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Facilities are finally grappling with the fact that residents have sex lives
Many facilities are taking steps to address the issue of residents and their sex lives. — Getty Images
by Paula Spencer Scott, AARP Bulletin, June 2015
“A nursing home aide discovers a Kentucky couple, who aren’t married to each other, naked in the same bed together.
“A woman in Iowa complains when her roommate’s husband, who doesn’t live in the facility, climbs in his wife’s bed to snuggle and, she claims, have sex.
“A man likes to fondle fellow residents in his Minnesota dementia-care unit; nobody assesses whether the women invite or welcome the touch or are being assaulted.
“As if moving aging parents into a long-term care facility wasn’t painful enough, now comes this uncomfortable twist: getting calls about their sex lives there. (Remember when roles were reversed when it came to fretting about sex drives?)
“In the wake of several high-profile cases, facilities — eager to avoid liability — have begun to develop guidelines that preserve residents’ right to pursue sexual pleasure in privacy, while protecting them from unsafe, unwanted or abusive situations. So far only about a quarter of facilities have policies on intimacy and sexual behavior, according to a 2013 survey by AMDA — the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Almost half said that developing a policy was ‘planned’ or ‘uncertain.””