Sexuality & Long-term Care: Understanding and Supporting the Needs of Older Adults

Front Cover
Health Professions Press, 2012 - Health & Fitness - 267 pages
Responding to the sexual desires of older adults in residential environments is widely recognized as a challenge by care staff, administrators, and family members. The first book to take a person-centered approach to resident sexuality in long-term care, this groundbreaking resource addresses the question of how long-term care facilities can respond to these sexual desires while balancing individual resident rights against the needs and concerns of the care community as a whole. Informative, engaging, and instructive, Sexuality and Long-Term Care recognizes sexual expression as a significant part of personality, explains why it is important to honor longings for intimacy, and provides strategies for teaching staff how to effectively, respectfully, and compassionately acknowledge those needs. Case studies illustrate potential issues surrounding resident sexuality and provide ample opportunities for healthy discussion about how the staff handled the situation, what was done well and what was not, and how to improve the outcomes. Long-term care administrators, nurses, social workers, counselors, direct care staff, ombudsmen, and others devoted to enhancing the quality of life in nursing homes will learn how to address and prevent inappropriate behaviors, what normal sexual expression is in old age and how dementia affects it, how to accommodate the needs of LGBT residents, ways to protect residents from sexually transmitted disease, and more. Valuable tools for staff training are included that encourage staff and managers to explore attitudes and biases about the sexuality of older adults and help organizations develop policies related to this fundamental need. Fully grounded in research, Sexuality and Long-Term Care will enlighten anyone who believes sexuality vanishes with age and offers many useful solutions for navigating this controversial issue. PRACTICAL RESOURCES: Sample policy guidelines, case studies, key lessons, learning and discussion activities, attitude surveys, and practical solutions to common problems.

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