I grew up in an ultra reserved, conservative household. Sex was never discussed. EVER. Yesterday mom saw him stripped down to a tshirt masturbating on his bed. This morning he came into the kitchen, took off his pajama pants and started telling me how shriveled up his penis was. I was completely caught off guard when he pulled down his pull ups. All I could think in that moment to do was redirect him to the bathroom and said the kitchen isn't the place to talk about that. Now that I've calmed down how do my mother and I approach him and what do we say if he starts exposing himself more? This is completely new behaviour.

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My father is 86 and also has Parkinson’s, and increasingly the dementia that can go with that. In the last year I have also observed the type of behavior you describe. I would not have described him and my family growing up as sexually repressed whatsoever, but as you say it might have been described as a sexually conservative household, common in that generation. I only mention that because of the comments above saying maybe it is a latent personality trait. It is not.

Definitely certain drugs used for Parkinson’s treatment, mirapex (pramipexole) for instance, can have an unfortunate side effect of hypersexuality. The neurologist tried to take my father off this drug but turns out he needs the positive effects so we have to live with the negative effects too.

In general we do what others have suggested and redirect him when he does these behaviors. You can also tell him, like you said already, that what he is doing is a private behavior and should only be done in his own room. I have asked my father to please stop his behavior and dropped a towel across his lap. He has expressed to me before, with regret, that he thinks about sex all the time and his women caretakers all the time. I tell him I’m sorry and tell him it is happening because that is one side effect of his disease and the drugs he takes. If you would have told me several years ago I would be dealing with this, and talking about this, with my father I would have been totally shocked and disgusted. Now I am not. I understand it truly is his disease process and I remind myself this is not really my father, It is my father tortured by a horrible disease he has no control over. It is him that would be the one shocked and disgusted if he were truly able to consider, in his former fully rational mind, what he is doing. Please try to not judge and don’t let others judge either. Gently and compassionately but firmly defend him if you are required to deal with this in the presence of others who don’t understand. So much has been taken away from your dad in terms of physical abilities, executive function, and dignity. Try not to withdraw your compassionate feelings and love toward him when this occurs. Just redirect and move on. Perhaps this phase is one we will pass through and leave behind someday. I hope so. Till then I do my best not to humiliate him or be humiliated myself.

One last thing I will add to the discussion. I am beginning to observe that when he begins to get extremely obsessive about penis touching, rubbing, and exposure, it has preceded or coincided with a UTI. When the UTI has been treated it is not quite as obsessive a behavior. Might check for UTI with your dad since this started so quickly.

Best of luck to you. Parkinson’s is a long sad road isn’t it.
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Reply to Prus10
gmadorisylove Aug 22, 2019
Your dad is lucky to have such compassion and respect in his world.
That would traumatize me too! I have no advice, sorry, but as many will attest on here— his brain is broken. The man you knew is not the man you see now. It’s like the mind/personality dies before the body does. It’s just awful for everyone.

This behavior sounds more like how a toddler or small boy would act when they’re in that phase of ‘discovery’! And given his decline, he will likely move to another phase and stop this behavior,
Helpful Answer (16)
Reply to LoopyLoo

Some of the medications that are used to treat PD cause obsessive/compulsive behavior including hypersexuality. I would discuss it with his neurologist and see if maybe change his meds would help.
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Reply to Naturganic
BeckyT Aug 22, 2019
My Papa has Parkinson’s too. I have result that it be the result of long term use of Carbidopa/Levidopa (Sinemet). I agree best to call his Doctor.
My dad did not expose himself, but towards the end he thought EVERY woman in the house "wanted" him.. and my mom was "too old" to be his wife. He thought all my DDs friends, our nephews GF, our niece.. you name it.., was hot for him! Luckily they knew he had dementia.. and several were in healthcare.. but still potentially embaressing! This too shall pass, but probably not fast enough for you! My best wishes are with you.
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Reply to pamzimmrrt

Wish I had known some of these tricks 14 years ago when my FIL was taking 'naked pics' of himself and posting them online. ALSO--having the film developed at the local KMart.

Good luck with this--I know it was a problem with FIL until his death--he has some seriously deep rooted problems and they were never addressed.

We did NOT have dementia or Alz. He just had a sexual problem that went un-fixed.
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Reply to Midkid58
pamzimmrrt Aug 20, 2019
Ok, Midkid,, I just had to laugh here.. I bet KMart loved that!
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It's called Inappropriate Sexual Behavior or ISB for short and is common with dementia. You cannot redirect a person, normally, who's fixated on sexual matters......they will just keep coming back to the obsessive thought over and over. Medications CAN and SHOULD be prescribed for ISB so everyone can find relief.
Best of luck
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Reply to lealonnie1

I don’t know if the following helps your situation or not, however I do feel for you.
I somewhat remember a post on here from an elderly husband whose wife had dementia. It seemed family had gathered at their home to celebrate her birthday (their adult kids & grandkids, etc)... when it was time for her to blow out her birthday candles, she comes out from the bedroom in her birthday suit, completely naked!
The nice thing about the story was how gentle her husband treated her, by simply turning her around, walking her back to the bedroom, and telling her she needed to have her clothes on for family events like this.
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Reply to CaringSharShar

Even if you grew up in a very open forward thinking home, you wouldn't want to see your dad masturbating or see his penis at all.  I agree with the suggestion of "redirecting him" and asking his doctor about a medication that might get him to pipe down a bit. I know it is embarrassing for you, but it is very common in the dementia world.  My mother was having physical therapy for her knee an was telling me the physical therapist was putting her in sexual positions.  I work with a woman whose husband has dementia and she is trying to maintain him at home.  He has become very sexually aggressive with her and demands it all the time.  The fact that he is no longer the same person...(he was eating his spaghetti with his hair comb the other day because he no longer understands what silverware is for) and she is in the role of caregiver for him, it totally repulses her when he wants to have sex and she has to redirect him constantly.
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Reply to Jamesj

Imagine how much more fun it would be if he was in memory care. It would scare the residents.
My mom is man-hungry and is always searching for someone new. Her care givers can use distraction. It was a 3 year phase but now is tapering. You can speak to his doctor for options
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Reply to MACinCT

Learn how to redirect him. You can expect him to continue doing this until he enters another phase. You can approach him but it won't do any good because his brain is broken and he's losing inhibitions. When he does it, try to keep calm, pull up his pants, and gently redirect him both verbally and physically toward another activity e.g. place him at a table in front of a dementia coloring book, or some such. What were his hobbies and interests?
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
mlcjohnson Aug 20, 2019
He used to garden but has so much trouble walking that he doesnt do that anymore. He mainly sleeps and watches a little tv.
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