Sexuality and Dementia

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    Making a decision to use any medication is serious. The elderly are more sensitive to medications, not to mention the likelihood that the person already takes several drugs. Every attempt should be made to limit the amount and types of medications used. One is the preferred number. There should also be a plan in place to eventually reduce and discontinue the medication, unless this is a long-term regimen such as antidementia drugs or hormonal therapy. When doing anything with a drug to achieve some...Read More
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    Many times a passive behavioral approach is simply not enough. Family pressures, as well as safety concerns, join with the behaviors of the patients to create a perfect storm that must be dealt with swiftly. The First Active Step: Manipulating the Environment Most often there is time to plan an act in a manner that will prevent last-minute anxieties or distress. Keeping a couple together is always preferable, but at times some imaginative action goes a long way to remedy the situation. Andy, 78,...Read More
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    The First Passive Step: Maintenance of the Living Environment For couples, it is important to recognize and understand that passive action requires recognizing and understanding the aspects of day-to-day living, which reflect intimacy. Sex or romance is commonly tied to familiarity and routine, which are the solid foundation of dementia care. Critical to any memory care unit, but silently present in all home situations as well, these are often the pillars that crack at the moment the first major...Read More

Meet the Expert!

Douglas Wornell

Doug Wornell, MD, is a geriatric neuropsychiatrist who has participated in the treatment of over 20,000 dementia patients in the past ten years. He is the Medical Director of the Behavioral Wellness Center at Auburn Regional Medical Center and the Director of Wornell Psychiatry and Associates, a geriatric and neuropsychiatric consultative service through which he provides advice to 23 long-term care facilities. Brookdale Senior Living, one of the largest assisted-living dementia care organizations...

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