Nursing Home Residents with Dementia Cannot Consent to Sexual Relationships

People with mental health conditions that impact their ability to make decisions cannot consent to sexual relations. To allow elderly residents with dementia to engage in intimate relations in a nursing home under the guise that it is “consensual,” and in some respects promote it as a policy, is inexcusable. An Illinois appellate court has sided with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on their decision to heavily fine an Illinois nursing home for a policy that allowed residents with dementia to engage in sexual relationships. Generations at Neighbors in Byron, IL previously allowed residents with dementia or other cognitive difficulties to have intimate relations with fellow residents, provided that the interactions seemed consensual. CMS, citing this policy as an Immediate Jeopardy violation, fined the facility $83,000. Immediate Jeopardy citations are reserved for those “situations in which the provider’s noncompliance with one or…

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