Sexual Behaviors in an Assisted Living Facility


Yesterday I wrote about how dad got in trouble over the weekend by shouting and cursing at his medical aide when she told him he could not make out with his lady friend on the sofa in the lounge.

This morning I went to the Assisted Living Facility (ALF) to visit with dad and to talk to the administrators about what I had been told was an “incident”.   I had an interesting reaction in that no one was concerned about it (except the medical aide).

When I came in the door, dad was at an activity.  I took the time to go to his room and drop off some snacks for him in his refrigerator.  Then I went to the main lobby to talk to the nurse/social worker.

I asked what the response was to be for the incident that occurred over the weekend.  She said she really didn’t know what to say and we went to meet with the director.  Both were fine with the situation.  They felt the aide had over-reacted.

They asked me how I felt about dad’s behavior.  I said I thought it would be OK in his own room but could see where it would cause a problem in the lobby.  They told me that basically was their policy.  But, Mary’s family was not quite that understanding.

Mary had lost her husband just over a year ago.  Her family is not comfortable seeing her with other men and especially cuddling with other men or holding hands.  They have specifically requested that Mary not be allowed in any resident’s rooms except her own.  Therefore, they generally just try to “re-direct” Mary whenever she is in situations that are going too far.

They consider it normal adult behavior for residents to want to be close to others of the opposite sex.  They just generally would direct them to take some activities to their own rooms if they are the type that would offend others when done in public.

I was relieved to see that dad was not considered “in trouble” with the administrative staff.  He has really blossomed in the past year and they agree with that.  They said that other staff  have been able to re-direct dad in the lobby with just a quiet word or just a nod.  They thought they might have to retrain the aide in question and others if necessary so that a scene is not created.

Dad is generally a very quiet person, and they are very aware of that.  They felt that the way he had been confronted contributed to the events that occurred over the weekend.

While we were in the sunroom having our conversation, dad and Mary were returning from their activity.  In fact, Mary was pushing dad who was sitting on his walker seat rather than walking.  She wheeled him into the room where we were.

The director said Mary was an “enabler” as she loved to “take care” of dad and didn’t mind pushing him.  But the staff (and I) prefer that he do his own walking so he won’t lose the ability to do so.

After that I took dad to his favorite restaurant for an Italian lunch.  He asked if Mary could come, but I said no.  When I fold down the back seat to hold his walker, there is no room for any additional passengers.  I only have 2 seats in front.

That is true.  It is also true that I was glad to be able to go out where it was just me and dad.  I haven’t had that much time with dad since my return from the south.  And each time I have been there, Mary has been sitting right at his side (except the day when my son and grandson and I went with dad to his room.)

It was a nice day out.   And I had leftovers for supper!

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About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues and my relationship with other family members.
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living Facility, Companionship, Dementia, Eldercare, Lady Friend and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Sexual Behaviors in an Assisted Living Facility

  1. terry1954 says:

    well it seems very clear Mary misses her dear husband. She is lonely and has many emotions. I guess as long as no one is crossing the line the two shall share each other’s company

    • Yes, Mary misses her husband and dad misses mom. They are good company for each other. It is too bad Mary’s children can’t accept that their mother is ready to move on. Also her memory is so bad they are probably afraid she has totally forgotten her husband. I am just relieved it all seems to be working out OK.

  2. jmgoyder says:

    This is so interesting.

    • It IS, isn’t it? A friend asked me recently if people with dementia lost interest in sex and I told him I didn’t know. Now I know a little more 🙂

      • jmgoyder says:

        My husband got a bit frisky the other day when he was home and it upset me, although I didn’t show it.

      • Even when the memory starts to go, I think they still need love and affection as much as ever. It is good he chose his wife for his affections. 🙂

      • jlsm697 says:

        They don’t, we do a lot of training re:sexuality. At my moms memory care unit, I always thought a couple was married. They are “together”, and she is the aggressor. I can see it being painful for the woman’s family. Grief, change and the unknown is hard. I’m taking care of many men that have lost thir wives and need/want companionship. Good luck! Sounds like the aide just needs some more training.

      • Thanks. That was the conslusion of the management staff. I hope they gave her the extra training for surely this will come up again. There are few men and many women. The women like sit by the men if they can and the men enjoy the attention once they notice. For some reason it took dad a long time to notice the women as I think he was lost in his grief and lonliness after mom died. I think things will go better now that the aide has been advised that the behavior is normal and the goal is to redirect when necessary.

      • jlsm697 says:

        I have to talk to one of my pts tomorrow, a little too frisky with our HHA’s. He lost his wife one year ago and I feel so bad for him. He just wants to be touched, not in a creepy way but to be held. I wrote my newsletter a few months ago about touch and the importance of it with the elderly. The mans dtr didn’t believe it until I told her ALL of the staff have experienced it. He has dementia and its hard for them to understand.

      • Thank you for your comment. Since the man has dementia like my dad, I wonder if he will remember what you tell him? I think dad would forget. His ALF tries to divert the woman involved instead as she seems to be the one to initiate these public behaviors though he is glad to participate.

  3. kimjoy24 says:

    Reblogged this on The Memories Project and commented:
    This is an important topic that no adult child wants to have to deal with but it is simply human nature at work.

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