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masturbation and dementia

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Old 07-15-2011, 06:56 PM   #1
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masturbation and dementia

hi, i'm wondering if anyone has suggestions on how to cope with my mother. she suffers from parkinson's disease and dementia. recently she has started telling me about how she has never orgasmed and would like to experience it. she was sexually abused as a child and married to a closet homosexual who treated her awfully both sexually and physically. she said she tried to pleasure herself but ended up hurting herself and bleeding. she says she is the happiest she has ever been in her life, but this subject of 'self-love' is surfacing more often. i've looked into taking her to a brothel where the ladies said they would be able to help but i'm wondering if this will bring up worse issues from her childhood and marriage. she suffers awfully from nightmares and i get little sleep some nights. all i've managed to come up with so far is divert the subject to another topic, which thankfully due to dementia, gives me a break for a while. this is a very embarrassing subject for me and i know i should be honoured that she feels comfortable to talk to me about such intimate things, but it makes me want to run screaming from the room. i'm her sole carer and can't get respite due to several factors, so if anyone has suggestions, i would be so grateful. i don't believe i can be the only one with this issue.

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Old 07-16-2011, 07:46 AM   #2
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Re: masturbation and dementia

Hi feellost,

It is interesting that you have this issue with your Mom. I always wonder what is like for a woman with dementia. You see, my father-in-law has been a widower since late 2004. At the beginning he was not diagnosed with Alzheimers (now he has late Alzheimer's) yet until late 2006. During the whole time from 2004-2010, he has been wanting a wife! The lady friend would be his future wife, the caregiver is his wife and the nurse is his wife! Any lady that stays long enough with him has the potential to be his chase! In 2007 when we visited him, I saw he had viagra in the fridge! Oh my. It was an old one and he forgot about it. I threw it out. Now he is totally incompetent.
He has been like a womenizer but new people see him as a gentleman!!

Somehow he didn't really elaborate like your Mom did, but he once said "how come she didn't want to sleep with me?" (with this black young caregiver.)
Like your Mom, he has been able to talk to my husband bluntly about wanting a wife and how to deal with it. The thing is it is his fantasy and no one will marry him or go to bed with him anymore.

I don't recommend that you take your Mom to a brothel. I once thought about it. Oh yeah, bring in some escort (I am just kidding).... Gradually I realized it has to stay in his fantasy and cannot be carried out!! It would only come true if he were normal, you know...
The thing is we still have to worry about sexual disease for these fragile elders.
Well, I don't like this attitute of some caregivers. They felt sorry for him and played along with him. In the end, he was very disappointed. Also why should the women be his psycho playmate? It is not decent.

So we only let it go in the air. Ok, he proposed to everyone, and they all ignored him. One told him she is married and has kids. Well, he does not care if she was married or not! He flirted with this nurse in front of her husband who was the home care boss!! She had to tell him she is married. Fortunately he can still take no. I do believe the "potential lovers" need to say no because he would never stop it until he goes to bed with them!

Now I think he will be more and more into it since he has stopped walking in May. We were told that we could hire a one on one caregiver to be his companion in the residential home. Well I don't want this girlfriend episode again!

In your Mom's case, I know it is different, but I think all you can do is to distract her and bring her more activities or friends. Maybe she also needs peers so maybe bring her to this day care center for the elders.
That is all I can think of.

It is not easy. All I am saying is say no gently and distract her. or say yes to her fantasy. Don't carry it out....

Maybe you can ask the doctor to prescribe some pills to reduce her desire. My FIL is taking anti-depression drug in the residential home.

Good luck,

Last edited by ninamarc; 07-16-2011 at 09:12 PM.

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feellost (07-17-2011)
Old 07-16-2011, 06:02 PM   #3
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Re: masturbation and dementia

feellost... they do not lose the desire for intimacy or lose their sexuality until late in the disease. That is a primal instinct from the brain stem that assures the propagation of the species. It is very common for dementia patients to have sexual frustration and attempt to find way to satisfy those needs. With your Mom's history I am not surprised that this is an issue with her.

I do not think the brothel idea will work at all. There is no telling how she will react and even if it is a pleasurable experience she would probably not remember it and go back to her current desires.

You are doing the best you can do.... divert and redirect. You are probably going to have to listen to her wishes for a while. She is unaware that this is bothersome to you. It's all about her at this moment in time and you know what is on her mind... like it or not. Uncomfortable or not you just need to let her express her frustration, nod, and then try to divert her attention to something else. Try to avoid situations that trigger the talk if you can. Get some ear plugs, an ipod, nod a lot, and smile! I learned to just let what Mom said go in one ear and out the other. Eventually it will stop and be replaced by something different ... or you you would be happy just to hear your Mom say anything. That is where I am now. I remember being so frustrated listening to Mom go on and on about going home. She was going to hire three men and a truck, get a taxi, where is the van, write note to her friends that we were holding her prisoner... and on and on. I remember the angry words she threw my way. Today, I just wish she would talk to me.... since she has lost her ability to communicate. So let the words float through your head without annoyance and know this will pass in time!

Love, deb

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feellost (07-17-2011)
Old 07-16-2011, 08:07 PM   #4
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Re: masturbation and dementia

I have gone though a lot with my mom but this is not one of them so you are dealing with something I have not...but...I would venture to say you are not alone!

THere is a lady at my mom's residence who has a man at her side at all times. Not her husband...she doesn't have one any longer..but any man willing to sit and be by her side. She holds his hand and leads him around. A few times, the men's wives have even moving her husband to another facility all together to separate them. And one willing to let them have companionship together.

I always wonder how the women aids deal with the men and any advancments. Of course they are trained to deal with it but it has to be disconcerting.

Like Deb said...try your best to let it go in one ear and out the other. My mom certainly had many things that about drove me nuts that she talked about, her dead husband, as in where is he, going home, looking for her was endless!

Does she or can she crochet or knit? Maybe something to keep her hands busy might help???

Also, Nina's suggestion to get her out among others at an Alzheimer's day care might would especially help you. You need some help and you need a break. You cannot do this by yourself.

Love, Meg

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feellost (07-18-2011)
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