“At our age,” William
Carlos Williams writes, “the imagination
across the sorry facts
to make roses
stand before thorns.
love is cruel
and totally obtuse—
at least, blinded by the light,
young love is.
As Williams understood, love, and the need for love, doesn’t
fade with age. And yet, so much of our ageist culture is unprepared to discuss
this, and the mere idea of elders as sexual beings has so much “ick” around it
that it’s impossible to have a grown-up discussion about it.
It’s no joke: exactly half of people who have HIV or AIDS
are 50 years or older. By the end of the decade, the percentage will be 70
percent. But it’s not all thorns, either, and the young don’t—and can’t—have a
monopoly on love.
That’s why we’re proud to introduce our next round of
#ProviderChats. Join us Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. EST for,
“Sex And The Singular Senior.”
We have a terrific panel of experts who’ll discuss
everything from “skin hunger” to informed consent to the risks and rewards and
helping our elders attain their full height as humans.
Dick Butler is an attorney with more than three decades of experience in long term care. He’s a former executive vice president with the Indiana Health Care Association and was the on the facility standards committee for the American Health Care Association. He is currently an independent director Medicalodges’ corporate board, and services on AHCA’s survey/regulatory committee.
Melanie Davis is co-president of the Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University. She is currently writing the Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Older Adults for the Unitarian Universalist Association. She developed and coordinates www.SaferSex4Seniors.org. Davis is also the author of Look Within: A Woman’s Journal and is on the editorial advisory board of the American Journal of Sexuality Education. She is a certified sexuality educator and educator supervisor through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.
Gayle Appel Doll is an associate professor and the Director of the Center on Aging at Kansas State University. She is an expert on person-centered care for nursing homes and sexuality and aging specifically for persons living with dementia. She has written an award-winning book, Sexuality and Long-Term Care: Understanding and Supporting the Needs of Older Adults and has been interviewed for publications from AARP to the New York Times.
Lynne Katzmann is the founder and CEO of Juniper Communities in Bloomfield, N.J. A graduate of the London School of Economics, she helped Oregon put together the first-of-its-kind state health care system in the early 1980s. An anti-ageism activist, she founded Juniper in the hope that it can “be a model for public policy.” She was named to Provider’s “20 To Watch” list in 2015.