Caution prevents nursing home residents from enjoying sexual relationships, investigators say

Share this content:
Nursing home residents often are deprived of consensual sexual relationships due to concern for resident safety and a lack of sufficient formal policies dealing with these relationships, new research finds. 

As the population ages, the sexual habits of the elderly means more nursing homes will need to implement policies that ensure the sexual needs of residents are being met, according to researchers from the Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care, located in Melbourne. In talking to residents, investigators said that residents desire acknowledgement that they may be sexually active, and think that healthcare professionals should inquire about their needs.

"Since it has been well established that sexuality and intimacy continue to be important in later life and are central to an individual's health and wellbeing, the lack of attention paid by aged care facilities to residents' sexual needs is concerning," the investigators wrote.

The findings were published in an editorial in the Journal of Medical Ethics.