Intimacy and sex is the base of any healthy married relationship. Everyone has a need for companionship and physical intelligence. People with brain diseases such as Alzheimer's or dementia are no different. People fill this need of physical integrity through marriage, partnership or close friendship. Although sex is an important part of our lives, but when combined with Alzheimer's disease it can be problematic.
It has been observed that the changes in brain caused by Alzheimer's increases some people's need for sexual relationships, which may create conflict in their relationship and marriages with their partner.
Alzheimer's Impact on Intimacy and Sexual Relations:
Alzheimer's not only diminishes one's ability to communicate or express but it can affect many different aspects of consciousness, motor skills, executive functions, and sexuality in addition to memory loss. The changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer's disease can either increase or decrease a person's sexual needs. Sometimes your loving partner may show disinterest in sexual activity. He or she may no longer remember how to arouse and satisfy you; may develop impotence from blood pressure and medicines; and may lose social and sexual skills. Accusation of infidelity and impotence may lead to low self esteem and consequential breakdown of the marriage.
While in some other cases it has been found that there is an increase in sexual needs of Alzheimer's patient. If this increased sexual energy is expressed in public places or directed towards non-consenting people, it may lead to embarrassment. As a caregiver or spouse, you must recognize that this is due to changes in brain caused by Alzheimer's. As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer's disease may no longer be able to recognize their partners / spouses and this may lead to breakdown of the marriage. At this time your partner will need a lot of support and understanding to work through their feelings and to find ways to meet their sexual needs.