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Guidelines for Sexual Activity in Nursing Homes

As Americans live longer and longer, they are having intimate relationships well into their 70s and 80s, which can cause problems for couples residing in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Aside from an inherent lack of privacy, questions may also arise as to whether certain residents are capable of consenting to sex. In order to provide more individualized, rather than institutionalized care, some facilities are permitting and even support residents who wish to be physically intimate.

For instance, according to a recent New York Times article, at one nursing home, staff members organized a senior prom, a happy hour, and G-Date, a dating service for seniors at the facility. The policy that they have in place is specifically designed to teach staff members how to handle these sensitive issues, while at the same time protecting residents from unwanted advances and allowing residents who want intimate relationships to do so without fear of reprisal or other negative consequences.

To date, however, very few facilities have any policies in place to address the concerns that intimate relations among residents raise. With the baby boomer generation aging and moving into assisted living and nursing homes, experts believe that the incidence of sexual activity in these facilities will continue to grow. After all, baby boomers are comfortable having sex in their later years, and it is likely that they will continue to do so as long they are able. Some residents report that a late-life intimate relationship helps curb their loneliness and allows them to continue to enjoy life while they can.

At Boller & Vaughan, we are all too familiar with the rampant abuse and neglect that can occur in understaffed, underfunded, overcrowded nursing homes. We have investigated many allegations of abuse and neglect, including incidents involving sexual activity, thus giving rise to a claim for damages against the responsible person and facility. Allow us to look into the background of your situation, evaluate the many options that may be available to you, and help you decide what move to make next. Contact the Wisconsin nursing home neglect attorneys of Boller & Vaughan, and see what help we have to offer you.