Lawmaker proposes 'sex prescriptions' for nursing home residents

Share this content:

A German politician is making the headlines for her suggestion that the government pay for prostitutes for poor and elderly people, including those living in nursing homes.

Elisabeth Scharfenberg, a care policy spokeswoman for Germany's Green Party, said in an article published Sunday in the German paper Welt am Sonntag that she can envision a program where “funding for sexual assistance” is provided to the ill and elderly who cannot pay for a prostitute themselves.

The funding program would be similar to one currently used in the Netherlands, where applicants must “prove a medical need and show that they are otherwise unable to pay for a sex worker themselves,” Time reported.

Brothels in Germany — where prostitution has been legal since 2002 — have already started offering “sexual assistance” programs for nursing home residents, including those with dementia, according to Welt am Sonntag.

Fellow lawmakers and the German Patient Protection Foundation fired back at Scharfenberg on Monday, stating that elderly and infirm patients have more pressing concerns — such as needing assistance eating and washing — than hiring prostitutes.

“We don't need paid prostitution in homes for the elderly, and certainly not on prescription,” one politician said.