a publication of the sexuality and aging consortium at widener university

Students Learn about Sexuality and Aging

By Kira Manser

“Amazing,” “Excellent,” and “Very informative ” were a few of the evaluations received for the a trail-blazing student workshop, Core Concepts of Sexuality and Aging, hosted by the Sexuality and Aging Consortium’s Student Affiliate at Widener University.

The workshop, held on campus in April, was attended by students from Widener, Bryn Mawr, Chestnut Hill College, and Temple University as well as by long-term care professionals, psychologists, social workers, lawyers, and educators.  Consortium President Peggy Brick kicked off the event with a keynote about the importance of using education, humor, and research in the fight against ageism in our society.

Bill Taverner then discussed the role of the medical community within aging and sexuality conversations before a panel of experts addressed aging and sexuality.  Joe Ippolito spoke about his work in the transgender community and specifically about a chapter on aging he is writing in the upcoming book, “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves.”  Ed Miller spoke about his role as direct of senior programming at the Philadelphia LGBT community center William Way, and Widener University professor Robin Goldberg-Glen gave a geriatric and social work perspective, encouraging people to do research and to approach their work with culturally sensitivity.

Participants received answers to questions including how to discuss sexuality with grown children of older adults? What are the aging considerations specific to transgender individuals? How do long term care facilities craft policies about sexuality? And, what are the long term care options for people with alternative sexualities?

Event organizer Steph Willets said the level of interest confirms that students and professionals are hungry for up-to-date information and advocacy in the field of sexuality and aging.

Kira Manser is the Student Affiliate Coordinator.

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