What to do in cases of suspected abuse
Here's our advice on what to do in cases of suspected abuse, particularly if someone living with dementia is involved.
- Sex, intimacy and dementia
- Sex and intimacy - adapting to changes in the person with dementia
- Sex and intimacy - adapting to changes in partners
- Ways of coping with frustration
- Practicalities of sex in care homes
- Consenting to sexual relations
- You are here: What to do in cases of suspected abuse
- Forming new relationships
- Maintaining a healthy relationship
- Sexual health and dementia
- Sex, intimacy and dementia - other resources
Sex, intimacy and dementia
If you are concerned that you, your partner, or someone you know is at risk of any form of abuse, whether emotional or physical, it is important to share these concerns.
Sexual abuse is a criminal offence, and in cases of abuse the local authority or police may need to intervene.
While some cases of sexual abuse can involve a degree of violence or force, it can also take the form of making a person watch or participate in activities, such as watching pornography.
Talk to a professional such as your GP or a community nurse if you are concerned. Initially, you may find it helpful to talk in confidence to Alzheimer's Society's National Dementia Helpline or Action on Elder Abuse.
National Dementia Helpline
If you do decide to talk to professionals about information concerning the sex life of someone with dementia or their partner, you must respect the dignity and privacy of both parties. The professionals involved need to consider whether both parties are:
- comfortable in the relationship
- not being exploited or being taken advantage of
- acting in a way that is in keeping with their values
- willing and able to consent to the relationship