Sexuality in older age: essential considerations for healthcare professionals
Taylor, A. and Gosney, M. A. (2011) Sexuality in older age: essential considerations for healthcare professionals. Age and ageing, 40 (5). pp. 538-543. ISSN 1468-2834
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afr049
This review describes the fact that many elderly people enjoy an active sex life and examines the evidence against the general perception of an 'asexual' old age. It offers an overview of the evidence for healthcare professionals who had not previously considered the sexuality of their older patients. It also describes some of the sexual problems faced by older people, especially the difficulties experienced in disclosing such problems to healthcare professionals. It examines why healthcare professionals routinely avoid discussing sexual problems with older patients, and how this can be improved. It also offers some recommendations for future research in the area, as well as a word of caution regarding the temptation of over-sexualising the ageing process.