How To Talk To A Terminally Ill Loved One About Their Sexual Needs

A clinical psychologist explains her strategy for open communication.

According to the hierarchy made famous by psychologist Abraham Maslow, humans' most fundamental needs include air, food, drink, warmth, sleep and sex. That doesn't change during terminal illnesses, but speaking to a dying loved one about their need for physical intimacy has become a cultural taboo. 

That has to change, clinical psychologist Sharon Bober told HuffPost Live during a conversation on Monday about end-of-life sexual health.

"When people are living with life-limiting and life-threatening illness, one of the many things on their mind often is how to stay in connection with their loved ones, including with their partners," Bober said. "And I think for many partners and patients, it can become a sense of an elephant in the room because things have obviously changed, but often partners aren't sure how to bring up the topic."

Bober said communication is key to discerning one another's needs and desires and addressing them, and she explains her strategy for doing so in the video above.

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