Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sexuality & Aging: A Focus on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Needs in Palliative & End of Life Care

Sex and sexuality are core components of the human experience. Many older adults and people with terminal illness still consider sexuality important in their lives. The palliative care experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons are unique in a number of important ways with regard to sexuality and sexual expression.

To date, there has been relatively limited scholarly research on sexual health needs of people in palliative care and near end of life, and an even greater paucity of data specifically about sexual minorities. Forms of sexual expression may change with advancing age and illness. Physical intimacy and emotional connection may take on greater roles compared with more traditional concepts of sexual activity. Several recent studies have examined sexual health in palliative care and a few have examined LGBT cohorts. Advances in public policy, including the recent US Supreme Court decision regarding marriage equality, have continued to shape the cultural landscape for LGBT people. This article reviews recent literature with considerations for future research.

Sexuality and intimacy remain important for many people facing terminal illness. LGBT people face unique challenges with regard to sexuality during palliative care. Clinicians should work to avoid heteronormative stereotypes and focus on goals of care to enhance quality of life for all patients.

Purchase full article at:   http://goo.gl/iXE8Px

By:  Griebling TL1.

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