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Aged Care Residents Sexual Needs Dismissed

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Thursday, 25 August 2016

Tags: Older Tasmanians, Aged Care

That the House notes that:—

(a) a growing number of older Australians living in aged care facilities are speaking out about their unmet sexual needs and likewise, the increasing number of industry professionals working to champion their cause;

(b) industry professionals believe denying people in aged care facilities the right to express themselves sexually is a neglected human rights issue;

(c) not all aged care facility staff are equipped with the skills to effectively ensure the sexual and intimacy rights and needs of residents are being met;

(d) unfortunately, there are aged care facilities that bar residents with cognitive impairment from maintaining intimate relationships, causing a great deal of sadness and distress to those living in the same care facility as, say, a spouse;

(e) the issue is exacerbated by the fact that there is no legislation that protects the sexual and intimate rights of aged care residents;

(f) although the organisation Touching Base caters for the sexual needs of people living with a disability and has begun to offer services in some aged care facilities on the mainland, services in Tasmania are limited; and

(g) more work needs to be done, particularly by elected representatives, to ensure the quality of life for all members of the community, regardless of age, place and ability.