Elizabeth Bradley received her Bachelor’s degree in the 1980s. Years later at age 61, Elizabeth has become inspired by her husband’s passing from ALS to receive her Master of Science in Psychology at Saint Leo University. Elizabeth was married to Woodrow Bradley (Woody).
“We had a wonderful life together, raising our four children traveling the world through our military assignments,” Elizabeth exclaimed.
After 26 years of service, they retired and moved home to Florida. In the midst of enjoying their retirement, Woody faced extreme fatigue and right knee problems. Ten years later, they pushed for more testing when Woody lost his balance, and in December 2014 the Veterans Hospital in Tampa shocked them with the ALS diagnosis.
“I was Woody’s caregiver 24/7 from that point on. We could not find the appropriate help who he was comfortable with. Married for 33 years, we could navigate his care until his death on February 17, 2018.”
They were lucky enough to have the support of Veterans Affairs, who most often provide proper medical equipment, medicine and support for those with ALS. However, Elizabeth remembers that a major lacking resource was sexual intimacy education. An unmentioned topic, they’re lucky they found ways to remain intimate with one another.
Not only did Elizabeth decide to go back to school to work through her grief, she was determined to find ways to support those who are currently missing out on necessary intimacy education. Part of her research project, “Seeking Intimacy for People with Disabilities”, requires collection of data for her survey researching whether people living with ALS receive any sexual intimacy education at all.
The confidential study’s purpose is to focus on how the lack of sexual education affects the intimacy of people living with ALS and well-being with their spouse or partner. No IP, email addresses or other identifying information will be collected. The study’s results may help to encourage rehabilitation centers and ALS support groups to provide a comprehensive program including sexual intimacy education.
Help Elizabeth with her survey: https://saintleo.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0ebHl4qAuEl7SaW. The survey closes on Friday, February 25, 2022.