Sexuality is an important aspect that features prominently in the lives of all individuals. Sexuality is however perceived differently by various people and/or societies. One of the main focuses of change of perception towards this vital subject is involved with the elderly. Sexuality and the chronically ill older adults is an important subject that has been widely discussed. Verna Pangman and Marylyn Seguire in Sexuality and Disability broadly discussed the issue of sexuality and the chronically ill of the older people.
Though sexuality as a whole has been extensively discussed and researched in this article, the main focus has been related with the older people in the society. Various definitions of sexuality have been put forward to bring a better understanding of not only the term but the concept as a whole. One of the definitions put forward is that sexuality is one of the most basic natural aspects of life that affects an individual’s identity as a human being (Marilyn & Verna, 2000, p 49). The relation of sexuality and the inevitable aging process has been effectively discussed. There are various myths that are associated with the aging people in regard to their sexuality. Stereotypic beliefs that sexuality of the older people is not important and should not be valued are in the rise. The subject of sexuality has been associated with the youthful population. The situation is worsened in the elder adults with chronic diseases and those who are disabled. This group of people finds itself sidelined on the vital issue of sexuality. As a result older adults are denied the rights and privileges of healthy and meaningful relationships. It is a common belief that the older adults if chronically ill often lose their appetite for sexuality (Marilyn & Verna, 2000, p 52).
There are various health assessments and procedures that can be adopted so as to ensure that the rights of sexuality issues in the older population are upheld. Nursing students have their attitudes and thinking processes influenced in the course of their studies (Marilyn & Verna, 2000, p 54). However there should be a creation of favorable sexuality attitudes of the often young students in favor of the older people rights to normality in sexuality issues. When nursing students learn and recognize the basis of the myths surrounding sexuality of the older adults in society, they are able to effectively dispel the wrongful notions and embrace equity and fair treatment of the older adults.
The nursing educators also have a duty of offering the students current knowledge on the spectrum of humanity which includes physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Students’ understanding on the concept of sexuality is vital. With these attribute instilled by the nursing educators through therapeutic communication and behavioral skills, students can hence handle this component of nursing care with greater comfort and understanding.
In the practice of nursing, especially in the field of gerontology, nurses who may be caring for older adults can be very useful in the changing and addressing of this critical issue. However, this process is enhanced and influenced by the individuals’ perception and understanding, as well as acceptance of their own sexuality. When the nurses in question are at ease with their own sexuality, a comfortable ambience is availed to the respective older patient. Therefore, the patients are able to exercise flexibility and freedom of expression about the impact of aging and chronic illness on their own sexuality.
Nursing research on sexuality and aging need to be conducted on a higher level. Though there has been previous research in the 1960’s, there needs to be development due to changes brought about by time. Increasing the knowledge and understanding on this area is important. With this in mind, allocation of funding from concerned institutions should be in serious consideration.
The article has been clearly written in simple English which is understandable to most people. The content of the article is also a clear indication that it has been fully and wholly researched. There is extensive use of facts that indicate that the authors had proper and informed states of mind. There is also a general feeling in the article that indicates passion from the concerned authors. However, the authors of this article could have expounded more on the topics. The fact that there is full knowledge and understanding on the subject of sexuality and the older people should have provided leverage on the full expansion and extension of the contents, especially on the proposals and interventions.
What is interesting most about this article is that it has a subject of concern that is deep rooted in society. The subject of sexuality and the older people is one that is avoided. The article however broadly approaches it and effectively discusses it in length.
The health assessment strategy discussed here is completely beneficial in practice. With this in mind, the inception of this strategy towards the successful resultant effects of the subject is vital. Personally, I would endorse this strategy in dealing with the issue of sexuality and the older people in society. Further, the explanation of the health strategy in the article has been clearly explained. The use of simple grammar and language coupled with the systematic approach has made the comprehension of the strategy easy.
The scope of study involved in the article is very important. The relevance of the subject to the society cannot be ignored. Therefore, it is equally important that there should be more research on these topics. The research and subsequent writing of more informative articles such as this would go a long way in creating awareness and solutions to critical problems. Therefore, more scholarly work especially on the area of health assessment discussed in the article should be done. This would also help enhance the knowledge as well as speed and also in effecting the required solutions to the problem in question.
The article seeks to change the perception of the sexuality of the older people in society. Therefore, with the implementations effected, the elderly members of the society are the greatest beneficiary of the consequences, though not entirely. Since even the young would also benefit through creation of a better understanding on the sexuality of the elderly.
The fact that there exists a wrongful and mythical stand against the sexuality of the older people in the society is evident. However, with various undertakings, this perceptions and notions can be wholly changed or discarded. With proper assessments of strategies, the eradication of this myths are bound to occur. This is bound to give the patients in question better treatment and conditions as well as enhance the consequent acceptance of their health states.
Verna, C. P. & Marilyn, S. R. (2000). “Sexuality and the Chronically Ill Older Adult: A Social
Justice Issue.” Sexuality and Disability, 18 (1), 49-59