Ageism and Sexuality

 

This is a reading of an article on Ageism and Sexuality from: https://ageing-equal.org/ageism-and-sexuality/

The article highlights the lack of support for Ageing HIV+ people which is of concern in Western Australia and the fact that “doctors often overlook older people’s sexuality and do not think to test older people for sexually transmitted diseases. This results in older adults being diagnosed at a more advanced stage of HIV infection at diagnosis than younger people, and have a higher HIV morbidity and mortality and a faster disease progression”.

“Older people are often stereotyped as non-sexual beings who should not, cannot, and do not want to have sexual relationships. Ageism prevents us to respect all forms of intimacy and sexual orientation in later life.

The sexuality of care home residents is particularly challenging and often seen as a problem, instead of as a right. The need of care residents for sexuality and intimacy are often absent from policy and practice.

The situation might be further complicated for residents identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ), who can feel obliged to go “back into the closet” when they enter care. Older LGBTIQ people can also be affected by ageism and face multiple discrimination in other areas of their lives, including housing (homophobic attitudes of staff and residents in care homes); social protection (eligibility for survivors’ benefits in both state and private pension schemes); family-derived rights (property inheritance rules, insurance, child-care responsibility or next of kin); social exclusion (higher risk of loneliness, isolation and depression).

The Perth Sisters advocacy has resulted in the WA AIDS Council agreeing to fund a Community Forum in early 2022 & the Help Desk will ensure that we spread the good news about this event.

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