Bullying can be a problem for young people, but a study shows it can also affect the elderly.

The study, published in the book Bullying Among Older Adults, finds one in five seniors encounters bullying.

At Brookdale Senior Living in Mankato, both staff and residents are trained on how to recognize and handle bullying.

"We train them on respect and caring culture, and also on bullying and how to identify it and how to intervene and how to let us know if there is an issue," Brookdale Executive Director Geri Svaleson said.

Svaleson said oftentimes when bullying happens, it's because the residents don't realize that's what they're doing.

"Maybe if somebody is taunting or teasing somebody, or is shunning or excluding somebody, sometimes people don't recognize that as bullying," she said.

The study found elderly who see their independence disappear reportedly may bully other residents. It also found that women tend to be most responsible.

Svaleson said that while new residents may need time to adjust to the diverse community, Brookdale's culture of respect has made bullying an uncommon occurrence.

"I think that caring culture is very important in preventing disrespectful or bullying attitudes," she said.

--KEYC News 12