1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Harold Hill

    Harold Hill Registered User

    May 12, 2007
    20
    London
    Hi everyone. I have just been told that my wife, who has been in care now for about 5 weeks, is pestering the male residents and staff for sex. Last night she was found in the bed of a male resident.
    The care home staff are trying to keep her distracted and have sought advice from the home's group practice.
    This is just so out of character I am completely shocked - I just don't know what to do. Has anyone else encountered this sort of problem?
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,596
    Kent
    Dear Harold.

    There was an incident with my mother which I found very distressing too. I went to visit her, went into her room and found her with a man. I didn`t stay long enough to see what was happening, I just saw them standing face to face exposing themselves.

    The staff were quite embarrassed too, and said it was a need for affection and physical contact, but I couldn`t accept it as part of the norm.

    I`m afraid I buried my head in the sand afterwards, and didn`t ask about any possible further incidents. I just didn`t want to know.

    I expect it is much more upsetting when it is your wife, rather than your mother.
     
  3. Harold Hill

    Harold Hill Registered User

    May 12, 2007
    20
    London
    I can't bury my head in the sand as the care home may ask for her to be moved, apparently, as it is distressing the other residents.
     
  4. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    A number of members have seen the other side of the coin - their partner of many years being appalled that they are sharing a bed with their spouse..... "my parents wouldn't be happy!"

    I'm guessing this is a situation where the pendulum has swung the other way. The person is firstly confused and lacking confidence. In a normal situation their partner or family member or friend might put their arms around them and give a reassuring cuddle.

    However, now there may be nobody around to do that, but the need is there. Dementia removes all sorts of inhibitions [or puts them in place, again the other side of the coin], and this plus inappropriate nudity, are some of the most difficult challenges.

    The doctor involved must have experience of this in other patients - what is normally done?

    I thougth AS had a fact sheet on the subject but I can't find it, except as part of a fact sheet on fronto-temperal dementia http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/Facts_about_dementia/What_is_dementia/info_fronto.htm it is also mentioned briefly in http://memory.ucsf.edu/Education/Disease/ftd.html

    Alzheimer's Scotland covers the behaviours briefly http://www.alzscot.org/pages/info/sexuality.htm

    You could also try http://alzheimers.about.com/od/challengingbehavior/a/alz_inapp_behav.htm

    Sorry, I can't be of more help.....
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,596
    Kent
    Dear harold,

    Has the care home given any indication they might want your wife to move, or are they waiting to see what the medics advise.

    I remeber being told during the years of the wars, soldiers were given medication to dampen their libido. I wonder if the same could be given to dementia sufferers with inappropriate behaviour.
     
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Harold, can I ask, have you confirmed that your wife is actually asking for sex, or is she just inviting them into her bed?

    I ask because several years ago I visited on a regular basis two elderly gentlemen (my father's generation) on behalf of my church. I had immense respect for both of them (one was John's uncle), and there was never any hint of inappropriate behaviour. Neither had dementia. In their last weeks each of them asked me to join him in bed!

    I don't think it was sex that was on their minds, they wanted warmth, comfort and love. I declined, but I did find it difficult to handle.

    Of course, if it is sex that your wife wants, then I think only the doctor can help. But keep in mind the other possibility.

    I just wanted to let you know that it is not that unusual, and can happen in other than dementia cases.
     
  7. Harold Hill

    Harold Hill Registered User

    May 12, 2007
    20
    London
    Its sex. The manager says that she "has sex on the brain" and has even managed to obtain some condoms.
    They are awaiting a response from the GP. In the meantime I must double check that medication is being properly dispensed
     
  8. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Much sympathy, Harold. Let's hope the GP has an answer to the problem. I imagine the last thing you want is to have to move your wife.

    Let us know how it goes,
     
  9. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    Hi Harold

    When my dad had been in respite for a week (his first experience of being in a care home) I was horrified when staff took me to one side and said he'd taken a female resident into her room and got stroppy with staff who tried to separate them - "why can't i have a bit of fun?". That was just sooooooo NOT my dad.

    They suggested it might be the medication he'd just started on - I think it was exelon at that time. They also suggested it might just be inhibitions going because of dementia. I was never aware of it happening again and pretty sure it didn't.

    My personal guess about what was happening was that after 10 years of living alone and caring for himself, he was suddenly being physically handled by a lot of care staff for one thing and another (they were a great bunch of carers and he definately needed the help) and I think that muddled him or reawakened parts of him that had been forgotten.

    Sorry, that doesn't help with what to do with the difficult situation you find yourself in. But at least maybe you can know you're not alone in this one.
     
  10. Harold Hill

    Harold Hill Registered User

    May 12, 2007
    20
    London
    A bit of fun

    "why can't i have a bit of fun?"
    That's exactly what she said to the home manager. So weird. So out of character too. Our social worker is panicking as if they ask her to leave she will have difficulty finding somewhere else for her.
     

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