A Different Kind of Valentine’s
Romance and dementia are two words we don’t often connect together. The idea of older people being romantically involved and sexually active tends to make most people a little squeamish, especially if your parents or grandparents are involved.
It may gross you out, but it’s important to know that we are born as sexual beings and we die as sexual beings. We never age out our sexuality.
Even diseases as devastating as dementia cannot extinguish that flame within each of us.
Even so, adult children do not want to engage in conversations with their parents about their romantic involvements, and doctors, who should know that sex and intimacy play an important role in an older person’s emotional well-being, are often reluctant to talk about it.
Every month I write a guest article for Griswold Home Care’s blog, “CaringTimes”. Since we celebrate Valentine’s in February, I thought it might be a good time to share a few real-life stories about romance and dementia.
If you don’t have time to read the entire article, here are three things you need to know:
1. Surprising, uninhibited and inappropriate sexual behavior is not at all unusual in people who are stroke survivors, individuals who have Alzheimer’s and people who take Dopamine to control the symptoms of Parkinson’s
2. You can never, ever, ever win an argument with a person who has dementia – whether it’s about sex or anything else
3. Dementia can rob memories, skills, and awareness of what is and isn’t appropriate social behavior, but we never, ever lose our desire for intimacy, affection and human connection.
Click here to read: A Different Kind of Valentine’s: Sexuality and Dementia
If you haven’t seen my TEDx Talk on this same topic, click here to watch: Having the Sex Talk with Dad