obsessed with sex


Registered User
Mar 22, 2007
I feel a bit awkward posting this for obvious reasons...has anyone else found this problem ?
A few years ago my mother wouldnt even have mentioned the word. now she has got in into her head that different people in the home are having affairs, often patient/carer..and gives unpleasantly graphic descriptions of what they do together.
To make matters worse she does, as usual, air these views loudly...and not only is it exceedingly embarrasing anyway but my sons do not know where to look!!

I have tried saying I dont believe her, changing the subject, ignoring her, or just saying to her that these are not the right matters for public discussion but it seems to make her worse.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
I read ( in an AZ book ) that every one needs to be touched , hugged and held, even people with Alzheimer's . Unfortunately , some of them are unable to express their needs socially accepted ways , that could be happening to your mother .

I know my mother went through a stage like your mother , not a lot that you can do , but like you say changing the subject, not worth saying
just saying to her that these are not the right matters for public discussion
because to her they is nothing wrong in what she doing.

In the book it says try to distract the with food or activity .
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Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Natasha, Commiserations.

I hope you wont be offended by this observation:

Because your mother wouldn`t have mentioned sex, pre AD, doesn`t mean she was immune to it. Now she has lost all her inhibitions and her true self is revealed.

This is my theory based on personal experience with my mother, who was unable to give me any sex information. When she knew my grandmother had told me what I needed to know, she asked me to tell my sisiter. I was aged 11 and my sister was 9.

As my mother got older, she lost all modesty and dignity, really embarrassing me with sexual talk I would have prefered not to have had.


Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
I haven't had this problem (and Oh, I'm really counting my blessings) but I do remember several people posting in the same vein. Not so much fascinated with sex for themselves but absolutely convinced that sex is going on around them. I do wonder whether it is related to seeing people physically caring for others: it's not something one sees a lot of in the "real world", exception in a parent child context, but in a residential situation there's obviously a lot of physical caring going on.


P.S. Sylvia's got a really good point: inhibitions seem to go out the window when it comes to dementia.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
who was unable to give me any sex information
My mother never talk about sex to me also pre AZ , theory based experience on my mother talking to me about sex now she has AZ I don't believe I could make up a theory , when so many people with AZ from what I have read on TP do the same thing unable to express their needs socially accepted ways.
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Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Natashalou said:
I have tried saying I dont believe her, changing the subject, ignoring her, or just saying to her that these are not the right matters for public discussion but it seems to make her worse.
Hi Natasha

I can see how embarrassing this must be for your sons.

People with AD often lose all awareness of what is socially acceptable, so I don't think you will succeed in convincing her that this is not a fit subject for discussion. I don't think ignoring or arguing with her her will work either. Once she has the idea in her head, she will persist until she gets a response.

The only thing you can do is try to divert her, and if that doesn't work, say very firmly that you will be taking the boys home as this isn't a suitable discussion for them to hear. And be prepared to do it.

I know it sounds unkind, but John does respond to something said calmly but firmly, when gentle persuasion often has little effect.

It's worth a try, anyway.

Good luck,


Registered User
Aug 9, 2005
In mental illness, there is often an obsession with sex or religion - and sometimes both! I expect that this might also be true of Dementia as it is an illness of the mind. But I think the disinhibition aspect is more likely to be the case in dementia. I've noticed that my Mum, who is still very aware in many ways, now uses words I NEVER even thought she knew!! Fortunately she is still sufficiently socially aware to know not to be too outspoken in public! :p


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
I do think that this is disinhibition at work. Apparently it is because the social skills learnt over a lifetime are gradually forgotten along with everything else. It's probably more shocking because most children don't like to think of their parents as being sexual beings like everyone else! And because our parents are the very people who taught us our social skills, it's embarassing to see those same people lose theirs.

The assessment that the CPN carries out now and then with us, the carer section has a specific entry about disinhibition which covers things like inappropriate behavior such as discussing sexual matters in public/touching etc.

As has been said, unfortunately your mother is likely convinced that what she thinks is true, and that there is nothing wrong in what she is saying. There is no point in arguing. If changing the subject or telling her firmly that these are not things that should be spoken about in public or in front of your sons, then sadly you need to be prepared to say that if she does not stop you will end your visit...and be prepared to carry this out. Mother may or may not get the message though she'll probably forget about it by the next visit!

Personally I don't think you should have to force yourself to endure the situation - be prepared to walk out. Even if you only leave the room shortly.

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
I agree, this is disinhibition. Along with the swearing & four letter words, loud usually negative comments about people's appearance and/or ethnic background, sex manages to elbow its way in.

Early on in her disease, my mother was convinced my stepfather was having an affair. She later had "boyfriends" in the home but they were always young staff members. She took a particular shine to one of them and he was so nice to her. Her eyes would light up when she saw him. Fortunately, I don't think she tried anything (or they were kind enough NEVER to tell me).

It's another stage and it will pass. Distraction and redirecting is the only thing I can suggest. That, and gritting your teeth. How old are your sons? Please explain it is only the disease & that their grandmother would be mortified by such behaviour when she was well.