Read the full article by Michael French at AVN.com

UK Royal College of Nursing Offers Guidelines For Sexual Activity Among Care Home Patients

A new guidebook for elder care nurses in the United Kingdom, issued by the Royal College of Nursing, offers guidelines for caregivers to deal with what it called the “taboo subject” of sexuality  among senior citizens living in nursing homes, noting in its introduction that, “sexuality remains a fundamental aspect of being human throughout life. It encompasses gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, intimacy, sexual expression and sexual acts.”

Among those sexual acts, according to the guidebook Older People in Care Homes: Sex, Sexuality and Intimate Relationships, viewing online porn and using sex toys for masturbation—without violating the privacy or personal space of other care home residents.

According to the guidebook, nurses in elder care facilities encounter the thorny issue of senior sexuality more frequently than is generally understood. 

“Jefferson, a resident who lives with multiple disabilities and is physically unable to care for himself, asks his key carer to assist him with masturbation,” the guidebook recounts, citing one example of a difficult situation encountered by caregivers in one facility. “There is no concern that Jefferson lacks mental capacity to make decisions, and the principles of sexual rights would support his right to fulfilling sexual activity.”

But the facility staff felt “ill-equipped” to provide the help the patient requested, and also worried that to do so might violate sexual offense laws, so, “following expert advice from sexual health services, mechanical assistive devices that individuals use themselves were procured.”

The exact nature of the “mechanical devices” was not specified in the Royal College of Nursing guide.