Mean Girls…One More Thing to Worry About in Retirement?

by Kay Lynn

It was in the news recently that one woman has been bullied for years by other residents in her retirement community.

And they weren’t just mean girls (or more correctly, women). Men participated in the ostracizing at the Arizona community.

Who knew that retirement could bring back flashes (or nightmares) from high school?  Some think aging is a regression to child-like behaviors and maybe this is one of them.

The Backstory

Doris Lor moved into a retirement community in 2003 and has been bullied by a group of other residents ever since by her account.  Because of it she isn’t able to use the community center and join in on activities including card games.

Interestingly she said she has spoken with lawyers and written dozens of letters without any change.  It’s hard to understand if her perception is accurate but one AARP editor thinks it is plausible in any group environment.

My Thoughts

I can’t tell if Ms. Lor is being harassed or not from the details in the story.  However, it did make me think about how this could really ruin the experience of living in an active adult community.

You see, I saw a news story about living in the Villages a few years back and thought it looked like a wonderful way to spend my golden years.  Now, I’m not so sure.

If you think about it, being around a  bunch of people going through major life changes at the same time and it does sound a lot like high school.  Add disease such as Alzheimer’s or dementia and we have multiple reasons that may lead to some of those negative behaviors.

My mind is still open to this lifestyle but with a more cautious outlook.  What do you think about these types of communities?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

youngandthrifty January 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

That sounds like a nightmare 🙁

First off, being ‘sent’ to a retirement community because your children don’t want you living with them, then being ostracized.

Though she could be experiencing some dementia, you never know… because its her perception.

Frankly I can’t imagine other residents not allowing people to go to the community centre. You would think that older people would be past all that bullying, eh?

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Kay Lynn January 18, 2011 at 6:05 am

Young and Thrifty, after seeing the effects of aging on relatives I’m not surprised that the other residents acted this way. Plus people act different in groups than they would individually sometimes as well (mob mentality). It is a sad story and something to think about if people are looking at these types of communities.

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Evan January 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I didn’t get through the whole story, but couldn’t she just move?

Reply

Kay Lynn January 22, 2011 at 7:13 am

She said she couldn’t because her house lost value, but that’s only been in the last few years and she’s lived there for much longer. That’s why I’m not totally buying her story.

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