A Review Of Sexuality And The Chronically Ill Older Adult: A Social Justice Issue

1271 words - 5 pages

This article “Sexuality and the Chronically Ill Older Adult: A Social Justice Issue” is published in the journal Sexuality and Disability and the authors are Verna C Pangman and Marilyn Seguire. The article provides an overview and outline on sexuality in the older adult with a chronic illness. In today’s world, according to Verna C Pangman and Marilyn Seguire, sexuality for the older adult and the elderly is a “taboo” word, and if mentioned, fear and apprehension by the older adult and society develops. The older adult, believe that when they are ill or have a chronic disease process or even disabled they are not able to have lasting relationships, be engaged in sexual activity, and the result is the older adult experiencing unvalued, unappreciated and not important. The article presents a thorough and detailed view on sexuality and the chronically ill older adult.
Sex is usually associated with the younger generation therefore individuals believe that the older adult do not engage in sexual activity. They believe that the older adult are “old, weak, feeble and in poor health” thus the older adult cannot have sex. The world today tend to forget to address and understand the magnitude that sexuality has on the older adults security, comfort, interest and health has resulted that the sexuality of the older adult has been left unnoticed and ignored. Verna C Pangman and Marilyn Seguire have cited different definitions from varied references on sexuality. The article points out the fact that health care professionals have ignored the sexual concerns of the older adult and any age group. Nurses and health care professionals are not comfortable addressing sexuality and sexual concerns with their patients. For nurses to be able to question and discuss this issue with the older adult the nurse needs to have their own values and beliefs on sexuality and be comfortable with their own sexuality. The article suggests that nurses need training, education, and continuing education on how to address sexuality in a chronically ill older adult. In addition, the nurse completing the comprehensive physical assessment tends to ignore or omit taking a sexual history. A sexual history should include some of the following; the older adults needs for meeting sexual desires, role expectations, the reason for sexual concerns.
Doyle, Bisson, Janes, Lynch, and Martin (Doyle D, Bisson D,Janes N,Lynch H,Martin C;, 1999) developed Sexuality Guidelines for their organization. They recognized the fact that community social justice and social responsibility were extremely important for these guidelines.
This article illustrates an extremely sensitive topic about sexuality in the older adult and in the chronically ill adult. The article mentions a number of valid points on sexuality, which is extremely interesting as society and health care professionals tend to ignore this topic. The tradition was that the older adult was not interested in...

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