, emotionally, and potentially physically abusing Mom. Make an immediate appointment to talk, in person, with the Assisted Living’s Administrator. Remind the administrator that elder abuse is a serious crime in Florida. Be clear you want Martha expelled from the community immediately so she cannot abuse Mom again, you want her actions reported to the police so she cannot abuse other elders, and you want the community to provide an aide/companion for Mom until Martha is gone to prevent additional abuse/exploitation and potential physical harm to Mom because she reported Martha’s illegal activities.  


Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

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