Sexuality and Long-Term Care

5 out of 5 based on 3 customer ratings
(3 customer reviews)


Understanding and Supporting the Needs of Older Adults 

ISBN 978-1-932529-74-6
224 pages
7 x 10 papercover
© 2012

Stock#: 29746. Categories: , , . Author/Editor: .

Read Dr. Doll’s blog post about Developing training and educating staff about resident sexuality at McKnight’s Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living

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Responding to the sexual desires of older adults in residential environments is widely recognized as a challenge by care staff, administrators, and family members. This resource meets the challenge head on, exploring the issues surrounding sexual expression from all perspectives. It addresses the question of how, in an increasingly person-centered care culture, long-term care facilities balance individual resident rights against the needs and concerns of the community as a whole. Who decides what is appropriate or inappropriate, and how?

The first book to take a person-centered approach to resident sexuality in long-term care, this groundbreaking training tool represents sexual expression as a significant part of personality, explains why it is important to honor longings for intimacy, and provides strategies for teaching staff how to effectively, respectfully, and compassionately acknowledge those needs. It will enlighten anyone who believes sexuality vanishes with age and offers solutions for navigating this highly charged issue.

Informative, engaging, and instructive, this helpful resource builds upon case studies that illustrate potential issues surrounding resident sexuality in various long-term care settings. Each scenario creates opportunities for healthy discussion about how the staff handled the situation, what was done well and what wasn’t, and how to improve the outcomes. Throughout the book, best care practices for supporting resident sexuality are validated by research.

Long-term care administrators, nurses, social workers, counselors, direct care staff, ombudsmen, and others devoted to enhancing the quality of life in nursing homes will find answers to pressing questions surrounding sexuality, including

  • What is normal sexual expression in old age?
  • How does dementia affect sexuality?
  • What triggers inappropriate behaviors, and how can they be addressed and prevented?
  • What constitutes consent and/or competence?
  • How can lack of privacy be minimized in long-term care environments?
  • What concerns do LGBT residents bring to a long-term care community?
  • How can residents be protected from sexually transmitted diseases?
  • What do policies regarding sexual expression convey about a community’s commitment to resident quality of life?

Valuable tools for staff training are included, such as reproducible handouts and group learning activities that encourage staff and managers to explore attitudes and biases about resident sexuality and to help organizations develop policies related to this fundamental need. Important take-away points are highlighted and sidebars offer effective solutions to common dilemmas surrounding sexuality in long-term care settings.

Place your order today and increase your sensitivity, awareness, and confidence in addressing an important dimension of resident life in the field of elder care.


About the Author
Foreword by Peggy Brick

  1. Introduction
  2. Sexuality and the Long-Term Care Resident
  3. Staff Attitudes about Resident Sexuality
  4. Family Influences on Resident Sexuality
  5. Dementia
  6. Inappropriate Behaviors
  7. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Residents
  8. Environment
  9. Health and Sexuality
  10. Policy
  11. Final Thoughts

For Further Information

Sexuality and Long-Term Care: Understanding and Supporting the Needs of Older Adults (Doll Excerpt) by HealthProPress

Gayle Appel Doll, M.S., Ph.D.

Gayle Appel Doll, M.S., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor and Director of the Center on Aging in Kansas State University’s College of Human Ecology, where she coordinates and develops research, educational and training programs, and outreach activities on aging. She received her Master’s in Kinesiology and her doctorate in Life Span Human Development, both from Kansas State University. Dr. Doll teaches gerontology courses at Kansas State University, earning the Commerce Bank award for Outstanding Undergraduate teaching in 2005. Some of her courses are a part of the Great Plains IDEA distance Master’s program in gerontology, an innovative online degree program managed through Kansas State University that incorporates professors of gerontology from six Midwest universities. Dr. Doll has also headed the PEAK-education team in developing educational materials to advance culture change in long-term care. Supported through the Kansas Department on Aging, the PEAK training modules were created to help long-term care staff to improve the quality of life for frail elders. One of these modules addresses sexuality and older adults. The background research for this work led to this book.

Dr. Doll’s research has been published in The Journal of Intergenerational Relationships and Activities, Adaptations and Aging. In addition to her published research, she is active in community and state programs that promote successful aging and speaks extensively in state and national forums.

3 reviews for Sexuality and Long-Term Care

  1. 5 out of 5


    Four-star rating!

    “This is an excellent resource to help nursing home staff gain an understanding of sexuality in long-term care. It tackles this difficult and, for some, uncomfortable subject in such a simple way with chapters, sidebars, and activities that can be done with the nursing home staff or even students … It is directed at long-term care staff at all levels … [and] can be used as a tool to tailor discussions at any level from residents and their families to staff and physicians … [to] promote group discussion and inner reflections for readers on their beliefs and opinions. The sidebars and activities greatly enhance the learning experience …. Grounded in research, but with very helpful practical applications, it covers the topic thoroughly, including providing sample facility policies that can be adapted to the individual facility.”

    Doody’s MedInfo Review Service

  2. 5 out of 5


    “This book is long overdue. The sexuality of older adults living in long-term care facilities has been derided at worst and ignored at best. Gayle Appel Doll has finally brought this taboo topic out of the shadows and into the daylight where it belongs for a healthy discussion by all concerned.”

    Daniel Kuhn, M.S.W., author of The Art of Dementia Care

  3. 5 out of 5


    “Gayle Doll bravely addresses the many barriers that currently deny the sexual needs and rights of many residents. [Her] pioneering book provides step-by-step guidelines for agencies ready to adopt a truly person-centered approach to sexuality.”

    Peggy Brick, M.Ed., CSE, President, Sexuality and Aging Consortium at Widener University

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