Autumna advice line case study

Autumna advice line case study

Posted by Debbie Harris

3 Top tips for supporting a parent with sexually inappropriate behaviour in a care setting

The Autumna advice line top tips

These 3 top tips are based on a recent call to the Autumna advice line. The call came from a man who had been asked to remove his father from a care home because he was committing inappropriate sexual acts that were understandably upsetting the residents.

  1.  Make sure you understand what type of care home you are looking for
  2.  Be really honest with the home
  3.  Get help if you need it – these are difficult conversations to have when it’s your dad

The caller to our advice line was almost too embarrassed to talk to us because of his father’s behaviour. He was absolutely distraught and was sure that we would find it impossible to find his Dad alternative accommodation, but we were his last hope.

Luckily for him, we know which care homes to ring and we know the questions to ask. And to help anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation, this blog will provide the three simple steps to help you find a care home for a person, living with dementia, who exhibits challenging behaviour, and more specifically, challenging behaviour of a sexual nature.

So Tip 1. It's really important that you identify the right type of care home.

Sounds simple, but you need to find one that supports your dad’s other residential or nursing needs. By this we mean his medical and personal care needs.  Once you’ve established that, it’s only then that you move on to ensure that the care home can also meet his mental health needs - his challenging behaviour.

To help you with that initial search, the national register of care homes on, with it’s 200 plus search options, is a good place to start.

Now you have a ‘long list’, that’s when you start ringing those care homes.

Tip 2. Whatever you do, be up-front and honest with the care home. It doesn’t matter how embarrassing it is to talk about your dad’s behaviour, it helps no one if you skirt round the issue, or are anything but totally up front about it.

If you do this, and then on the phone you get an immediate sense that the attitude of the care home is negative, then you're probably talking to the wrong care home.

However, if the care home responds by saying, "Okay, tell me a little bit more," then when you start telling them the story, if they start responding with really appropriate understanding questions, and you start to get the feeling that they understand what your problems are, then you're probably onto the right type of care home.

So you put a tick next to them and move them to your ‘short-list’.

But then you must carry on. Ring the next home on the ‘long list.’ Don't just stop at the first care home. Ring as many as you can and give yourself a choice of care homes.

Now, any care home, even if they tell you, "Yes, we can support these needs", will want to assess your dad. They will want to make sure that they can meet his needs. So the next thing to do would be to visit all the care homes on the ‘short list’ – all the care homes that have all said that they can support him, talk a little bit more about your dad, and then when you've found the one that you like the most, or you think your dad would like the most, then ask that care home to come out and assess him.

Tip 3. Get help if you need it. You don’t have to face this situation on your own. Ring our advice line 01892-335-330. We can help you.

So in a nutshell, yes you can find a care home that will support your dad if his dementia means he exhibits inappropriate sexual behaviour. But make sure you do your research. Make sure you get his medical needs sorted, as well as his mental health needs. Take your time and speak to the care homes. See how they respond emotionally to what your problems are. Visit the care homes, and then ask them to assess.

Autumna has over 25,00 care providers listed on its website.

Monday to Sunday, We’re Here to Help...

For further information on care homes, or home care, live-in care or retirement living for that matter, you can give our friendly team a call on 01892 335 330.

The line is open Monday to Sunday (8:30am - 5:30pm Mon-Fri, 10am - 5pm Sat, 10am - 4pm Sun).

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