The state cited the facility for failure to report possible abuse and for not having staff training or policies in place.
"More facilities are becoming enlightened to the fact that this is something people are thinking about, and maybe they should find ways to help people become comfortable." Indeed, attraction, hugging, flirting, fondling and, yes, sexual relations know no expiration dates.
"This is a time of life where many people return to a certain romance of what they were like in their 20s.
) In the wake of several high-profile cases, facilities — eager to avoid liability — have begun to develop guidelines that preserve residents' right to pursue sexual pleasure in privacy, while protecting them from unsafe, unwanted or abusive situations.
So far only about a quarter of facilities have policies on intimacy and sexual behavior, according to a 2013 survey by AMDA — the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
Its pioneering ideas are leading changes like these: A broader definition of "whole person care" Compassionate policies start with acknowledging that older adults still have sexual needs, including the very basic human need for touch.
People who work in the field sometimes call it a "Sandra Day O'Connor case." A resident with Alzheimer's finds new companionship with a fellow resident, as happened with the Supreme Court justice's husband, John Jay O'Connor III. "It's not uncommon, especially in facilities with more men," says Kansas State University associate professor Gayle Doll, author of Sexuality & Long-Term Care.Almost half said that developing a policy was "planned" or "uncertain." "The nursing home field is more highly regulated than any other, but there are almost no rules regarding sexuality," says Gayle Doll, director of the Kansas State Center on Aging and author of Sexuality & Long-Term Care.She defines sexual expression as anything from compliments to touch to sex.You can no longer jump out of planes, but you can still generate excitement in your life," says geriatric psychiatrist Ken Robbins, a clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Social connections and human touch help ward off the depression and loneliness that old age and institutional living can bring, he adds.A woman in Iowa complains when her roommate's husband, who doesn't live in the facility, climbs in his wife's bed to snuggle and, she claims, have sex.