Sexuality and sexual health: Policy in Australian residential aged care Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE:To examine the extent and scope of written policies about sexuality and sexual health for older people living in Australian residential aged care facilities. METHODS:Postal survey sent to all 2766 Australian residential aged care facilities. Respondents were asked to indicate whether the facility had written policies on sexuality and sexual health and to return copies. Content analysis was performed on policies returned. RESULTS:Surveys were returned by 1094 facilities. Less than one-quarter reported having a policy regarding sexuality (n = 237/1049; 23%) or sexual health (n = 129/985; 13%). Less than one-tenth (n = 74/1049; 7%) returned a written policy; only two-thirds of these policies were dedicated to sexuality or sexual health. CONCLUSION:Most residential aged care staff do not have access to policies on sexuality or sexual health to guide their practice resident intimacy and sexual health needs are at risk of being ignored.

publication date

  • June 21, 2020