What's love got to do with it? Developing supportive practices for the expression of sexuality, sexual identity and the intimacy needs of older people.

Hafford-Letchfield, Trish (2008) What's love got to do with it? Developing supportive practices for the expression of sexuality, sexual identity and the intimacy needs of older people. Journal of Care Services Management, 2 (4). pp. 389-405. ISSN 1750-1679

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Abstract

Intimacy is at the centre of meaningful personal life in contemporary society and, at a fundamental level, constitutes one of the basic human needs. Much of the literature and discussion on intimacy, however, tends not to acknowledge older people, particularly in relation to sexuality and the expression of older people's sexual needs. These silences are further enshrined in social policy and the management of care practice. This paper seeks to contribute to emerging debates and the development of further understanding by those working in social care towards these relatively under-explored issues. Drawing on a range of secondary literature, this paper first attempts to define which discourses are influential around older people's sexuality within the social care arena. It examines the potential role played by social care professionals in recognising, interacting and confronting any barriers that serve to perpetuate myths and stereotypes of the ‘asexual’ older person. Finally, the paper addresses questions as to what steps might be taken to promote the wellbeing of older people using social care services through creating opportunities for expression of their needs for intimacy and sexual wellbeing and how to manage responses within services in a more holistic way.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Law > Social Policy Research Centre
ID Code:3701
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Deposited On:15 Jan 2010 06:31
Last Modified:06 Feb 2013 12:22

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