An elderly parent or loved one with a newly active love life can raise concerns with adult children. Some may fear Dad’s new girlfriend is too young or wonder about the strange man who has paired up with Mom who has dementia. When our loved one’s competence has been compromised these concerns can be legitimate and may call for intervention. Otherwise the desire for intimacy or love should be recognized and cautiously validated as they explore a new journey.
For families the dynamic of this subject can be overwhelming, frustrating and scary. There are many ways families can cope with the changes and learn to be a positive encouragement at the same time as learning your loved one’s new found interests and needs. Not one person will react the same towards a loved one wanting to explore a new interest. As families, it’s hard to remember to be sensitive to everyone’s feelings and opinions but we recognize the importance of everyone sharing how they feel in a positive environment.
We can only suggest being sensitive to the senior’s desires as they are willing to communicate them to you. Be a good listener for them, remember that patience is virtue and a loved one may be more comfortable sharing their thoughts with you as you display compassion to the topic. If this is something that a particular family member does not wish to encourage, and clear, positive communications cannot be established, outside intervention may be necessary.