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Seniors and Sex: Elder Care Facilities Attempt to Tackle Taboos


Wow, what a subject regarding the elderly. We have all been taught and conditioned that sex was not something people did after a certain age or that only men wanted sexual relations into elderly ages. I agree this is a subject that needs to be brought out in the open so we all understand more about it, not only for the elderly for generations to come. Healthy life styles apply to all of us. Is gramma no longer interested in sex since menopause or it is it a part of what society mandates as acceptable for elderly woman???

Tomatilla, AFTER the legal issues are over - and I mean literally over - as in over and done with, please Google and find where people put their reviews on these businesses. Just as I go to Amazon and read the reviews, I hope there is a site that also provides this for "clients" of these kind of facilities. Then post your review of that facility. It will be a Warning for others who like me, loves to Google for info. (I spent weeks Googling different sites about my hotel, stuff to do in Hawaii, etc... before my trip.) But do this ONLY AFTER all the legal stuff is done. You don't want to do anything to jeopardize the Current Issue with your mom and the facility. Be very matter-of-fact. State what happened, how when you mentioned it to the staff, how they responded to you as if it was not a big deal, etc.... I'm so sorry... {{HUGS}}

Awful! My mom was sexually assaulted in the middle of the night by a naked man in an excited state (you know what I mean...). This was not consensual. My mother was asleep when this naked man got on top of her. We called the sherriff's office later when the ALF finally fessed up to this man's attack. I removed my mom and we are dealing with AHCA, DCF, the sheriff's office, and attorneys. My mom is devastated (age 90) and so am I and my husband. His step-daughter says he has epilepsy but we have done the research and those patients are hyposexual--can't do it. We think that the step-daughter wanted to get rid of widowed step-dad and falsified info to make him seem a dementia patient. Detective says he has done this before--in an airport! So, do not trust the ALF or the family. This is not consensual. It is a crime. The ALF is going to be fined by our state's Agency. DO NOT EVER LET YOUR LOVED ONE GO TO HarborChase anywhere. I checked the complaints and fines--really BAD. I do not want anyone to go what we are going through. Please heed my warning--it is true and consistent with the eyewitnesses. Peace to all.

I do not necessarily agree with this. I would have my concerns about the safety of my parent I entrusted to the facility and I if my parent had cognitive issues, I definitely would not want them to be sexually active. If they are married then that would be a different . It is kinda like raising children both young and old need some guidance.

I too would like to include my voice of gratitude regarding sex and the elderly . Our society seems to negate the fact that our seniors need recognition for their entire spirit and not just for bits and pieces of their ailments. Our perspective of aging is entirely distorted hence the need for more articles of this caliber


Thank you for this thoughtful article which focuses attention on an important issue.

Clearly people lose a great deal of freedom and privacy when they enter an elder care facility. Your references to "policies about sex" and family being able to say "no" basically tell the story.

Meanwhile, the facility has the responsibility to prevent sexual abuse of residents, particularly those with cognitive impairments. How does one determine if physical contacts are consensual with an Alzheimer's patient?

This quandary reminds me of the same type of situation which exists in group homes and congregate care facilities for mentally handicapped adults. The cliental are at high risk for abuse because many lack the mental capacity to make informed decisions. Others, especially the higher functioning, sometimes form lasting bonds with partners.

In both cases, generalized rules just don’t work; decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis. Blessings to those of you who undertake this difficult challenge.