Gray zones and sexlife in dementia

This article comes from the Danish news source Kristeligt Dagblad (Christian Daily Paper). It’s about a particular gray zone in dementia care – the sex life of the spouse to someone with dementia. The original article is in Danish (you can access it by clicking on the title, below), and I have translated the article into English and edited the content to fit this blog.

I think it’s important to realize that the issue isn’t black and white and it isn’t just about sex or adultery. It’s about our very human need to connect with others, to share with others, and the emotional bond of companionship – all of which can also happen without sex. It is a similarly difficult issue when individuals with dementia find a new girl/boyfriend – they are acting on their emotional drive for closeness and attachment to others.

Taboo and infidelity among spouses to someone with dementia 

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Sex and dementia

This article comes from Senior Housing Forum. Senior Housing Forum is a website that is focused on publishing articles that are of interest to developers and operators of senior living communities.

Should a Married Man and Woman Continue to Have Sex When One of Them Has Dementia?

Published on Mon, 05/04/2015 

There is a fascinating case winding its way through the criminal court system in Iowa where a 78-year-old man has been charged with sexual abuse for having sex with his wife who has dementia and lives in a nursing home.

There seems to be pretty clear evidence that some type of sexual activity took place but only he knows the exact nature. According to an article at, a physician at the facility where the man’s wife lived determined that she was too impaired to consent to sex, which led to charges being filed.

Note:  Since this article was first written, the case has resolved with the husband being acquitted, but the issues remain.
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