Book Review
Sex and Dementia
Jan 6, 2014 - 1:31:04 PM

( - The desire for sex and intimacy is a concept we prefer not to associate with our elders but the need for human contact and romantic relationships does not disappear with old age. In

Sexuality and Dementia: Compassionate & Practical Strategies for Dealing with Unexpected or Inappropriate Behaviors

(Demos Health, January 23, 2014), Dr. Douglas Wornell offers advice and support for both family members and professional caretakers who are confronted by the troubling, heartbreaking, and often isolating ways dementia affects personality, romantic relationships, sexuality, and intimacy, including the exhibition of inappropriate and uncharacteristic sexual behavior, promiscuity, verbal abuse, aggression, grabbing, exhibitionism, and jealous paranoia.

In Sexuality and Dementia, no situation is too embarrassing or shameful to discuss, including the true stories of:

  • Howard, a successful 61 year-old attorney whose hypersexual behavior prevented him from being admitted to a rehabilitation facility after stroke
  • Joan, whose dementia tipped her flirtatious personality over the edge, leaving her husband to buffer her predatory sexual advances
  • Lucy, a dementia patient whose family was outraged to discover she had been allowed to have sex with a fellow dementia patient
  • Ken, devastated by the fading of a 20 year romance with his partner, Kyle, who became emotionally absent after being diagnosed with HIV dementia
  • Wanda, an eldercare nurse who learned to navigate around the sexual advances of her dementia patients to avoid uncomfortable encounters
  • Tim, who began dating another woman while still married to his wife of 30 years who had been diagnosed with dementia
Douglas Wornell, MD, is a geriatric neuropsychiatrist with a large practice in the Seattle-Tacoma area of Washington State and he has participated in the treatment of over 20,000 dementia patients in the past 10 years and has given over 200 presentations on geriatric psychiatry. 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.


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