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Older Adults & Sexuality

Presentation for Clinical Social Work & Aging Fall 2012

Shaina G

on 11 April 2013

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Transcript of Older Adults & Sexuality

Feelings about addressing issues of sexuality with your clients? What is sexuality? Perceptions of Sexuality STI's Over 50 Shaina Z. Goldberg Sexuality in Older Adulthood Despite common misconceptions, loss of sexual desire does not decrease as a result of age. By age 50, 50% of people will be infected with Herpes.
By 2015 half of the people living with HIV in the U.S. will be over more than 50 years old. Sexuality and Residential Care Respect for autonomy
Risk of sexual abuse in clients expressing symptoms of dementia
Moral/ ethical Dilemma Important to consider ethical guidelines including "empathy, responsibility, respect, and vulnerability (Mahieu & Gastmans, 2011)" when faced with situations involving sexuality in clients with dementia. Addressing Sexuality
in Clinical Settings Approach topic with an open mind
Ask the client if they feel comfortable discussing issues of sexuality
Consider biological changes as well as psychological and attitudinal aspects of a persons' sexuality.
Never be surprised by a client's individual sexuality- everyone has different interests and age does not mean they are no longer interested in sex! Age Related Changes Shared Health Problems Women Decreased Estrogen Menopause Vaginal Atrophy Lowered Testosterone Diminished force of ejaculation Lengthened Refractory Period Diabetes Thyroid
Disease Hypertension Men What experience do you have in discussing sexuality with older adults?
How would you address an issue of sexuality with an older adult?
What are some ways we can improve our practice with older adults and assessment in relationship to their sexuality? Research Change of Role in Relationships Caregivers experience exhaustion, guilt, and other worries that may impact sexual functioning.
Loss of spouse may lead to cessation of sexual activity
Use of masturbation as a means of sexual satisfaction increases after loss of spouse
Decline in sexual activity in women over 70 is primarily due to change in relationship status to widowhood Many seniors are misinformed and believe they need to stop sexual activity due to medical issues such as heart attack or other medical trauma. The opposite is true, sexually active older adults are found to be in better health. Seeking treatment for issues related to sexuality is not likely in older adults. Only 28% of men and 13% of women in a study conducted by AARP in 1999 had sought medical advice for sexual issues. Is speaking about sexuality part of your clinical assessment? What are some ways we can educate clients and community members about the importance of safer sex? Seniors, Sexuality, and the Internet Older adults are the fastest growing group of computer users.

Online Dating
Sexual Education When older adults give up their sexuality, it is primarily due to social and psychological causes rather than biological and physical causes, which can usually be remedied (Hillman, 2000) Women experience less changes related to physical sexual health than men
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