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Sexuality, Aging, and Chronic Illness

presented by Donald Kautz

Accreditation Check:

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 clinic, outpatient clinics, and home health. In addition, he worked as a rehab unit nurse manager, and a neuroscience and rehabilitation clinical nurse specialist. For the last 20 years, Don taught nursing in ADN, BSN, RN to BSN, and MSN in Education programs. He has presented at over 100 local, state, regional, national, and international nursing conferences, and co-authored over 100 publications. Don retired in December 2016.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Physiology of the Sexual Response

    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

    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

    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

    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.