A truly incredible story about sex and dementia -- read this article by Pam Belluck in Tuesday’s Times:
“Henry Rayhons, 78, has been charged with third-degree felony sexual abuse, accused of having sex with his wife in a nursing home on May 23, 2014, eight days after staff members there told him they believed she was mentally unable to agree to sex.
It is rare, possibly unprecedented, for such circumstances to prompt criminal charges. Mr. Rayhons, a nine-term Republican state legislator, decided not to seek another term after his arrest.
There is no allegation that Mrs. Rayhons resisted or showed signs of abuse. And it is widely agreed that the Rayhonses had a loving, affectionate relationship, having married in 2007 after each had been widowed. They met while singing in a church choir.”
“Sex is one of the most ambiguous areas in the scientific understanding of Alzheimer’s. While there are established methods of measuring memory, reasoning and the ability to dress, bathe and balance checkbooks, no widely used method exists for assessing the ability to consent to intimate relations.”
Read the article here.
It’s not only te combination of sex and Alzheimers that makes people uncomfortable, it’s the sheer thought that elderly may still be interested in sex, yes may even have sex.
It’s something we don’t want to know about.
The decision to prosecute Herny Rayhons must sprout up from this taboo: pleasures of the flesh and the elderly.
The elderly should patiently and saintly wait for their death. There we have some emancipation to do.
And for those who prefer to be ignorant: sometimes there is no daylight between absurdity and justice.