Expressing sexuality in nursing homes. The experience of older women: A qualitative study

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Abstract

In nursing homes, a number of barriers to the expression of sexuality exist, such as the lack of privacy, certain attitudes on behalf of the staff and the family, the lack of a sexual partner, and physical limitations. The aim of this study was to describe the lived experience of sexuality in elderly Spanish women residing in nursing homes. A qualitative phenomenological approach was followed. Data were collected over an 18-month period between 2013 and 2015. Purposeful sampling was conducted with Spanish residents in nursing homes in Madrid. Data were collected using unstructured and semi-structured interviews. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Twenty female residents participated. Three main themes emerged from the data: a) expressing sexuality, b) sexuality as a duty and c) respecting vows. Female residents reported key elements influencing how they manage their sexuality in Nursing Homes. These results serve to improve our understanding regarding the expression of sexuality in older female nursing home residents.

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