New Phase - sexual behaviour!

sarah crombie

Registered User
Aug 1, 2005
Aagh, the dreaded inappropriate sexual behaviour phase has started & we can only hope its a short phase. We'd really appreciate anyone else's experience to help us and Mum get through it. We feel uncomfortable visiting during this particular time although of course don't want Mum to feel abandoned or unloved.

It's difficult to know if Mum's condition is exacerbated by being in 'respite' hospital care for the last 11 weeks or whether its the new drugs, or simply a combination of those plus the progress of the illness. They have scheduled a scan but Im not sure what the point of that is. The drug cocktail is ever-changing it seems - do other people have this same experience - just trying to get the medication right?

It's now more difficult to think of visiting during this phase - it takes it out of us enough visiting anyway, its so draining keeping being 'up' and smiling and loving and supportive, whilst witnessing dramatic behavioural changes of the last few months particularly, but who wants to see their own mother behaving in an inappropriate & uninhibited sexual way?! Particularly when sex wasn't exactly discussed opening in our family.

What's so draining is the on-going nature of the illness, once you've almost got used to one phase, the next one starts, and there's no knowing how long it will last.

Anyway, just keep plodding on I guess.


Registered User
Mar 12, 2005
West Sussex
Hello Sarah

Poor you!

I have not experienced this at all with Mum, thank goodness. The nearest we had was with a short stay resident at her home who kept trying to kiss all the ladies, hampered by a zimmer, he rarely succeeded!

The one time I was visiting and he approached Mum, she looked straight at him and said "come near me and I'll lump you one." He made a dignified if non too hasty retreat and Mum smiled serenely!

Now she is off the galantamine her behaviour is changing fairly quickly, so her medication is being adjusted as and when she needs extra help to stay as relaxed and calm as possible, but you are right, it is a rocky road for all of us as we can only watch and wait for the next hurdle.

That is when the feeling helplessness and hopelessness kicks in, along with the ever present guilt of course.

Loving someone can be very hard going sometimes!

Hope your Mum settles again very soon.


Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Yes, the meds adjustment can take quite some time. Plus the disease keeps progressing and what worked for 6 months is no longer as effective so we start tweaking again. We've gone through it 3 times so far with my mother - we've had months of equilibrium & then almost as long periods (or so it seemed at the time!) of not balanced or happy. Just keep slogging away, you'll hit the magic mix & will be able to sit back & relax & enjoy your mother. The drugs work differently for different people so hence the tweaking.

As for the inappropriate sexual phase, the most i've had so far is mother telling me she has "her eye" on one of the male nurses. He's very sweet about it & dances with her. Is it possible to distract your mother when she starts up? How about chocolate or a biscuit? Sounds like we're talking about a 3 year old, doesn't it? But it's the best I can suggest at this time. Just try & get her focussed on something else while you're visiting. Do you have a dog you can bring in? Something like that.

Good luck & things will change.


Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll!


Dad didn't particularly go through a 'sexual' phase but he did go through a delight for nudity phase, would just strip off and walk around! Born free, as free as the wind blows! He was an extremely conservative man by the way, I rarely ever even saw him with his shirt off my whole life until AD.

At first it freaked Mum out, because she was highly embarassed about this behaviour, what would the neighbours think, how would us kids cope? etc. But all 3 of us made it clear to her, if thats what Dad wanted to do in his own backyard, then fine, let him do it, and who gives a damn what the neighbours think, they knew him for 30 years and they know his illness so if they don't understand their not worth it. I don't know if it was our lack of reaction, we just carried on as usual as he walked through the kitchen naked (!) or just the nature of the illness but the phase passed quite quickly, just a few weeks.

Of course things may be harder for you if your mum is in a home and encroaching on others' personal space. But if she's not doing that, I know it is hard, but try to let it go, its not something to be ashamed of, its something that makes her feel good and she doesn't understand anymore society's restrictions on enjoying oneself. I know it does hurt in a way too though, because it is another one of those shock punches Alzhiemers likes to deliver, the damn disease never likes you to forget how it can take away your parent, and seeing them behave in way they never would have before, just hurts.

As for the drug cocktails, yes we too have had lots of trouble with getting the right mix, some made dad bawl his eyes out and others made him go around laughing like a maniac, and then you get so frustrated because you start wondering if its the disease changing him or the medicine. All I can suggest is that if you suspect the medication is doing stuff you don't like, hassle the doctors to change dosages and types until they get a mix that seems to be optimal.

Rock n Roll,
Rock n roll baby, rock n roll! Have nothing relevant here to say just thought I'd be stupid and say it. :p Well it amused me? <shrug> :eek:

Take care,


Registered User
Jun 2, 2005
Los Angeles, USA

After a few months in the dementia home, my mom announced she was "finding love again" and had a special male friend whom she intended to marry! My dad, by the way, is alive, in a different nursing home (for physical debility), and would I think have felt very rejected and hurt had he known about this.

I talked to the staff and they said yes, my mom and one of the male residents were talking about sex, wanting to go some place to be alone together, etc.

When we visited, we would see some kissing and saying "I love you" to another male resident. Mom also talked, not real explicitly, but things like "getting on the dance floor and shaking it" with great enthusiasm.

Like you, I found this very embarrassing and awkward to cope with.

This behavior did seem to cool off as (a) the excitement maybe wore off, (b) the staff continued distraction/intervention, (c) the main "boyfriend" had his medication changed so he was less interested.

This was one of those times when we found ourselves perched between horror and hilarity... :eek:


Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
"This was one of those times when we found ourselves perched between horror and hilarity... "

Karen, what an absolutely appropriate phrase! I will use it and give you credit.


Registered User
Feb 28, 2005
west mids
What a tonic it is to read your posts, and what a rollercoaster of emotions we all go through as carers of somebody with AD.
My moms latest is obsession with money, and most days Im engaged in a game of hide and seek where she hides her purse, and I spend hours trying to find it.
A day last week, I spent two hours looking for it, tried all the usual places to no avail . I gave up , frustrated , and irritable, and promised to look again the next day, when lo and behold she retrieved it from her knicker leg!!
I didnt know wether to laugh or cry, but needless to say, a body search is always first on my list now.
I dont know any of you, but we share a common bond, and youve no idea how comforting it is to pop on here from time to time, read all your posts, sometimes shed a tear, and sometimes smile, like I did today. Than :) x


Registered User
Apr 1, 2003
Glad I picked up on this thread...thought I'd hunt around before posting a new message.

Dad has started thinking that all the ladies in his new home are his wife, which is not causing a problem in the home. It's like he's going back to his courting days. My worry is how mum is going to take this new behaviour. He definitely seem happy which is a blessing, but it is one of the more bizaar phases.