I can't get no-o-o-o ... satisfaction

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Mary Gustafson, McKnight's Staff Writer
Mary Gustafson, McKnight's Staff Writer
Anyone who works in long-term care or aging services — or who writes about it every day — likes to see headlines like this: “Sexual satisfaction highest in oldest, youngest women, study says.”

Headlines and research in that vein appeal to us for a couple reasons: At the most basic level, sex sells. It grabs our readers' attention, and gets them talking. And as our own Real Nurse Jackie knows, it actually is relevant to long-term care.

The sexy headlines appeal to me because I will take the good news these days where I can find it. Honest. Nothing salacious for me! With Medicaid budgets spiraling and Alzheimer's statistics climbing, I welcome any opportunity to put a silly pun in a headline.

I do get a little protective, however, when studies about sexually satisfied octogenarians inevitably trickle down to blogs such as Gawker that treat seniors' sexuality as a mean-spirited joke. It's the same reaction I have to “Saturday Night Live” using Betty White as a foil for easy gags about frisky old ladies. I wanted to see her host the show as much as the rest of America, believe me, but maybe I'm exhibiting my own signs of aging when I say that I think she's funniest when she takes sexuality out of the equation.

So imagine my surprise last weekend when my cousin sent me a story about an elderly hospice patient who asked a Make-A-Wish-type organization to bring a Chippendale's dancer to her facility for a visit. I set my expectations low. But what I read was indeed heartwarming, as my cousin had promised.

The woman in the story didn't want a lap dance — she just wanted to have a conversation with someone who represented a fond memory she'd had 30 years earlier. (Click here to read the story for yourself)

Who can argue with that?

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McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.

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