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When you have a dementia diagnosis, how is your physical life/sex drive affected?

By | October 21st, 2020

In the early stages, some people do experience decreased sex drive; similarly, having an intimate, physical relationship (especially close to post-diagnosis) is not someone’s top priority. Conversely, other people cling to the physical element and the power of intimacy as well. There may be an increased drive in sex and intimacy, but you must continue seeing the other person’s POV, and understand about the other person’s involvement as well, which can become more diminished as they struggle with their diagnosis. I think where it becomes hard though is in the middle of the disease, when your (as the caregiver’s) desire and interest and understanding of the relationship is beginning to shift. When you feel that shift when you’re more in a care-support mode than you are in a spousal-mode, it’s important to weigh your emotions and understand if you want more of an emotional intimacy and not a physical intimacy. This conversation and transparency is super critical and fostering a healthy, supportive, and loving relationship. If so, then we have to start creating more space in places and in behaviors to create boundaries. And if we want to live well, we have to recognize differences and make them more visually distinct. This could be moving to another sleeping space, changing a queen-sized bed into two twins, etc. There’s no wrong and right but instead just figuring out how you two will live this life.

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