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Carenotes

Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 03/26/13

 

I regularly run caregiver support groups, give talks to caregivers, and see them privately. I have had several questions from wives, who think they are selfish for still wanting a satisfying sex life, even in the midst of heavy caregiving duties. Some of them are in their 40s and their husbands can no longer use their hands for physical intimacy.  I am talking about spouses with intact cognitive abilities, but poor or no ability to use their arms or legs (ALS, Huntington’s, MS, post stroke).

This is also for those in a younger age group, but every age needs touch. I would think some strategies for a caregiver to consider: playful sex talk with a partner, self-pleasuring, watching sexy movies, reminiscing about younger days (and nights!) together, all the way to allowing for extramarital sex (which could be very charged with emotion and could harm a relationship already suffering with losses). Perhaps it involves grieving the loss of a sex life and trying to look at the bigger picture. Easier said than done, I suspect.  
 
Not sure what to advise the wives. Can anyone offer some suggestions or advice?
 
Theresa

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