Dementia and romance.

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My husband and I recently moved my 82-year-old mom with moderate dementia in with us; she could no longer manage assisted living, but is not ready for a nursing home. While she was in AL, however, she was constantly talking about one man or another, sounding very adolescent. One of the men (who does not have dementia) paid attention to her for a bit, then transferred his attentions to another lady, making my mother very angry. He then had to move out, and we thought that was the end of it. Since she moved in with us, though, he has been calling her and now they want us to take them out. I'm very torn. She is an adult and his attention seems to make her happy, but I question how "real" the attachment can be for someone whose memory and logic is so impaired. And why would someone who is not impaired choose to have a relationship with someone who is.

My mother also only wants to watch movies and tv shows that contain a lot of romance/sexual situations.

I will add that since my father died at a relatively young age (51), my mother has a history of making bad choices in men, even marrying someone at the age of 70 who she was convinced was "a good man", who proceeded to take advantage of her financially, abuse her verbally, and attempt to separate her from her children. They divorced after 3 years.

One more thing: we are barely getting started caring for my mother, and I can say unequivocally that this is the most stressful, complicated, and exhausting time that we've ever experienced. I don't know how people do this for years.


I guess the obvious question here is - is your mother financially well off? Can this be ruled out as a motive for this gentleman caller?
Have your mother checked for an STD. If he had one, that may be the reason he had to leave. Of course, they cannot tell you that under HIPAA.
I don't believe they had any physical contact in that regard (or maybe I'm kidding myself). And she had a major medical checkup in December with only a UTI showing up.

He told my mother that he had to leave for financial reasons, and management corroborated that when I voiced my concerns to them. That actually gives me more reason to question his motives. Fortunately, she no longer has access to any of her finances.

Thanks for the replies!
I think I'd find a way to make sure this gentleman knows mom has no money and see if his intrest persists.
Hmmmm....worth a try!
There was a post very similar to this one a few months back. A woman had developed an infatuation with a man in the same facility, to the point that the man's family were upset about the unwanted attention.

There were some good answers but I haven't been able to find the post.

I would be concerned and torn as well; you really don't know anything about him. And obviously the facility wouldn't be able to release any information about him. Sometimes players post on social media; I don't use it so I don't know if there is a way to search for him by name on any of the media sites, but if it's possible, it would be a good way to get insight on him, although a pauper can be a 1%er on any site.

And as Pam has written elsewhere and I've heard on tv, there's been an increase in STDs among the elderly, so that's another issue about which to be concerned. With dementia, she may not remember any intimate moments she might have had with him.

I'm not sure if checkups include tests for STDs; I think that's more generally performed by a gynecologist.

However, if you do want to "take them out", you might mention that each of you is strapped for cash so the lunch/dinner would have to be "dutch treat." If he's interested in her money, that might discourage him.
Really appreciate the responses; very helpful.
I have also heard/read that the fastest growing population with STDs are the nursing home/assisted living crowd. There is a saying "just because there's snow on the roof it doesn't mean there isn't a fire in the chimney" - or something to that effect. I love GAs dutch treat idea.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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