Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dementia and Sexuality: Nursing Homes, Long-Term Care (Video 2:15)

It's a common belief that people with dementia are perceived as being asexual, having no real sexual attraction toward others, as their condition progresses. The reality is that many couples living with dementia remain sexually active. People with dementia have sexual needs similar to younger people, but may vary in ways of expression and how often they occur. Sometimes their expressions of sexuality may be inappropriate or hypersexual as they become less inhibited and more forgetful of social acceptance.

In nursing homes, residents with dementia should be allowed the full expression of their sexuality when their expression is appropriate. Privacy should be provided when needed. Strategies must be explored regarding solutions to inappropriate behaviors such as hypersexuality. The context in which situations arise is important. Solutions can include possible medical problems, the need for more engaging activities, or environmental conditions. Caregivers and loved ones should be educated about concerns and assessments.

In this video, Dr. Doug Wornell shares advice about how caregivers in nursing homes should address sexual behaviors of residents with dementia.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.

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