Sex in senior living is a delicate topic, but not one that is too taboo to discuss with staff and residents.
In fact, intimate relationships must be discussed to improve resident safety and happiness, said Stella Hatcliffe during a recent Mather LifeWays’ webinar on the topic.
“Sexual health is important to an individual’s self-identity and general well-being,” Hatcliffe, director of professional education at Mather LifeWays said. “[Intimacy] fulfills social, emotional and psychological components of life. Sexual health is something we want to promote. It makes us feel good and valued.”
Myths surrounding older Americans is that they are asexual, heterosexual or that sexual desires diminish with age, she said, adding that more than 1.5 million adults over the age of 65 identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).
“When communicating with older adults you need to embrace the concept of partner,” she said. “All residents have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.”