Creating Caring Communities: A Guide to Addressing Social Aggression in Older Adult Communities

This guide is written for anyone who works with older adults in a community setting. It is not meant to be a “one size fits all” method of addressing social aggression in all its different forms. However, it is a resource and guide to help communities respond more effectively to aggressive, harmful behavior. We hope that these resources and tools will create more civil interactions between community members and give staff greater confidence that change is possible. Perfection is not possible—our goal is to promote knowledge and encourage consistent, informed responses.

At Jewish Family & Children’s Service (JF&CS), we are committed to promoting connection and social engagement; as well as increasing awareness of and access to resources that support aging in community. When we noticed that social aggression (i.e., bullying) was a significant barrier for older adults toward these goals, we knew we wanted to respond. As a result, we developed a training curriculum for direct service and housing professionals with the goal of creating more caring and safe environments for older adults and staff alike.

This guide can also be used, with modification, to facilitate conversations about social aggression and community building among all members of the community—staff, residents, program participants, and/or volunteers.

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