National League of NursingNational League of Nursing

The Voice of Nursing Education



Sexuality and the Older Adult


1. This website of the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing at New York University’s College of Nursing contains many evidence-based assessment tools.  Those  listed  below  from  the  Try  This® and  How  to  Try  This  Series®   are particularly recommended for the content on geriatric syndromes. The tool, an article about using the tool, and a video illustrating the use of the tool, are all available for your use. 

Below are tools that may be appropriate in assessing the sexuality of older adults. Included  are  the PLISSIT  Model  of  Sexual  Assessment  discussed  above,  and  the Geriatric Depression Scale, which can also be used if there is a concern that an affective decline  may  be  contributing to  issues  of  sexuality. Visit to access the Try This® and How to Try This resources.

  •  Try This Issue 4 – The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)
  • Try This Issue 10 – Sexuality Assessment for Older Adults

2. These  PowerPoint slides can  be  used  for  anonymous  questioning  with  an  audience response system as discussed as one of the activities in the Getting Started section. 

3. Mini Case Studies: 

Download the PowerPoint case studies with pictures of older adults and speaker’s notes. The notes for each slide include a mini case study and some notes for the faculty to guide the discussion of older adults talking about issues of sexuality. Stress to students that these are all real issues brought up in the practice environment to practitioners caring for older adults. The case studies are meant to elicit discussion on how the student would respond if their own patient discussed these issues with them. The case studies serve two purposes: 1) to expose students to questions and discussions clients may initiate and 2) to help build up the comfort level students need when discussing issues of sexuality with older adults.


Getting Started
Suggested Reading
Author Information