Older Adults: “The Sex Conversation”
Sometimes it can be difficult to talk about sex, but it is critical that we are able to discuss it openly in order to improve quality of life and health outcomes for older adults. Studies have shown that many healthcare providers assume their older adult patients are no longer having sex, therefore, not putting themselves at risk for contracting HIV or other STIs. Older adults are usually not perceived to be at risk for HIV or other STIs by their providers and often may not perceive themselves to be at risk. These assumptions create an environment which make it difficult to have open and honest discussion around the challenges and concerns older adults may be having around developing and/or maintaining a healthy sex life.
LGBT Aging & Sexual Health
Older adults are often assumed to be heterosexual and cisgender, but we must remember that many of our seniors identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) as well. In order to be inclusive and responsive to the needs of all the seniors we serve, we need to be sure to create an environment that is welcoming to all, including LGBT older adults.
It is also important to train staff interacting with seniors to use LGBT-friendly language and to include physical symbols in your center like a “welcome triangle” indicating a safe space to have open and honest discussions around sex and sexual health.
Help the Older Adult feel comfortable
Be open-minded and concerned
Be respectful and non-judgmental
Avoid Stereotypes about Older Adults
Tips for Working With Older Adults: