Focus on dementia patients' sexuality

Patrick Gorbunovs

MANAGING the delicate issue of sexual expression among people with dementia is the focus of a new education resource produced by Griffith University researcher Dr Cindy Jones.

The first resource of its kind, which has been funded by the Department of Health and Ageing and Queensland Dementia Training and Study Centres, Sexualities and Dementia: Education Resource for Health Professionals is aimed at helping health professionals working across care settings.

The free e-learning resource aims to increase awareness of intimacy, sexualities and sexual behaviours specific to people with dementia and to guide their carers on how to better support them.

It is also the first e-learning resource in Australia to include concerns and issues faced by non-heterosexual people with dementia, including those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex.

"It became apparent that there was a real gap in the education of health professionals regarding sexualities and dementia, with no other comprehensive resource, which specifically addresses the needs of this group," Dr Jones said.

"Our research revealed that when presented with these challenging situations, interventions taken by health professionals are often quite reactive rather than proactive, with many staff simply not knowing what to do.

"The resource provides a framework to guide the development of policy and guidelines to address issues of sexual expression in care settings.

"The important message is that expression of sexuality is a part of life no matter what age we are and that older people with dementia therefore also need to be considered."

The resource is available from the National DTSC website and as a CD-Rom.

There are also two workshops on the subject in Brisbane on April 8 and the Gold Coast on June 25.

Send inquiries to Sandra Jeavons at

Topics:  dementia education sexual health sexuality

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Donations flood into storm ravaged regions

Amanda Lindh at Murwillumbah Community Centre. Thanks to News Corp, Givit and the Red Cross, the centre will soon be re-opening its food pantry. The pantry was destroyed by flooding in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.

12 months later, Cyclone Debbie's impact still felt

Debbie the second most costly cyclone in Australia's history

The Insurance Council of Australia says the cost of Debbie's damage is second only to Cyclone Tracy which devastated Darwin in December, 1974.

$1.71 billion to fix damage from Townsville to Lismore

How to stop Facebook from grabbing your data

How Facebook can grab your data, and what to do to stop it

Local Partners