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Dementia - inappropriate touching of others and self
justv389 posted:
Hello, I am new to this site and I am hoping to get help with my father's newest problem...I had to place him in assisted living and now he is acting out in a sexual way. A nurse called today to tell me he needed to be evaluated by a psychiatric nurse to address this problem. I have no idea what to do. I am so embarrased by his behavior which is silly I know but I am a nervous wreck! Does anyone have any experience with this problem.
cjh1203 responded:
Hello, justv389.

Please don't be embarrassed about your father's behavior. I know it's difficult to see him like that, but it's not him acting that way -- it's his disease. What you're describing isn't that uncommon.

Has anyone diagnosed what type of dementia he has? I think that inappropriate sexual behavior can occur with almost any kind of dementia, but it's more prevalent in people with Frontotemporal Dementia.

Here's an article that might help you see if he shows other signs of Frontotemporal Dementia; it also talks about Alzheimer's, and some of the differences between the two.

I don't know if there's any sort of treatment that might stop this behavior, but his doctor should be able to address that.

It has to be distressing to hear someone say that your father is acting out this way, but you are far from alone in having a relative showing this behavior. It's not a reflection on you or your dad; it's just another cruel effect of brain disease, unfortunately.

Best wishes-
Judith L London, PhD responded:

How hard this is to hear about. However, this is not so uncommon. If he is touching others, the behavior should be assessed in terms of how, when, where and who is present when this occurs. Making some environmental changes that trigger the behavior may be the answer. Definitely confer with the psychiatric nurse so that behavioral strategies be used first before medications.

Alzheimer's and other dementia destroys brain cells that may be invovled in stopping oneslf from acting our this way. Please understand that it is the disease that's causing this way of acting out.

Keep us posted,
justv389 replied to cjh1203's response:
Thank you for the support! I feel so alone and frustrated. A psychriatric nurse did an evaluation on Friday but I have not heard from the doctor yet and the weekend was really bad. He wasn't allowed into the dining room on Sunday. Unfortunately I chose a place that doesn't communicate with me. I am looking to move him but...I just don't know what I am doing.

Thanks again for the kind words.
cjh1203 replied to justv389's response:
Hi Victoria-

I'm so sorry that you feel isolated in this; it's one of the worst things about caring for someone with dementia.

If you contact your local Alzheimer's Association or Senior Association (it might be called something else, like Elder Affairs; if you call 211, they should be able to steer you in the right direction), they can be a great help to you in looking for a new place for your dad. They probably can also give you the names of people who can act as case managers who will help you oversee all aspects of your father's situation.

The Alzheimer's Association can be a treasure trove of resources and support. I really encourage you to talk to someone there. You don't need to navigate this alone.

Best wishes to you.


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