Intimacy and Ageing Well:

This research is conducted by researchers from the Open University (Dr Jessica Carr, Dr Rebecca Jones, Professor Naomi Moller, Dr Andreas Vossler) and researchers from the University of Bath (Dr Diana Teggi). There is a lot of research that shows that good relationships support people’s wellbeing and health - this is true for older adults just as it is for younger. However, most of the research focus to date for older adults has been on wider social relationships. This research instead focusses on close relationships, and the experience of intimacy in older age, including emotional closeness, comforting physical touch and sexual intimacy.

In this project, we define older adults as people aged over 65.

The aim of the project is to elicit understandings about what intimacy is, how/whether it matters for older adults, and what might be challenges to or supportive for building intimacy in older adults. The project involves asking both older adults and health care professionals who work with older adults about their experiences, perceptions and opinions on intimacy in older adults. By identifying the most important issues with and barriers to intimacy in later life, it is hoped that the research will support more older adults to experience intimacy in ways that are right for them and which support their health and wellbeing.

What does participation involve?
This is an online survey study. In the survey, you will be asked questions about what intimacy means to those you work with, how important (or not) intimacy is for them, and what supports you give or think should be given to foster intimacy in their lives. So we can understand something about who has taken part, you will also be asked some demographic questions (e.g. your age, gender and ethnicity). Before you answer any questions, you will need to complete some consent questions, to confirm that you agree to participate.

Who can participate?
Anyone who is a Health and Social Care Professional that works with older adults and is interested in taking part.

If you would like to participate, please find the link to the online survey here:

Any questions:

Please contact the Research Associate on the project, Jessica Carr at