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Care home providers should develop policies to support sexual expression for residents, says RCN

College publishes revised guidelines to offer support and education for staff
Care home sex

College publishes revised guidelines to offer support and education for staff

The RCN has published revised guidance to help nurses and care staff support older people living in care homes with issues of sexuality, intimate relationships, sexual expression and sex.

The document acknowledges that sexuality, in all its dimensions, remains an element of who we are as individuals throughout our lives.

It states that care home providers should develop policies that support the rights of all people who live,

College publishes revised guidelines to offer support and education for staff


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The RCN has published revised guidance to help nurses and care staff support older people living in care homes with issues of sexuality, intimate relationships, sexual expression and sex.  

The document acknowledges that ‘sexuality, in all its dimensions, remains an element of who we are as individuals throughout our lives’.

It states that care home providers should develop policies that support the rights of all people who live, visit or work in care homes. Providers should offer support and education for staff.

Achieve a balance

Care home staff should try to achieve a balance between an individual’s right to privacy and the need for care, for example, waiting to be invited before entering residents’ bedrooms.

Lead author of the revised guidance and independent nurse consultant Hazel Heath said: ‘Supporting care home residents’ sexual expression and intimate relationships is not always straightforward for staff, particularly when someone’s mental capacity is in question.

‘This document offers legal and professional frameworks, guidance on policies and good practice, some problem-solving tools and examples of how homes have worked through a range of complex situations.’

Related articles

RCN guidance: Older people in care homes: sex, sexuality and intimate relationships


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