Sex in care homes; am I being the overprotective daughter or trying to preserve her dignity? - AgingCare.com

Sex in care homes; am I being the overprotective daughter or trying to preserve her dignity?

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I am concerned about sexual relations in mom's Memory Care unit. I see there are no policies and am aware at times this may bring happiness to some residents. However, for a person with Alzheimer's, and not in their right mind, how do you know if this is proper? Mom has been "caught" with another man in her room. Am I being the overprotected Daughter or trying to preserve her dignity? She is 90 years old.

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I haven't read the whole thread but I have to point out that there is a HUGE difference between having someone wander into a room and acting out inappropriately and 2 people who enjoy each others company sharing intimacy - one is assault and needs to be treated as such. I personally don't think the elderly, even those with dementia, should be excluded from having intimate relationships.
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This is going back several years, but when my aunt was in a SNF, there were two folks with dementia who the staff kept finding in bed together. After separating them several times, staff finally called in the families and said, “It seems to us that they want to be together.” The families agreed, and the elderly couple were given a room together. Good for them!

A friend of mine has a 90-year-old mother in memory care who developed a loving relationship with a 99-year-old gentleman patient. She told her daughter that they discussed sleeping together, not for sex but just for the cuddling, closeness and secure feelings that it brings.
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Personally, I am 84, I still want a man to make love to me (sex). I hope I never lose that desire. I know this brings out the Euwwww factor in you younger people, and I wouldn't want a video made of it. But, to me, there is nothing more comforting and stress reducing in this world than sex. If you can't go all the way, loving caresses release endorphins that make you feel better. My husband can't perform any more, but we still cuddle in bed every morning. I also make it a point to hold him and cuddle him a little bit many times throughout the day. I wish we could do more, but he can't.

Everyone needs to be loved and hugged, that is just who we are.

My ex is in an AL facility. There is a lady there that still likes men in that way. As one old guy said, "She came to MY room and so I gave her what she came for".
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Myownlife Jul 20, 2018
Good for you, MaryKathleen!! I guess I am a "kid" to you at only 64 3/4 :) but I am in total agreement. And it gives me hope, as I am currently single for many years and no boyfriend :(
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I was pondering what the "caught with another man in her room" might have included. It does fire up the imagination, doesn't it, in a worrying way; but then I remembered the four ages of man and heaved a sigh of relief:

18-30 Tri-weekly
30-50 Try weekly
50-70 Try weakly
70+ Stick to beer.
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Myownlife Jul 21, 2018
Ha ha, that's cute, CM!
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More likely your mom is being raped--in a memory care facility they can't make up their own mind so how can this be consensual. How about making a police report. I would if that were my mom.
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blk2842 Jul 20, 2018
It would depend on HOW the person got into memory care. My mother, who had a mile stage of the disease, was forced into a memory care facility by a granddaughter, against the advice of her personal physician, and who was put there after being forced into a mental facility for drugging (the drugging effect was dramatic, from one evening to the next morning) - all with the "help" of Adult Protective Services, and against my mothers previously and legally effective medical power of attorney.
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Wonderful news, Mary Kathleen. To be honest I am so green with envy of anybody elderly or not who actually has a sexual partner. I was widowed 17 years ago and would dearly love somebody to cuddle me.
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Ahmijoy Jul 20, 2018
Me, too, Best. I was left “high and dry” in my mid-fifties when hubby became disabled. 😢
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It's very, very difficult.

I mean goodness, as a society we struggle enough, don't we, with issues around sex and consent even without chucking the sand of dementia into the works. How do you know if there's consent? A million and one juries worldwide are still out...

Try to take the "aaargggh ohmygod sex" element out, look on it as a safeguarding issue aiming at the protection of dignity, autonomy and wellbeing for both parties, and take it from there: all you're trying to do is ensure that neither person is made uncomfortable in any way without unnecessarily restricting them. When it's a question of something so individual and personal it wouldn't be right for a facility just to introduce a blanket ban.

To us, it may seem that there can never be anything dignified about extremely elderly, mentally frail people canoodling. But perhaps it might help to remember that teenagers feel exactly the same about us.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Before the dementia, my mom criticized every widowed friend of hers that moved to an AL facility and allowed men in their apartments for any reason. When we put her in Memory Care I got "the call". Mom had a boyfriend and had to be taken out of his bed and escorted back to her room. They asked me how I felt about her relationship (it was mutual) and I decided I was ok with it if they were.
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Even with Alzheimer's, unless they are declared incompetent by court, they are considered able to make their own decisions. Two consenting adults in a skilled facility can choose to be intimate.
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One of the reasons I took mom out of her memory care was because of the "walkers" being allowed to wander into each other's rooms. I twice found a man asleep in mom's bed. Yeah, I get it that there isn't enough staff to keep tabs on everybody, and they're all confused, but this really pissed me off. The old fart would also stand in the dining room and play with himself and seldom was redirected. As mom was confined to a wheelchair and not too bad a behavior problem, I walked into a close-by regular NH and asked if they could accept here there. Best decision I could have made all the way around., and she fits in very well where she is and is happier.
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Myownlife Jul 20, 2018
Well, that is totally different and am definitely in agreement with you! That man's behavior should not have been accepted and allowed. He should then be in a men's facility.
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