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Sexuality, Aging, and Chronic Illness

presented by Donald Kautz, MSN, RN, CRRN

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Donald D. Kautz, RN, PhD, CRRN receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Donald D. Kautz, RN, PhD, CRRN has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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The focus of this course is on patients who are living at home, but the information can be used for patients who are in acute, long-term, and other inpatient rehabilitation settings. This course will provide detailed information for the provider about common sexual and intimacy problems that patients experience, how to appropriately respond to questions, and how to find reliable information to give to patients and those they love.

Meet Your Instructor

Donald Kautz, MSN, RN, CRRN

Donald D. Kautz earned his BSN from the University of Northern Colorado, and his MSN and PhD in Nursing from the University of Kentucky. Don worked in many areas of Rehabilitation Nursing, including acute inpatient rehab on spinal cord, head injury, stroke, and general rehab units. He worked as a staff nurse in a pain…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Physiology of the Sexual Response

Research by Masters and Johnson, and later by Kaplan, led to the development of the triphasic sexual response, of desire, excitement and orgasm. This chapter describes the sexual response and common problems that all people will likely have at some point in their lives. For example, men and women will have relationship issues at some point that will decrease desire for a period of time. Another common problem with sexual desire is that there are times when our lives become so busy that sex just isn’t a priority.

2. Changes in Sexual Function with Aging and Chronic Illnesses and Common Responses to These Changes

Physiological changes in the sexual response occur with aging and chronic illness. For example, both men and women may need more direct genital stimulation to achieve erections and vaginal lubrication. Some older adults adapt with increased fondling and caressing, others seek medical help, and others welcome the end to sex.

3. Resources About Sex for Older Adults

Pamphlets, videos, and websites have been developed specifically for older adults to assist them in adapting to sexual changes with age. This chapter provides up-to-date resources for nurses and therapists to use with patients and their partners.

4. Adapting to Sexual Problems That Occur with Chronic Illnesses and Aging

Chronic illnesses, including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and cancer become more common as adults age, and may cause problems with sexual relationships. This chapter identifies those problems and gives suggestions for overcoming or adapting to them.

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