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Do caregivers lose desire with Alzheimer's husband?

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Part of our sexual drive is feeling love from the other person. A touch, a hug, appreciation for what we do for them. With Dementia/ ALZ the person suffering from it no longer can express that love. They can't appreciate what we do for them. And the caregiver gets the brunt of their anger and paranoia. Even though the CG knows its the desease, it still hurts. After a day of Caregiving (part of it toileting), who wants to make love. Mainly, to someone who is not really with it mind wise. So yes, I think desire is lost, love no.
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Lizhappens May 7, 2019
Not all with Alzheimer’s is nasty. I was blessed with the gentleman client I had was a perfect gentleman to the end.
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The entire roll of a spouse changes.
You go from a marriage with 2 equal partners to a "marriage" where 1 person is solely responsible for the welfare of the other as well as ALL the household chores and all of the financial responsibility.
It also goes against everything that we have ingrained in us to not take advantage of a person who no longer has the capacity to consent to sexual activity.
There may be a "desire", "urge" from the person with dementia and if that is the case and you feel the same desire that is great. If though YOU feel a desire or urge and the person you are caring for does not and you continued that would just like raping them. There HAS to be consent.

Personally after getting my Husband into the shower, putting his briefs on, getting him dressed and fed, doing 3 loads of laundry, clothes, soiled sheets then more clothes, worrying if the caregiver was going to be late again, getting the rest of the meals ready, changing him 3, 4, 5 or more times during the day,then at the end of the day getting him into bed...the last thing on my mind was sex. Holding his hand and calming him and maybe hearing him laugh as I kissed him good night was enough. I miss the hand holding and the laugh more than the sex. (Ok I might have just admitted that I am REAL old!)
A woman in my Support group called us "Married Widows"

I think this is one of the reasons some (many?) caregivers of spouses do find companionship. It is nice to go out to dinner and have a 2 way conversation (that makes sense), going to a movie that you can discuss later, cuddling with someone and yes having sex with someone that KNOWS who you are, someone that you can connect with. This is not something that I would do or did but I am not going to judge anyone that goes this route. And I am sure in many cases this starts out with JUST companionship but there is a strong desire in everyone to be held, loved, validated. Again not going to fault anyone, not going to judge anyone.
Last perfect person I know about was put on a cross......
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jacobsonbob May 7, 2019
If the 1954 is your birth year, then you aren't really THAT old! I was born in 1952 and the only time I realize I'm getting older is when I see what color my hair is (or DON'T see it when it fall into the white sink! LOL).
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I would think at some point a spouse would lose their sexual desire for the spouse they're caring for who has Alzheimer's. For many reasons. A caregiver is over-burdened and exhausted which can inhibit sexual desire; if the spouse who has Alzheimer's is incontinent that could cause the caregiving spouse to lose sexual interest; as the disease progresses the role of the caregiving spouse becomes less a role of a spouse and more of the role of a parent, for example encouraging the spouse to eat, wiping off the spouse's mouth as they eat, helping the spouse to the bathroom to have a bowel movement or cleaning up the spouse after there's been a bowel movement....There are many reasons why a spouse could lose sexual desire for the spouse with Alzheimer's.
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I read thru most of the other responses and they are very sad but wise. My beautiful and handsome, meticulously dressed and smelling of lively cologne became a guy who needed to be changes and cleaned throughout the day and night and wore old tee shirts and sweats. There were moments when I could get him into his nicer clothes, shave him and clean and cut his nails, but the entire grueling schedule sapped ant thoughts of sexuality from me. I often hugged hi, held his had and kissed his face-in a motherly way. I would sit with tears running down my face, remembering our life together, trying to be grateful for the years we had. I do that bpnow that he has been gone for 6 months. I miss the intimacy and the affection of having a kind and caring mate to share life with. There are no words of wisdom I can impart. I can only encourage you to seek counseling and to care for your own needs as best you can. Know that there are people here who do care.
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She1934 May 7, 2019
Am so sorry for the typos in my response. I neglected to proofread. I hope it makes sense.
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Oh God yes! The stress can do much worse than killing the caregiver’s sex drive - it can kill the person. I am the primary caregiver for my husband who has Alz and I work full-time. I do not have the time, energy, or interest to make love to my husband due to stress. I love him completely but all I desire now is sleep and rest.
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Reply to Worriedspouse
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I am not in that situation but have read here of care giving spouses who have lost all sexual interest in their mate due to the disease and the demands on the caregiver. ((((((hugs)))))
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Reply to golden23
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It could be that your sex drive has lowered as you age too but the caretaking role removes the 'mystique' of the other person completely so rather than being a sexual partner you are now more a 'mothering' partner - most normal people don't feel sexual urges when changing a baby's diaper so humans may just be brain programmed not to be sexually attacked to another when they are doing that sort of care - this may be part of how humans have advanced over other species

If hubby has Alzheimers then you probably are not 23 years old - the amount of care needed means you have no energy for 'extras' - when was the last time you read a good book, had coffee while read the paper at a cafe, etc ... all things that you used to do but now don't have time/energy for anymore
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Lizhappens May 7, 2019
Excellent answer. All of that so true. The time, the energy, the role change (eek! no!) Also our friend didn’t give us many clues as to what was exactly going on either.
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I would think that isn't an answer that you can generalize. It's about the same as simply saying do wives lose sexual desire with their husbands. Do grandmother's lose sexual desire for grandpa. It's not a yes or no answer. It's a yes and no answer.
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Reply to SparkyY
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Perhaps it’s time someone said that you can lose desire for one person without losing a desire for sex – or a need for it either. Sex with a third party is a problem, and not just because of ‘morals’ - the other person becomes a better option in many ways, and you may not want to put your marriage at risk. A vibrator can help a lot if you are female, and you can get them discretely on-line. Masturbation is an option too. The remaining problem is having the energy!
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Lizhappens May 7, 2019
Love your sense of humor
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Frankly, when patients become the problems they are with old age and illness and horrible body/mental behaviors, how could any sane, decent person have any sexual desires for that patient - I would find it impossible - and I sure as hell would not give in to requests. I would find a private, personal suitable alternative and just keep my mouth shut. No one's business but mine. These people behave horribly, say and do things that should never occur - steer clear of anything to do with sex or you'll feel really dirty and used. Just take care of yourself best as you can.
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