Follow
Share

My mom has been in MC since August and it has been a big adjustment! However, she's been doing really well lately! She hasn't been calling us as much. As I took her out for a country drive the other day, she talked for about 20 minutes about the thick, gray haired guy on her floor who is very nice and laughs at all her jokes. She was as giddy as a school girl. Part of me is thrilled that she has found some companionship. The other part of me is thinking both of them have dementia and I don't want them to do anything dumb together. Are MC workers trained in this scenario? If so, how?

Sandra Day O'Connor, the Supreme Court Justice, had this happen with her husband. He fell in love with another woman in his nursing home, and Sandra had to watch their romance blossom as a stranger would. She handled it very graciously, from what I remember reading.

My mother has an imaginary husband. She has conjured up her first boyfriend from high school who has come back and married her even though they haven't seen each other since 1946. He's also been dead since 2009, but I'd never tell her that.

Even though this guy exists only in her imagination, I get to hear about their sex life -- although I shut that down pretty quickly when she goes there -- how wonderful he is, how his parents come to visit and are kind of obnoxious, and how happy she is. Early on it was very hard for me to accept, because my darling father and the love of her life for 66 years had died only weeks before the new dreamboat popped into her mind. However, as time has gone on, I'm grateful for her creative imagination, because Dan the Man has kept her company during the Covid lockdown when I cannot. She isn't depressed, it gives her something to talk about when every day is pretty much like any other, and she looks forward to her sweetie coming home from flying around the world every day (apparently he's a personal pilot for the Kennedy family). Her stories are priceless.

Real or imaginary, everyone wants someone to love.
Helpful Answer (17)
Reply to MJ1929
Report
jacobsonbob Nov 5, 2020
MJ1929--I wouldn't mind becoming like that if I end up getting dementia, but with my luck I'll probably be convinced I'm in a relationship with someone argumentative and/or nasty!
(4)
Report
See 1 more reply
My dad met someone at a nursing home. They both had dementia. They held hands and googled at each other all day. Kissing in a quiet room. So not like my dad...never showed emotion or touch. But he looked forward to seeing her everyday! And she brought him so much happiness. They did have their moments of jealousy thinking other residents were trying to steal each other. The drama!!! High school love all over again. But without her...he was so lonely. Glad he was able to find happiness before he passed.
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to Lisajm
Report

These relationships happen. In MC consent can't go much beyond holding hands. Companionship can be very important and if it makes your mom feel "giddy" that's a good thing. Once when I visited my wife in MC, she came down the hall holding hands with the new guy in town. Felt sort of shocked at first then I remembered where she was. Just keep everything in perspective.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to sjplegacy
Report
cherokeegrrl54 Nov 5, 2020
I can just imagine the look on your face at that! Gues we all have to find things that make us smile every now and then.
blessings, Liz 💕
(5)
Report
They both have dementia, What is the "dumb" thing they might do together?

Drive off and live on the beach together? Have sex all day in their rooms?? Are you worried your Mom will get pregnant?

Sexual or intimate activities can run the gamant of holding hands and being nice to each other to rockin the bed and screaming with pleasure!!

I suggest you be happy she has companionship and has a man that is interested in her. If they both still have sexual urges and they both want to have that activity in some manner god bless them. You are going to be that age one day. You want your children intefereing with your enjoyment?
We are all living soooo much longer and the intimacy part of our lives has the potential to be extended as well. Have you ever looked up the mental, physical and emotional benefits for Seniors to remain sexually active? The physical, mental and emotional benefits are well documented.
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to lacyisland
Report
Goody2shoes Nov 8, 2020
YES! You said it best. Watch the movie with Julie Christie about 2 married patients with dementia in a care home who fall in love much to the distress of their spouses.
I think its called "Away From Her".
(8)
Report
See 1 more reply
One of the VERY important things that many caregivers overlook when caring for anyone is TOUCH.
Not touch when you are changing a brief.
Not touch when you are dressing them
Not touch when you are bathing them
But REAL TOUCH.
Holding hands.
Massage
Looking into their eyes
Talking to them on a level even with them.
Relating to him or her in a personal way.
"We" ask how was your day, do you want chicken or fish for dinner (if that), time to take your medicine, time for bed, time to take a shower, time to get dressed.
Yes I will admit that conversation with someone with Dementia is a challenge. But it is little things like this that they miss just as much as we miss it in return.
So if mom or dad (or your spouse) finds someone in Memory Care that they can relate to, that they can hold hands with. That they can "spoon" with. If that makes their day better why stop it.
Now if one of the two is not understanding cues that indicate that the attention is not wanted then the staff should step in to redirect the more forward of the two.
Be glad that mom has found someone that can make her day better We could all use someone like that.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report

Marcy, at her age what kind of "dumb thing" could they do that would have any repercussions other than some possible embarrassment for you? My MIL had an admirerer in the MC she was in, we all joked about it ( even her hubs, who she mostly recognized) I think it;s very common . Be glad she has found a friend that makes her happy, they have so little to be happy about at her age!
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to pamzimmrrt
Report

Speak to the admin at your facility. Generally at Memory Care the staff is large enough to keep an eye on goings on within the locked facility. I don't think otherwise there is a whole lot of interference. It is quite common for there to be romance and special friendships, and in fact for some elders to believe another is their husband or wife. I personally knew a friend of my Aunt who visited her husband daily in a Kansas City Memory Care where the gentleman believed another resident was his wife, and his actual wife was the "nice lady who visits me". It was a process, but the wife came to accept it, and to be thankful her husband was so content at his facility.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Report
marcykong Nov 5, 2020
Wow, that would be tough! My dad passed away 4 years ago, so I'm glad we don't have to go through that!
(1)
Report
What possible difference can it make to you that your mother is experiencing the thrill of a little titillation? She’s still a human being...as are you.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Chellyfla
Report

Factor in the dementia. This week my mother told us they were served green meatballs for breakfast and it was served by soldiers. (It was Brussels sprouts for lunch served by aids wearing uniforms.) Her mind creates solutions to the things she can’t describe anymore. She has also watched her dead sister acting in a movie being filmed down the hall, saw my dead brother outside her window, and seen lizards in her room.

I would talk to the staff to get the facts. Your mother might just be fantasizing a romance. And if it’s true how nice she has someone to care about.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Frances73
Report

Yes, this is common and I wouldn't interfer. My daughter had a couple who thought they were married. To the point if u tried to separate them they would fight you. Both had spouses who visited. My Mom thought the man who drove her to Daycare was her boyfriend and wanted mevto call him for her. I told her I had no idea what his phone number was. He was very nice to her. Came and helped me get her out of the door.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter