Its pioneering ideas are leading changes like these: A broader definition of "whole person care" Compassionate policies start with acknowledging that older adults still have sexual needs, including the very basic human need for touch.People who work in the field sometimes call it a "Sandra Day O'Connor case." A resident with Alzheimer's finds new companionship with a fellow resident, as happened with the Supreme Court justice's husband, John Jay O'Connor III. "It's not uncommon, especially in facilities with more men," says Kansas State University associate professor Gayle Doll, author of Sexuality & Long-Term Care.
Many administrators are finding inspiration in the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in New York, which was the first to create a sexual expression policy in 1995.
The state cited the facility for failure to report possible abuse and for not having staff training or policies in place.
"It's inappropriate to decide you're just not going to allow anything to happen," says Robbins.
Family emotions Couplings in a nursing home seldom involve just two people.
Nonresident spouses and adult children often make decisions for the person.