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MC mom having intimate relations with another resident
Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 10:28 AM
Joined: 6/19/2018
Posts: 6

Anyone have any experience/advice.... My mother just moved into memory care about 3 weeks ago I was called by the PA and the nursing director that my mom was found having sex with another male resident. They seem to be baffled by this and quite distressed but I have to believe this is a common occurrence despite their saying they've never seen this before. I do understand there are issues with consent being blurred due to dementia and perhaps risk of physical injury, but also this is a normal human drive. She has always been a very touchy feely person and is without companionship for the first time in her life. Anyone else dealt with this? thanks


Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 11:33 AM
Joined: 7/12/2017
Posts: 1589

Well this is a new one, how old is this other resident and I would want to know if this is a common thing he does, because I would imagine it just might be.  If he is new, did he have to leave someplace else?

It is odd and confusing, we ask that our LOds, be bathed, changed, etc often without "consent" soooo....

This is a very interesting topic, and I can't wait to see the responses

Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 11:52 AM
Joined: 10/4/2018
Posts: 12

My mom is in a MC as well and I've gotten a few calls from the staff telling me she and another male resident were in some stage of intimacy.  Some just hand holding type of stuff that was fine - but then saying that it progressed to behind closed door, together in the bed or chair etc.  I understand their unease with all of it, but it does make me sad too, because it seems to be coming from just a place of wanting to be held/intimate and how much does it stink to have to break that up and not allow it.  In her regression my mom most often seems to be stuck in that high school girl world - sometimes in the form of being a 'mean girl' and sometimes super, crazy flirty with any men she sees.  It's funny to me because growing up with her (single mom) she hardly dated, no steady men in her life at all and then all of a sudden at 82 - bam! all flirty all the time!  

Anyway, the staff is now on high alert with the two of them and has had to break them up a few times.  They don't want to let it get too far along.  

Just another way in which this disease just sucks.  

Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:27 PM
Joined: 6/19/2018
Posts: 6

I don’t know the age of the gentleman, but it is likely my mother is the instigator as she has been found with another man before, while not intercourse, she was .... shall we say giving him a helpful hand. Both gentleman were accepting of the activity and both times when they were ‘caught’ declined to stop. 

It does seem like sad to prevent it. i believe they are just genuinely lonely and just looking for human touch, but I also see the issues it poses. It’s not like you can have a conversation with her about it that would do any good, but other than staff oversight, what’s can you do about it. 


Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:38 PM
Joined: 6/19/2018
Posts: 96

I don't think this is uncommon. Intimacy is a basic human drive.

If it keeps reoccuring, my opinion is that the facility needs to up their supervision level. The activity is most likely not limited to these patients.

Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 1:05 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18464

this is not at all uncommon
MN Chickadee
Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 2:42 PM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 1028

My mother came to think one of the male residents at her facility was her husband. They never got to the point of that kind of intimacy, but would hold hands and try to go to bed together at night. The facility wasn't phased by it, had seen it all before. They said they would up their game with keeping an eye on it and separate them when needed, especially during sundowning and times of the day where behavior was more likely to get weird. They didn't want it to go any further but were not alarmed, they just made a plan to deal with it. While I take your point about them just wanting some human connection just like everyone else, I also know the facility can't allow this. It's fraught with risks. Injury, infection, moral and ethical quandaries.  But they shouldn't be so alarmed, it's not uncommon. They need to have their staff keep a close eye on it and find ways to manage the situation. Some residents are more prone to finding mischief than others. Trashing their rooms, trying to get into the kitchen and cook, having sex, who knows. It means the facility needs to supervise more. It never turned into a problem for my mom, and the guy passed away after a few months. She didn't notice he was gone and hasn't gotten attached to any other men there since. I hope things work out for you. Keep in touch.
Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 3:10 PM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2206

I'm sorry you are dealing with all the feelings this sort of thing brings up.

It is very common. My aunt had a fellow resident confuse her for his wife and try to join her in bed; staff discovered this before anything much happened and her guardian was notified. Going forward, they kept a closer eye on him. I don't think there was any real connection between them, he was just really confused. 

A few years later, my aunt formed a mutual attachment to another gentleman at her MCF. They ate all their meals together and often held hands. They had both been widowed after long happy marriages and it feels almost like their relationship gave them back a little of that happiness. They passed within hours of each other. 

There was a much younger woman with dementia at dad's MCF; she looked to be in her late 30's or early 40's. I don't know if she was there because of a TBI or something like WKS, but she was very physically affectionate. She was often seen holding a man's hand or sitting on a settee cozied up to one of the male residents who seemed to enjoy the attention but staff would gently redirect her if she tried to kiss him or sit on his lap. They watched her very closely.
Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 6:20 PM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2647

It seems almost cruel to deny people the intimacy they both wish to have to the extent they are able.  Pregnancy is no longer an issue.  I would ask myself and the facility who is being harmed in this instance.
Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 11:35 PM
Joined: 8/26/2015
Posts: 109

I agree with unforgiven.  My DH is in a MC facility where I have seen many couples walking the halls holding hands.   I have found women’s clothes and shoes in my DH’s room.   Today I was cleaning his room and as I was leaving there was my husband walking the halls, holding hands with a resident.  I’m sure they need to have that intimacy.   They make new friends, they don’t know what is going on most of the time.  Let them have what little joy they find.   Yes it hurt my heart but it also made me happy that he had someone on his level to communicate with.  It is just another part of the disease that some have to deal with.
Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 4:35 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 2206

Unforgiven wrote:
It seems almost cruel to deny people the intimacy they both wish to have to the extent they are able.  Pregnancy is no longer an issue.  I would ask myself and the facility who is being harmed in this instance.

Agreed. But how do you establish consent as it relates to both parties? And manage sexually transmitted infections like Genital Herpes? I would also be concerned that intercourse could trigger UTIs.

Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Friday, November 22, 2019 7:06 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 3126

I know it must be hurtful big time to watch your loved one see them like this but I also believe that you should not take away the little joy they may have if they both seem into it and its not just one sided. 

Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2019 9:32 PM
Joined: 6/12/2016
Posts: 1032

One more humiliating aspect of this terrible disease. It de-humanizes it’s victims in every way possible. I think this is heart breaking.
Posted: Sunday, November 24, 2019 4:17 AM
Joined: 2/2/2014
Posts: 5629

Our MC had a female resident my age who made repeated passes at ME   while I was sitting with my wife !  DW is stage 7 and clueless.  Oh well.  

Eric L
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 10:40 AM
Joined: 12/5/2014
Posts: 1288

I'm sorry to reply to an older thread, but we were away on vacation when it was posted. Everyone brought up very good points here. Obviously, there is an issue of consent. The other thing I was thinking of (from the memory care's perspective) is that they could have some very upset family members on their hands if someone shows up and sees Mom, Dad, husband, or wife doing the deed with someone else. Heck, most of us still get a bit upset when our LOs get mean and nasty with us, despite us knowing better. Even if you sort of do the "it's the disease" thing with this, I can see people losing their minds over it if they caught them in action.
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