Most people don’t like to think about their parents or grandparents engaged in sexual contact. It may be an especially uneasy topic when that loved one is residing in a nursing home. But as a recent New York Times article reported, some nursing homes are setting policies that establish guidelines for residents and staffers on this very subject. The purpose is to ensure those who are aging in an institution don’t lose the opportunity for a comforting touch, but also aren’t victimized by unwanted advances.
The difference between a healthy relationship and a potentially abusive one comes down to one thing: Consent.
Although it seems a fairly straightforward issue, it’s the one area where clarification is most needed. For example, can an Alzheimer’s patient give consent? Some nursing homes posit that they can, but only in certain circumstances. Continue reading →