Tracy Clark-Flory highlights the challenges:
A new article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics takes nursing homes to task because elderly patients’ "sexual expression" is often "overlooked, ignored or even discouraged." … The problem — beyond the privacy-destroying lack of single rooms or locking doors – is that many nursing home patients struggle with diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, which come with cognitive issues that can complicate consent. (These conditions can also ramp up sexual behavior.) As Daniel Engber put it several years ago in a piece about nursing home nookie, "Break it up, and they may be depriving a dying man or woman of physical pleasure and companionship. Leave them be, and the nursing home may be exposed to negligence claims from dismayed relatives or a forgotten spouse."