Monday, January 21, 2013

My elderly parent in a Senior Facility is sexually active—what do I do?

By Bob Gregory

Most children do not like to think about their parents having sex let alone discuss their parent’s sex life with them!  Your elderly parent may continue to have sexual desires and wish to continue sexual activities assuming they are fortunate enough to be healthy enough to still enjoy a sex life. Moving to a Senior Facility such as an Assisted Living Facility or even a Nursing home does not mean sexual activities cannot continue.  It is not uncommon for healthy residents to date or have sexual relations with other residents.  Some may date or have intimate relations with non-residents that visit them.  Remember, this is just a different residence for them and not the end of activities, sexual or otherwise, that they enjoy!  In most cases, you should mind your own business unless there is an issue with their activities that causes concern for the Senior Facility.

Sexual relationships in a Senior Facility are similar to those of individuals that live independently and should follow the same common courtesies with a few additional considerations:
Affectionate old couple with the wife holding ...
Affectionate old couple with the wife holding on lovingly to the husband's face. Focus on the husband's eyes. Concept: Elderly love. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  1. Both people should be healthy enough to engage in sexual activities.
  2. The couple should limit their activities to the privacy of their personal living quarters.
  3. Their activities should not be in violation of the Sexual Policy they may have agreed to when moving to the Senior Facility.  Not many Assisted Living Facilities have a Sexual Policy but more are beginning to adopt them.

There may be circumstances that you and the Senior Facility may need to intervene:
sweet old kiss
sweet old kiss (Photo credit: dark_ghetto28)

  1. If the sexual conduct is considered as Sexual Harassment.  This may include unwelcomed advances toward staff, residents or visitors.
  2. If one of the participants is not healthy enough for sex or it may endanger their life.
  3. If there is a memory condition of one of the participants.  With certain memory conditions such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s, one or both of the participants may not realize what they are doing or recognize the person they are having sexual relations.  The opportunity for someone to take advantage of another because of a memory condition is serious and needs attention.
  4. If the act is considered abusive.  Continued unwanted touching can be considered sexual abuse.

If you get a call from the Senior Facility regarding sexual activities of your elder parent, take the matter seriously as your parent may be asked to leave!  Generally, a Senior Facility will not intervene in healthy consensual sexual relationships that are confined to the resident’s private quarters.  If you have concerns about your parent’s sexual activities because of physical or mental health issues, be sure and discuss them with your parent’s caregivers and their doctors.  Otherwise, respect your parent’s privacy and good fortune to still be vibrant and sexually active.  Human contact and emotional connections are important for all of us but they are even more important for elderly people who can often feel alone and abandoned.

If you find you need an Assisted Living Facility, Nursing Home or any other type of Senior Facility, I hope you will consider  To learn more about our services, please visit

If you would like to contribute your thoughts and ideas, please leave them in our comment section. We want to hear them. Helping people care for themselves or their loved ones is what we care about. 

We look forward to reading yours.

Bob Gregory is an advocate for Seniors and is one of the founders of At, we are dedicated to helping families get the Elder Care help they need without having to provide their personal information! If find you need an assisted living facility or other type of senior facility, please consider

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment