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The media has often sensationalized the sex lives of older people. It has almost demonized older women for wanting a fulfilling and happy sex life. To date, there’s still this misconception that once you get to a certain age, it’s time to bid sex farewell. This is wrong and this agenda should be left behind.
Many seniors in their golden age still want to have a happy and fulfilled sex life. How can this be dealt with? How can they be able to achieve this? Dr. Annette Ciurea, senior physician at the university clinic for Acute Geriatrics at the Stadtspital Waid in Zurich says “ everyone has their approach to sexuality, including physicians. We ask our patients about all kinds of health problems, but we know very little about their sex lives”
Sexuality can be influenced by biological, physical, environmental, political ethical, legal, cultural, religious, historical and spiritual factors. It is a vital component for optimal aging but has been not been paid adequate attention to thus far. Studies have shown that sexual activities have decreased with age as the desire for intimacy remains. This isn’t exclusive to sexual acts, but all about the need for tenderness and touch.
Many barriers hinder sexual activities and intimacy in seniors. They include body changes, menopause, chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia, etc. Drugs for some of these illnesses can also have negative efforts on libido.
Seniors living in the comfort of their homes are free to express their sexuality whenever and however they can, but the same cannot be said about those living elderly care institutions. Are residents allowed to have relationships with each other? Are rooms made available for intimate moments? These are questions that need to be answered when trying to tackle issues concerning sexuality in seniors.
There are many ways one can be intimate and express their sexuality, even as a senior. Some may choose not to engage in sexual activities, and it is normal. Regardless of how you choose to be intimate and express your sexuality, there are certain things you must have at the back of your mind.