Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Nicole Harris


Aged; Occupational Therapy -- methods; Sexuality


As individuals age, they are likely to experience occupational deprivation. Occupational deprivation occurs in many forms. Many older adults experience occupational deprivation relating to the activity of daily living, sexual activity. Older adults experience many age-related changes, which impacts their ability to engage in sexual activity. Health care professionals have a responsibility to ensure older adults are able to engage in safe sexual practices. Yet, healthcare professionals, including occupational therapists, are not addressing this need with their clients in a routine manner. A literature review was conducted in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of all the barriers older adults experience when engaging in sexual activity. Research identified several barriers including age related changes; the ability to provide consent; sexually transmitted diseases; ageism; healthcare professionals' attitudes, knowledge, and perceptions; lack of sexual partner; depression and anxiety; and other health related concerns in correlation to old age, such as arthritis, cancer, or dementia (Bauer, Haesler, & Fetherstonhaugh, 2016; Bauer et al., 2016; Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, 2017; Freak-Poli et al., 2017; Ginsberg, 2006; Syme & Steele, 2016; & Tsatali & Tsolaki, 2014).

In order to address these concerns an educational website was developed for occupational therapists on the importance of addressing safe sexual practices with their older clients. The goal of this product is to provide support, education, and resources for occupational therapists, ultimately enabling them to holistically address their patients' needs and desires in relation to sexual activity.