5. Ways of coping with frustration
In any relationship, problems can arise when one person expresses more interest in having sex than the other. This is a situation experienced by most people in long-term relationships - even when dementia is not involved. If this does happen, try to remember that it is normal, and look for realistic, practical solutions. Finding someone to talk to may also be helpful.
Single people also have sexual needs and may become frustrated when these are not met. This is perfectly normal and a person should not be judged for having such feelings. If you are arranging the personal or household care for someone who is living alone, you may want to talk regularly with the care worker to see if there is anything that they are finding difficult. For a variety of reasons the care worker may find inappropriate behaviour difficult to mention, but it is important to know about their experiences.
There are a number of ways to relieve pent-up sexual tension - for example, taking exercise and other energetic activities can help reduce the physical tension, as can masturbation. Sometimes, sexual desire can be confused with a need for closeness, touch, belonging, security, acceptance and warmth, or the need to feel special to another person. Some people find that if these other needs are met, their desire for sex is reduced. For example, close platonic friendships can help to meet some of the need for emotional intimacy, and therapies, such as massage and reflexology, involve physical contact and can be very relaxing.