Dementia: The Capacity for Love

Related imageI feel better now I have raised my concerns about the way an assessment of Maureen’s capacity to consent to sex was being handled.  It felt uncomfortable that I could be accused of rape if the interviewer established that she didn’t understand the implications of ‘having sex’.    My concern was with both the language being used and the intrusion into our married life.  Just to clear up any misunderstanding here, in my opinion,  married couples don’t need to have sex – they make love. Thankfully, those concerned have belatedly accepted that we are in a loving relationship and feel no need to progress such investigations.

There is no doubt that Maureen lacks the capacity to remember that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  My solution to avoid any embarrassment is quite simple: to continue with what we have done for years – recycle old cards.  All I have to do is find the cards we have sent to each other in previous years and both select the one that we want to reuse tomorrow.

It’s my 71st birthday on the 23rd of this month so recycling of cards will be repeated once again.   There will be no sweat over presents, as I will repeat to Maureen what I have said for years: ‘her presence is my present’.   To those who have responsibilities under the Mental Capacity Act, I can assure you we will not be having sex tomorrow or on my birthday!

 

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About Remember Me

I am a retired adult educator. My wife had a stroke in February 2014 and now has mixed dementia. Her recovery from stroke has been exceptional apart from 50% loss of peripheral vision and vascular damage. 'Dharma For Dementia' is my approach to being Maureem's Care Partner: it aims to end the suffering of 'Prescribed Disengagement' (Swaffer) .
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4 Responses to Dementia: The Capacity for Love

  1. kiwinana says:

    Very interesting post, thanks for posting, I can understand how you would feel about the intrusion in your marriage, it is something between a loving couple, and really is nothing to do with other people, it could be a difficult situation if your wife refuses you. I would feel the same as you, my husband and I have been married 57 years.
    Have a nice valentine day.

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  2. Remember Me says:

    I’m sure the Mental Capcity Act is very challenging for professional staff to implement. However, I think on this occasion the approach was hardly person-centred.

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  3. Good morning Paul. I wanted to share with you a memory. When I first started nursing we were shown a video of a couple living in a nursing home. The nurse came into the room without knocking when the door was closed. The couple were kissing and cuddling. It made a huge impact on the way I nursed. It doesn’t matter how old or unwell we are as human beings we need touch, love and connection. We also need to be respected and show respect to all. Then following my accident I was again reminded how important touch is and how when you are sick or old or alone you can miss out on this very important need. I hope you and Maureen are able to continue to share love privately and I hope you are both respected for your needs. Happy Valentines Day to you both. 💗

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    • Remember Me says:

      Many thanks Jen, as you know I’m a keen follower of your Blog and I hope anyone who reads this comment pops over to have a look and sees the importance of showing GRATITUDE. Happy Valentines Day to you too.

      Liked by 1 person

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