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?