Sexual acts in dementia unit lead to state review

  • Article by: WARREN WOLFE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 8, 2011 - 9:39 PM

Regulators cite Faribault home, raise consent questions over male resident's contact with six women.

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mnmaggiemnDec. 8, 1111:47 PM

Figure it out if it was consentual, if it was, leave it. And the kids that are not cozy with the idea of parents having sexuality, its human nature. Get over it, how do you think you came about?

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ironman6975Dec. 9, 1112:14 AM

Maggie, I guess that you know nobody who has Dementia and or Alzheimer's? If you did you would be thinking the completely opposite direction. Yes these people are old enough for sexual consent, but when they are in these places and in special care, it means that their minds are not there all the time. So yes they could have said yes, but unless you work them or are around them all the time to know the difference, its really hard to say one way or another. If they were of sound mind this probably wouldn't even be an issue at all, but they are not and that is where the problem is at.

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kruzelcDec. 9, 1112:54 AM

Do we screen anyone anymore? This is a no-brainer and the actions executed were the correct choice.

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harambeemomDec. 9, 11 3:04 AM

This article had quite different information about the level of contact than the PP article did. Both did concur that it was on a locked memory care unit. Mild dementia is not housed on a locked unit. When it comes to dementia, many of these people have lost their internal boundries for appropriate behavior. The DOH rep is correct in that every person must be assessed for ability to consent. However for residents on a locked memory care unit are not able to give informed consent any longer - it's the equivalent of saying a 6 year old can give consent. Touching or "cuddling" is one thing, full on sexual intercourse is a whole other case. The other thing to consider is that it isn't always "sons or daughters" that are "squeemish" about a parent's sexuality. It's often a surviving spouse without dementia that objects to these liasons. As a long time married spouse, wouldn't you?

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mnmaggiemnDec. 9, 11 6:11 AM

I understand what you are saying, and yes I do have loved ones in such situations and I grew up around this but as you said, ...unless they know them and are around them all the time...The workers are around them all the time. It is human nature, and as the article stated, it can be discovered if it is consentual. Why make them feel ashamed or not let them live as they want just because you feel as though they cant make up their own minds? If they absolutely cant figure if its consentual or not I understand but if it can be found out, do it. And many children/adult children dont like the thought of their parents participaiting in sexual activity and Im sure they dont like it even more if they arent sure of the circumstances, but again, its reality, its human nature...

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owatonnabillDec. 9, 11 8:33 AM

This is the grayest of gray areas. One thing that makes it so is that acts in question took place in an assisted living facility, where the residents live together with some level of independence, rather than a nursing home, where the level of care and supervision is much higher and a higher degree of resident vulnerability is assumed. Another gray area is that the article does not address the legal status of the person(s) involved. Have they been adjudicated as incompetent to make decisions on their own? If so, then the family member or other person appointed as guardian would have the right to decide if sexual contact with others is allowed. But don't be too quick to assume that "dementia" automatically means "incompetent". The legal process has to be completed first and until it is, the person has the LEGAL (if not always practical) right to decide this on his/her own. Bottom line: the staff at this place are walking a tightrope. Don't be too quick to judge until more facts are known.

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smarterthanuDec. 9, 1110:33 AM

Gross.

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ironman6975Dec. 9, 1111:04 AM

I have no problem with old people having sex and it wouldn't bother me if it were my grandparents for that matter. But when their mind is not there all the time, that is when I have to question it and make sure that they were in the right mind when it happened. But going at it with out making them feel uncomfortable or unashamed is not easy at all, considering that generation was very hush hush on that and it was never talked about outside of the bedroom with their spouse. Yeah its a very touchy subject in so many different ways and hopefully they do it with extreme caution when they talk to the residents who were involved in this to not make them feel bad, if it was or was not consensual. If it was consensual sex I will apologize right now for whatever anyone has taken offense to, but until all of the facts do come out, I am hesitant on saying this was consensual between both parties.

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muaddibDec. 9, 11 9:56 PM

Do you think that in 20 years from now it will matter ?? go about your business and dont worry about what wellstone would do. I will tell you this "The vision of time is broad, but when you pass through it, time becomes a narrow door." A message from Muad'Dib

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mira85Dec. 11, 11 8:50 PM

All residents in an assisted living, nursing home or memory care unit are by law considered vulnerable adults. Sadly, the laws in place for vulnerable adult have little teeth and leave these adults more vulnerable to administrators and staff lack of training and competency and ethical character. What have Ms. French and OHFC really done to improve the level of care in this setting?

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