Sexuality and relationships

Every individual has the right to develop and maintain intimate personal and sexual relationships with people of their choice. Staff should be aware that when a person enters the home, relationships they had at home may change. As parents, the individual’s role was that of a carer to their children and, because of physical or mental disabilities, these roles may be reversed. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and the loss of status in the family hierarchy. Derbyshire House will assess the closeness and intimacy needs of each residents within the individual care plans so we are able to provide people, if they so wish, support with any relationship that they are anxious to maintain whilst adhering to the legalities and boundaries in which the law states we have to work.

Couples, who have to be separated because of a partners’ needs, can feel redundant. One day doing a full-time job of caring for their spouse and the next day feeling redundant. This could have an emotional and physical effect on their relationship. To alleviate the effect, the individual will be helped to feel involved with the care of their spouse and the planning of their care. This allows them to continue to attend to some of their personal needs, if they wish to do so. If facilities and restrictions allow, the partner will be asked if they wish to have an overnight stay with their partner and will be invited to join them for meals regularly if wished. Should an individual have any queries regarding this, the Manager will be happy to offer advice and support where the plans will be discussed and any options, conditions or decisions made will be recorded and the staff informed so that a working agreement can be established. Should staff be unable to answer questions, advice will be sought from the Senior on duty and/or the Manager and records will be altered accordingly so that the staff team are aware.

Should partners who wish to live at Derbyshire House wish to share accommodation, two rooms will be offered to them if and where available, one as a sitting room and the other a bedroom.

Derbyshire House believes that when a couple are together, they should be afforded privacy and dignity when they want it. We also recognise that people, like any other adults, have the right to choose sexual partners of either gender, and to engage in sexual behaviour with them if they so wish.

If relationships develop between individuals in the home, this will be treated sensitively, ensuring that both parties are comfortable with the situation and affording privacy and respect. However, both parties should be considerate to other individuals, relatives and visitors.

At Derbyshire House:

  • Individuals should be responsible in their sexual behaviour and considerate to others
  • Individuals should be able to receive visitors in their own private rooms
  • Individuals are able to choose who they wish to see or not to see
  • Derbyshire House does not impose restrictions on who visits except when requested to do so by people living here, and such wishes will be recorded
  • Care must be taken that people are protected from any exploitive or abusive sexual contact