Throwing light on sex in care homes

Posted on July 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

Following criticism and alarm expressed in readers’ letters about a government-funded research project into issues of sexuality in care homes, Rosie Chester and Jef Smith of Counsel and Care explain why they believe the research is necessary. Ten years ago it would have been difficult to discuss restraint, elder abuse or spirituality with many staff in older people’s homes without displays of resolute defensiveness or obvious embarrassment. Today, due at least partly to the research and publications of Counsel and Care, these issues have been recognised as proper subjects for frank discussion. In contrast to this healthy openness, the subject of sex in homes is still strictly off-limits for some managers. The news that the Department of Health has commissioned Counsel and Care to carry out a study of this admittedly difficult topic produced letters in Caring Times full of words like “shamed” and “insulted”. One pair of proprietors accused us of planning to promote promiscuity; another deplored the encouragem

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