Alzheimer’s, Sexuality, and Intimacy: 13 resources for family and professional caregivers

Alzheimer's and Sexuality

People with Alzheimer’s disease may completely lose interest in sexual activity or become oversexed – and everything in between. The following list of resources may help caregivers cope with these changes in intimacy and sexual demeanor.

 For family caregivers:

  1. Help for Caregivers (PDF, 62K) (2006, 25 pages)

The 3rd section of this Alzheimer’s disease caregiver booklet deals with challenging situations such as sexual relationships and inappropriate sexual behavior, and offers tips to deal with these situations. Available online in English and Spanish; print copies available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Hebrew, Chinese, Danish, Hindi, and Serbian.


  1. Caring for a Person with Alzheimer's Disease: Your Easy-to-Use Guide from the National Institute on Aging (2009, 148 pages)

One section of this guide from the National Institute on Aging explains how to address behavioral issues like loss of intimacy and sexually inappropriate behavior.


  1. Dementia: Sexuality and Intimacy (2008)

This fact sheet courtesy of the government of Victoria, Australia website, stresses that even if dementia changes how they express intimacy and sexuality, people still need love and relationships. It also instructs partners on what they can expect concerning increased or decreased sexual interest, and provides tips on managing inappropriate sexual behavior.


  1. Sex and Dementia (2008, 6 pages)

Describes the way dementia affects the sexual feelings, needs, and desires of both patients and their partners. It explains how partners can deal with these changes in their partners as well as their own emotions. It also covers sex in residential care settings, capacity to consent to sexual relations, and what to do if abuse is suspected.


  1. Sexuality (PDF, 65K) (2004)

It lists and explains changes like inappropriate undressing, sexual displays, aggressive advances, and reduced sexual desire; possible reasons for these changes; and ways to cope with them. Available in English and Spanish.


  1. Sexuality and Dementia: Coping with Changes in Your Intimate Relationship (2001)

It details the toll of a lost sexual relationship and the benefits of physical intimacy for caregiver and care receiver. It also discusses emotional changes and how to address sexually inappropriate behaviors.


  1. Sexuality in Later Life (2009, 12 pages)

It describes physical changes and the importance of sex, emotional factors and sexuality, and ways to keep an active sex life in later life. It also goes over cause of sexual problems such as dementia. Available in English and Spanish.


For professional caregivers:

  1. Intimacy, Sexuality and Sexual Behaviour in Dementia: How to Develop Practice Guidelines and Policy for Long-Term Care Facilities (2002, 25 pages)

Helps facility managers develop sexuality and dementia policies that balance the rights of patients with the facility’s mission and goals. It lists both obstacles steps for developing policies, and includes facts and myths about elder sexuality and other facilities’ contact information from which to request sample policies.


  • R. Samuel McLaughlin Centre for Research and Education in Aging and Health, Hamilton, Ontario.
  • Phone: (905) 521-2100.
  • E-mail: [email protected]
  1. Freedom of Sexual Expression: Dementia and Resident Rights in Long-Term Care Facilities (2002, VHS or DVD and booklet)

A 16-minute video that takes a look at sexuality and intimacy in long-term care environments. It explains how to allow sexual expression while keeping a comfortable setting for residents and staff alike. Moreover, it provides methods for addressing sexually inappropriate behavior and sample policies and procedures.


  • Terra Nova Films, Inc.
  • Phone: (800) 779-8491.
  • E-mail: [email protected].
  • Price: $139; $50 rental fee.
  1. A Thousand Tomorrows (1995, DVD)

Three married couples talk about their relationships and intimacy issues related to Alzheimer, such as hypersexuality, a decrease in intimacy, a strengthened relationship, and what happens when a person with Alzheimer’s disease cannot recognize their partner anymore.

  1. More Than a Thousand Tomorrows (2003, DVD)

A sequel to A Thousand Tomorrows, this 22-minute DVD continues to explore the intimacy and sexuality challenges that Alzheimer can bring about, and follows up on Everett and Betty, one of the couples from the previous installment. It also shows the transition from intimate partner to caregiver.


  • Terra Nova Films, Inc.
  • Phone: (800) 779-8491.
  • E-mail: [email protected].
  • Price: $179; $55 rental fee.
  1. Physical Intimacy: The Person with Alzheimer’s Disease (2008, DVD)

University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Dr. Peter V. Rabins and nursing personnel talk about patients’ needs for positive intimacy, when intimacy is inappropriate, and steps to follow in selected situations. Topics discussed include masturbation, inappropriate touching of residents and staff, and the need for family to be involved to develop solutions.


  • University of Maryland School of Medicine Video Press.
  • Phone: (800) 328-7450.
  • E-mail:

[email protected].

  • Price: $150; $75 rental fee.
  1. Supporting the Caregiver in Dementia: A Guide for Health Care Professionals (2006, 312 pages)

One article in Part III of this guide for mental health practitioners is called Caregiving and the Sexual Relationship in Dementia. Authored by Naomi D. Nelson, it discusses sexuality and intimacy in people with Alzheimer and their caregivers.


  • Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Phone: (410) 516-6930.
  • Price: $57 (hardcover).


Related Read:

- 10 resources for Alzheimer's disease behavior problems.

- Intimacy, Sexuality, and Alzheimer's Disease: A resource list.