Auditing organisational capacity to promote the sexual health of older people

Catherine Mary Barrett

Abstract


The aim of this paper is to explore the importance of sexual health promotion to the emotional wellbeing of older people and to outline the principles of an organisational approach to sexual health promotion. Strategies to improve the emotional wellbeing of older people seldom consider the links between sexual health and wellbeing. This is because older people are generally considered to be asexual and the term ‘sexual health’ often conjures up images of preventing sexual transmissible infections in young people. However, a definition of sexuality and sexual health developed by the World Health Organisation demonstrates the link between sexual health and overall wellbeing throughout life. The association is demonstrated in a number studies presented that explore the impact of sexual activity on stress, mental health and quality of life. This evidence has been incorporated into the principles for sexual health promotion developed by the World Health Organisation and is presented as a checklist for organisations to audit the extent to which they promote the sexual health of older clients.

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Keywords

sexual health, sexuality, wellbeing, ageing, audit



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ISSN 1832-7931
Swinburne University of Technology