It is very common for a person with dementia to exhibit unexpected or inappropriate sexual behavior and yet few resources exist to help partners, family members, caregivers, and others address it. With shame, embarrassment, and little information to help, family and caregivers resort to ignoring or, worse, punishing their loved ones with dementia. Now for the first time in Sexuality and Dementia, esteemed geriatric neuropsychiatrist Dr. Doug Wornell provides a compassionate and detailed understanding of the issue and practical strategies for how to cope with it.
Sexuality and Dementia provides:
• An explanation of the physical basis of the connection between dementia and changes in sexual drive and behavior, including the impact of anatomy, brain chemicals, and hormones
• Information on the sexual effects of medications used in dementia treatment
• An understanding of how emotional connections can be distorted in dementia (for instance, love may become funny and sexual excitement may be accompanied by either sadness or anger)
• Practical advice for how to handle sexual behavior like flirtation, masturbation, verbal abuse, grabbing, and exhibitionism
• Recommendations to minimize the legal risk and potential for injury, as well as the risk of abuse or becoming a victim of inappropriate sexual behavior, in long-term care facilities
• Personal stories of the many ways couples have chosen to deal with the changes to their sexual dynamic and relationship
Shedding light on a topic that is too often ignored or brushed aside, Sexuality and Dementia is an invaluable resource, providing hope that people with dementia and their partners can maintain sexually satisfying lives while dealing productively with inappropriate and troubling behavior.
Author: Douglas Wornell, MD, is a geriatric neuropsychiatrist who has participated in the treatment of over 20,000 dementia patients in the past 10 years.