Sexuality, Intimacy and Dementia

Sexuality, Intimacy, and Dementia

Release Date: 01/29/2020
Expiration Date: 01/31/2022
Format: Enduring Online Material

Target Audience

This activity is intended for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, and public health professionals who work in nursing homes and assisted living centers.

Statement of Need

Nursing home and assisted living center healthcare providers and nursing staff are challenged to address issues of intimacy, sexuality, and dementia regularly within those settings.  There are many misconceptions surrounding the need for intimacy and expressions of sexuality within an aging population in general.  A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease does not eliminate the human need for intimacy and sexual expression.  This module will address common misconceptions, approaches to appropriately meet the needs of patients with dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease and explain techniques to family members/caregivers.

Educational Objectives 

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  1. Identify common misconceptions about sexuality, intimacy, and aging.
  2. Describe behaviors that can address intimacy needs for patients with dementia/Alzheimer's Disease.
  3. Select approaches that demonstrate respect while responding to unacceptable behaviors exhibited by a patient with dementia/Alzheimer's Disease.
  4. Explain techniques to family members and caregivers that can reduce caregiver stress.

Learning Outcome

Participants will apply knowledge and techniques to appropriately support the intimacy and sexuality needs of patients with dementia and provide education and support to families and caregivers of these patients.

Click to download a list of references used to create this educational activity. 


Barbara L. Harty, RN, MSN, GNP practices Geriatric Medicine in Fort Worth, Texas. Nurse Practitioner Harty graduated from the University of Texas Arlington in 1997 with a Master's of Science in Nursing specializing as a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner.

She is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Center for Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. She also serves as Coordinator for the Memory Clinic and is a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Center for Geriatrics at UNTHSC. 

Instructional Designers

Stephen McBroom, BA, INCEDO

Brenda Wilson, MS, INCEDO


In accordance with the appropriate accrediting bodies, all planners, teachers, and authors with control over activity content are required to disclose to the provider any relevant financial relationships (those held by the planner or significant other, currently or within the last 12 months) with commercial interests. Accredited providers are required to provide this information to learners before the start of an activity.

The UNT Health Science Center INCEDO office planning team has anything to disclose.

Barbara L. Harty, RN, MSN, GNP has nothing to disclose.

Accreditation and Credit Statements


The University of North Texas Health Science Center is accredited by the American Osteopathic Association to award continuing medical education to physicians.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center has requested that the AOA Council on Continuing Medical Education approve this program for .5 hours of AOA Category 1B CME credits. Approval is currently pending.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). The University of North Texas Health Science Center is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center designates this enduring material for a maximum of .5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ACGME Competencies

  • Patient care
  • Interpersonal and communication skills

IOM Competencies

  • Provide patient-centered care
  • Work in interdisciplinary teams

IPE Competencies

  • Interprofessional Communication

Nurses (ANCC)

Criteria for completion include taking the pre-test, participating in the learning activity, and passing (70% or above) the post-test. 

The University of North Texas Health Science Center is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. This activity is approved for .5 contact hours.

Nurses (CBRN)

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # 16274. This activity is approved for .5 Contact Hours.

Certified Public Health Professionals (CPH)

This activity is approved for 0.5 credit(s) accepted by the National Board of Public Health Examiners' Certified Public Health (CPH) recertification program.

Social Workers (TSBSWE)

This activity is approved for a maximum of .5 Clock Hours for Social Workers.


The University of North Texas Health Science Center certifies this activity for .5 hours of participation.


All information contained within this activity is intended for educational purposes only. Physicians and other health care professionals are encouraged to consult other sources and confirm the information contained in this site. No single reference or service can take the place of medical training, education, and experience. This website does not define a standard of care, nor is it intended to dictate an exclusive course of management. This information should not substitute for a visit or consultation with a health care provider.

Technical Requirements

This activity is best experienced using the most current browser (or one back) of Chrome. For all activities featuring audio, you must have a sound card and speakers. To view graphic images and references that appear in separate "pop-up" windows, you must have JavaScript and session cookies enabled on your computer. Adobe Acrobat Reader may be required for certain activities.

Institutional Review Board

Data collected as part of this activity may be analyzed as part of educational research to study the effectiveness of interventions. This project is included under UNTHSC IRB protocol #2017-056.


This project is supported by grant funding from the United Way of Tarrant County and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U1QHP28735. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official view of the Health Resources and Services Administration or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. No commercial support was received for this activity.

WE-HAIL LogoUnited Way of Tarrant County LogoUNT Health Science Center Center for Geriatrics

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