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.
Amid ever-widening cultural conversations about sexual consent, dementia remains uncharted territory. As Canadians live longer, more are moving into long-term care with advancing dementia disorders. It’s a growing population with complex needs, not least of all in their intimate lives.
In the close-quarters environment of nursing homes, these people’s sexuality poses difficult ethical dilemmas for staff and for families
Reluctance to reveal their sexual identity is widespread among non-heterosexual senior citizens in long-term care. A recent national survey of this population by the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging—which provides support and services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender elders—found that the respondents were frequently mistreated by care-center staff, including cases of verbal and physical harassment, as well as refusal of basic services. Some respondents reported being prayed for and warned they might “go to hell” for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Over the last 35 years, HIV has been transformed from what was once a fatal illness to a chronic condition that people can now easily manage. Therefore, people with HIV are able to live longer and reach old age. As people living with HIV start to access aged care services, what effect will this have on the Aged Care Worker and the role they perform?
This booklet was developed for Aged Care Workers who work in a range of
residential facilities and in the community providing services to clients in their
own homes. The booklet provides basic information about HIV and the effect
of HIV and HIV treatment on the ageing process.