Oh yes I did … I said it … sex.
It’s a part of our lives, a basic drive from the time we hit puberty. Here’s the kicker – it never really goes away. As we get older the drive and desire may wane, but it never completely stops.
As adults we learn how to behave in society (mostly). Part of behaving in society includes keeping certain behaviors and actions behind closed doors – especially anything to do with sex.
People suffering from dementia will lose the inhibitions ingrained within us by society as to what behavior is appropriate or not appropriate.
Your loved one may start undressing in public. They may start trying to touch other people inappropriately. They may start pleasuring themselves in front of God and everybody.
This isn’t an attempt to embarrass you, nor are they turning into a sex fiend. The part of their brain that says, ‘Stop, this isn’t the place or time or person for these actions!’ has ceased to function.
When these behaviors manifest don’t yell at your loved one. Don’t shame them by telling them they’re bad and nasty. Don’t freak out. Calmly distract them from what they are doing. Offer them a snack. Ask them if they’re too warm (if they’ve removed clothing). Get them involved with a favorite activity. Start playing some music for them. Offer a favorite drink.
If you can, let them have some space and privacy to be.