Expert briefing: sex and intimacy in later life

Expert briefing: sex and intimacy in later life

From MetroPolis, MICRA at the University of Manchester, and the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub

Thursday 21 September


  • Josie Tetley – Professor of Nursing (Ageing and Long Term Conditions), Manchester Metropolitan University
  • David Lee – Reader in the Dept of Nursing, Manchester Metropolitan University (formerly UoM)
  • David Regan – Sexual Health lead for Greater Manchester and Director of Population Health and Wellbeing, Manchester Health and Care Commissioning
  • Dianne Draper – Sexual Health Lead, PHE North West


In this expert briefing, Professor Josie Tetley and Dr David Lee will discuss the research findings and policy recommendations of their much publicised Valentine’s Day report “How long will I love you? Sex and intimacy in later life”* with think-tank the International Longevity Centre – UK.

They will be joined on a panel by David Regan, Greater Manchester Lead for Sexual Health commissioning and Director of Public Health at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, and Dianne Draper, Sexual Health Lead, Public Health England North West. The panel and audience of policy makers and practitioners will explore how the evidence and recommendations can impact on practice and services affecting older people across Greater Manchester. The briefing will include a special pre-screening of a new film about the research aimed at practitioners (approx 10 minutes).


Evidence shows that positive sexuality and intimacy throughout the life course is linked to higher levels of happiness and well-being. The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing shows that 37% of women over 65 and 60% of men are still sexually active. At least 1 in 10 women and 1 in 4 men aged 85+ were still sexually active yet there remains the need to dispel myths around relationships in later life sexual activity and to provide adequate and comprehensive health care support and advice to over 50’s.

Key recommendations:

  • Conversations around sex and older people need to be normalised – countering stereotypes and misconceptions will improve public health
  • Health professionals need to proactively engage with older people to better manage problems that impact on both individuals and couples sexual health and function
  • Positive sexuality and intimacy throughout the lifecourse is linked to higher levels of happiness and well-being – irrespective of age
  • Older people have a right to good sexual health care and should be able to easily access joined up services to help them meet that goal


This event is invite only.


Jo Garsden, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub

*Research conducted by Professor Josie Tetley, Manchester Metropolitan University & Dr David Lee, Professor James Nazroo and Professor Neil Pendleton, Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) at the University of Manchester.

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