Bullying Between Older Adults: What is Happening in Ontario?

Solutions Everybody's Business

Project Timeline: Completed


People of all ages can be bullied. The Senior Bullying Project is aimed to support the development of best practices and strategies  for older adults, front-line staff, and agencies to use in order to prevent and respond to bullying behaviours between older adults.

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.

The Senior Bullying Project received over 650 surveys that provide valuable insight to what is happening across the province regarding peer to peer bullying in the older adult community. The project team also hosted four ThinkTanks across Ontario in 2019 in Oakville, Ottawa, London, and Peterborough that included professionals who work with older adults in various sectors and older adults themselves. The data and information from these sessions helped develop the Solutions: Everybody’s Business Senior to Senior Anti-Bullying Toolkit.


The three year project was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


The Centre for Elder Research, Sheridan faculty member Dr. Kirsten Madsen and Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario.


English Toolkit:  Solutions: Everybody’s Business Senior to Senior Anti-Bullying Toolkit

French Toolkit:  Solutions : L’affaire de tout le monde Boîte à outils contre l’intimidation des aînés par leurs pairs

Fact Sheet:

EOlder ADULTS AND BULLYINGnglish: Older Adults and Bullying

French:  Les Personnes ÂGÉES et L’intimidation







Research Result Highlights

Results from the Seniors Bullying in Ontario Survey show that bullying between older adults is a serious issue:

  • 57% participants reported being bullied
  • 56% reported to have engaged in bullying behaviours
  • 55% reported witnessing bullying within the last 4 months
  • 70% of respondents reporting that being bullied was upsetting or extremely upsetting.


March 13, 2020
Senior to Senior Bullying Project: Toolkit Launch

Presenters: Kirsten Madsen, PhD, Sheridan College, Liza Franses, BA (Hons.), Dip., Sheridan College, Katrina Behnke, Interaction Designer, Liza Franses, Research Manager, Emily Ayenew, Dip., Sheridan College
PDF DOWNLOAD     Transcribed Webinar

November 19, 2018
Seniors Bullying in Ontario, The Sheridan Centre for Elder Research Preliminary Research Data
Presenters: Kirsten Madsen, PhD, Sheridan College, Liza Franses, BA (Hons.), Dip., Sheridan College

June 4, 2018
Senior Bullying: What is Happening in Ontario
Presenters: Kirsten Madsen, PhD, The Centre for Elder Research at Sheridan College, Patricia Spadafora, MSW, Kaleidoscope Consulting

Submissions from 2022

Practical Steps and Toolkit to Reduce Bullying Between Older Adults, Liza Franses and Kirsten Madsen
Seniors Anti-bullying Project: Implementation Plan, Kirsten Madsen and Liza Franses

Books from 2020

Senior to Senior Anti-Bullying Toolkit, Kirsten Madsen, Liza Franses, Emily Ayenew, and Parker Behnke (they/them)
Senior to Senior Bullying Project: Toolkit Launch, Kirsten Madsen, Liza Franses, Katrina Behnke, and Emily Ayenew

Submissions from 2019

Canadian Association on Gerontology (CAG) Poster, Kirsten Madsen, Liza Franses, Rebecca Rodrigues, and Jordyn Sousa
Overall Summary of Ontario-wide ThinkTanks, Seniors Bullying Project

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