Seniors, Sex, and Dementia

By: Lawrence Siegel  

Very little consideration is given to sexual and erotic expression or intimate relationships among the elderly. The aging population continues to change and sexual and intimate connections remain important quality of living issues for a majority of those over 65. Those working with aging populations over the next twenty years will contend with issues never before seen, from sexual medicine (eg, Viagra, Cialis, flibanserin), technology (eg, social and dating apps, porn), and greater acceptance of such issues as non-committed sexual relationships, same-sex relationships and erotic play, transgender/transsexual individuals, and a more open view of sexuality in general. Understanding and accommodating these issues is confounded by a pervasive fear and lack of understanding of different forms of dementia and whether such individuals have the capacity to consent to sexual activity. This workshop will present information on how our aging populations are changing and how these changes can be accommodated in elder and care communities. Participants will also discuss dementia and how sexual and intimate contact for those so diagnosed are still entitled to intimacy and erotic expression without ascribing a label of abuse. Participants will also be presented with an overview of some common issues with age-related changes, illness and disability, as well as effects of select medications. The last part of the workshop will include discussion and brainstorming about how we can develop policies and procedures to help create environments that are understanding and accommodating of the erotic and intimacy needs of older adults.

Sexuality, Intimacy, Seniors, Dementia, Developmental, QOL
Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Focused Discussion

Lawrence Siegel

Director, Training and Education, Sage Institute For Family Development, United States
FL, United States

Lawrence Siegel is a Clinical Sexologist and Certified Sexuality Educator & Supervisor. In addition to being Founder and Director of Education & Training at Sage Institute for Family Development, Lawrence serves on college and university faculty, as well as faculty at Modern Sex Therapy Institutes. As an educator, trainer and consultant for the past 30 years, he has travelled extensively and is considered a leading educator in the areas of sexuality, medical sexology, developmental sexuality and sexual therapies. Lawrence has also published numerous book chapters and articles in such areas as chellenging the "sex addiction" model, sexual changes in aging adults, sex and drug-linked behavior, and enhancing sexual experiences. Lawrence has also created a series of trainings and workshops on senior sexuality and relationships, while also consulting with various organizations and elder-care communities on developing policies and procedures that acknowledge the sexual and erotic needs of our changing senior populations.