It’s hard to think about, but frail older women in nursing homes get sexually abused too

The Conversation, November 22, 2018 6.02am AEDT

We don’t often think of older women being victims of sexual assault, but such assaults occur in many settings and circumstances, including in nursing homes. Our research, published this week in the journal Legal Medicine, analysed 28 forensic medical examinations of female nursing home residents who had allegedly been victims of sexual assault in Victoria over a 15-year period.

The majority of the alleged victims had some form of cognitive or physical impairment. All 14 perpetrators who were reported were male, half of whom were staff and half other residents.

 

 

Sex a key part of life for people over 65, study says

Sexually active older Australian’s knowledge of STIs & safer sexual practices

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2017  doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12655

Lyons, A., Heywood, W., Fileborn, B., Minichiello, V., Barrett, C., Brown, G., Hinchliff, S., Malta, S. and Crameri, P.

Abstract:

Objective: Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are rising among older Australians. We conducted a large survey of older people’s knowledge of STIs and safer sexual practices.

Methods: A total of 2,137 Australians aged 60 years and older completed the survey, which included 15 questions assessing knowledge of STIs and safer sexual practices. We examined both levels of knowledge and factors associated with an overall knowledge score.

Results: In total, 1,652 respondents reported having sex in the past five years and answered all knowledge questions. This group had good general knowledge but poorer knowledge in areas such as the protection offered by condoms and potential transmission modes for specific STIs. Women had better knowledge than men. Men in their 60s, men with higher education levels, and men who thought they were at risk of STIs reported better knowledge than other men. Knowledge was also better among men and women who had been tested for STIs or reported ‘other’ sources of knowledge on STIs.

Conclusions: Many older Australians lack knowledge of STIs and safer sexual practices.

Implications for public health: To reverse current trends toward increasing STI diagnoses in this population, policies and education campaigns aimed at improving knowledge levels may need to be considered.

  • Access full text (open access) here 

Australian report finds disturbing evidence of gender inequality

Guardian Australia, March 8th

Incorrect assumptions are being made that gender equality has been achieved despite disturbing and comprehensive evidence to the contrary, an investigation by Australia’s sex discrimination commissioner, Kate Jenkins, has found.

“There are many different voices in this, and my voice is tied to having spoken to rural women, LGBTI women, older women, women with disabilities, migrant women and Aboriginal women.”

  • Read more of article here 
  • Download the report (PDF) here
  • Download the infographic (jpg) here

 

Group interventions key to improving health of older lesbian, bisexual women, study finds

The results of a US study suggest that group intervention is an effective tool to help aging lesbian and bisexual women improve their overall health behaviours. The study, published today in a supplement to the journal Women’s Health Issues, addresses growing concerns over health disparities amongst women in this demographic, which include elevated levels of stress, anxiety, substance abuse and larger body sizes in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts.

  • Read more of press release here
  • Access entire supplement (open access) here