Polyamory in the News
. . . by Alan M.

November 14, 2007

Sandra Day O'Connor: "Not Jealous"

Associated Press and elsewhere

The public tends to think polyamorists must be young, hot, and wild. We look around and see a lot of the middle aged and ordinary (at least in the circles I hang with). But there is another, often poignant, locus of it at the far end of life, as those of us with parents in retirement communities and nursing homes sometimes know.

Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, 77, now finds herself as one wing of a sort of a V — with her full approval — involving her Alzheimer's-patient husband:

A new page in O'Connors' love story

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's husband, who suffers from Alzheimer's, has found a new romance, and his happiness is a relief to his wife, an Arizona TV report reveals....

"Mom was thrilled that Dad was relaxed and happy and comfortable living here and wasn't complaining," Scott, 50, told KPNX-Channel 12 in Phoenix in a story that aired Thursday.... Scott compared his father to "a teenager in love" and said, "For Mom to visit when he's happy... visiting with his girlfriend, sitting on the porch swing holding hands," was a relief after a painful period.

...Peter Reed, senior director of programs at the Alzheimer's Association in Chicago, said the frequency of Alzheimer's patients forming new romantic relations is hard to estimate. "But the underlying causes of this are fairly common," he said. Though patients lose their cognitive abilities and experience mood changes, "one of the things that doesn't go away is the need for relationships."

"Justice O'Connor is certainly to be commended for... raising awareness and helping to reduce stigmas," he said.

Read the whole article. Here is a report from the Phoenix TV station where the story originated. Here's the Arizona Republic story.

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Blogger Bitsy said...

Another article about Justice O'Connor's husband: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/weekinreview/18zernike.html

November 18, 2007 9:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I heard your discussion about this with Cunning Minx last night. I thought it was a good discussion. I think you brought up a good point about people looking at them being older in a relationship like this with a sort of "aww that's cute" factor.

Though it's nice to see the situation portrayed in a relatively positive light. Look forward to more of your segment on the podcast.

November 22, 2007 8:53 PM  

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