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Inside the Swedish nursing home where residents can buy sex toys from a “pleasure basket”

This Swedish nursing home is helping residents spice up their sex lives
This Swedish nursing home is helping residents spice up their sex lives Copyright AFP/Camille Bas Wohlert
Copyright AFP/Camille Bas Wohlert
By Roselyne Min with AFP
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“It's not just about sex. It's about closeness”: This retirement home encourages residents to nurture their sex life with the help of a “pleasure basket”.

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Discussions around sexual health among older and disabled people have been something of a taboo - but not at this nursing home in rural Sweden.

"The issue has been invisible for years, but is now gradually gaining ground in the country," Swedish sexologist Suzann Larsdotter said.

At the Lindgården home in Broby, Sweden, the 56 residents aged 65 and above can now avail of a recently added programme on how to lead a healthy sex life.

According to the director of the facility, Liselott Klang, the aim of the programme is to "allow the individual to remain an individual even when moving into a nursing home".

When a new person moves in, they're offered an informal discussion on intimacy and desire.

"The counsellor has a conversation with the client and asks him or her some of the questions we've established about sexual health," Klang explained.

She says carers at the home also explain and demonstrate things such as “how to hold the catheters in order to be able to have sex".

The residents can buy, among other things, a "Please do not disturb" sign, various creams and lubricants, dildos, penis pumps and penis rings from a so-called “pleasure basket”.

Avoiding embarrassment

Klang saw a need for a safe space to discuss the topic without embarrassment and started the project a year ago.

"Previously, employees didn't feel comfortable when they saw a resident masturbating in public, or really couldn't understand why someone needed help booking a hotel room," Klang explained.

The initiative was initially met with some apprehension.

"It was a bit scary at first. But the more you work on it, the more you understand that it's not just about sex. It's about closeness and that everyone needs a hug," said a 39-year-old care assistant, Emilie Nilsson.

All the staff have received training from Larsdotter, the sexologist. Nilsson says “now it's all very natural”.

According to Klang, the residents have shown "positive reactions,” often with a “shyness”.

"Each generation thinks that its generation is the most sexually active, the one with the most desire," she said.

"Sexual health is not just about sex, it's about intimacy.

"Often these become deep discussions where one can talk about grief, loss or longing for a missing partner".

For more on this story, watch the video in the media player above.

Video editor • Roselyne Min

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