A trial centers on the brief marriage of two people in their 70s, with one going on trial for having sexual relations with his wife after being told she suffered from Alzheimer's disease.
Staff and seniors both would benefit from clearer policies regarding sexual behavior among residents in long-term care facilities, according to a prominent physicians association.
Sexual expression should be sanctioned and rightly belongs in residential healthcare settings. Sexual rights should not be subject to change based upon age, place of residence, sexual preference or the decision making of others, whether an older adult living in the community, a resident in a nursing home or a tenant in assisted living.
Alzheimer's disease is very good at taking. It takes away memories. It takes away personalities. It can be argued that Alzheimer's essentially takes away a person's essence. And as almost anyone who has spent time in a senior living facility can tell you, it can also take away sexual inhibitions.
For all the innuendos and images surrounding sex in our society, it's a topic that many long-term caregivers are reluctant to bring up with residents and their family members.
Nursing homes often must strike a balance between respecting residents' safety and their rights, particularly in areas such as smoking and sexuality, researchers report.