The Gerontologist, Vol 31, Issue 2 224-237, Copyright © 1991 by The Gerontological Society of America
The impact of Alzheimer's disease on the marital relationship
Medical College of Georgia, School of Nursing, Augusta 39012.
Caregiver-Alzheimer's afflicted spouse dyads were compared with healthy
married couples. The former dyads were incongruent in their perception of
tension and agreement over sexual issues, and caregivers differed
significantly from well-group spouses on companionship and total marital
quality. Only 27% of the Alzheimer's couples versus 82% of the well couples
were still sexually active. High sexual activity occurred in 14% (n = 4) of
male afflicted spouses (50% of sexually active couples), and of these, two
were age less than or equal to 60. High sexual activity was problematic to
three-fourths of the female caregiver spouses. Caregivers evidenced
adaptation and control; afflicted spouses tended to deny problems and had
distorted perceptions of interactions with their caregiver spouses.