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Bullying between Older Adults: What is happening in Ontario?

People of all ages can be bullied. The Centre for Elder Research is working with Sheridan faculty member Dr. Kirsten Madsen and Elder Abuse Prevention (ON) to better understand bullying between older adults age 55+ in Ontario. This work is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and aims to support the development of best practices and strategies for this diverse population.

What is bullying?
Bullying is sometimes called harassment and happens when someone hurts, intimidates or scares a peer consciously or unconsciously. When someone is being bullied they often have a hard time defending themselves. Bullying is usually not a one-time event. It can happen over and over again.

For Further Information Contact:
Dr. Kirsten Madsen, Principal Investigator at (905) 845-9430 ext. 2795 or

Thank you to everyone who was involved in completing the Senior Bullying Project surveys last summer, the response was overwhelming. We had over 650 respondents complete our surveys and provide valuable insight to what is happening across the province regarding peer to peer bullying in the older adult community.

The senior bullying project team also hosted four ThinkTanks across Ontario in the Spring of 2019 in Oakville, Ottawa, London, and Peterborough. The ThinkTanks invited stakeholders that included professionals who work with older adults in various sectors and older adults themselves to come together. The ThinkTanks had stakeholders engaging with the senior bullying project team and with one another to help offer feedback on the survey results. This feedback will help develop a resource package of best practices for older adults, frontline staff, and agencies to use in order to prevent and respond to bullying behaviours between older adults.

Next steps: Winter 2020

  • Work has begin on the resource package


Overall Summary of Ontario-wide ThinkTanks:



October 26, 2019 Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) Poster Presentation:



November 19, 2018 Webinar:
Seniors Bullying in Ontario, The Sheridan Centre for Elder Research Preliminary Research Data

Presenters: Kirsten Madsen, PhD, Sheridan College and Liza Franses, BA (Hons.), Dip., Sheridan College
Facilitated by:Rochella Vassell, Central West Regional Consultant, Elder Abuse Ontario


June 4, 2018 Webinar:
Senior Bullying: What is Happening in Ontario?

Presenters: Kirsten Madsen, PhD, The Centre for Elder Research at Sheridan College
Patricia Spadafora, MSW, Kaleidoscope Consulting