Numerous studies show that sexual health problems are common among older adults and that people are reluctant to talk about sex with their doctors and romantic partners. A healthy sex life remains important in the later half of life, but sexual functioning and the need for information may change, says Susan Wysocki, a nurse practitioner and medical adviser for the American Sexual Health Association. Seniors are interested in sex, according to one of the most thorough examinations of the issue, published in in the New England Journal of Medicine. The eye-opening study of more than 3, men and women ages 57 to 86, found almost three-quarters of people ages 57 to 64 were sexually active while more than half of people 65 to 74 were sexually active. Among people ages 75 to 85, more than one-quarter were sexually active.
Defining Moments: Sexuality and Care of Older Adults – Aging Life Care Association™
Men and women want, and need, to experience a physical expression of intimacy, closeness and love no matter what their age. A need for intimacy is core to what makes us human, it's literally hardwired into our DNA. But while the desire for some form of physical connection is there, older couples have to accept and adjust to the reality that their bodies have changed with age. And, it assumes that somehow all seniors, senior bodies, and senior attitudes are the same.
Sex educator Pelle Ullholm from long-running Swedish sexual and reproductive health organisation, RFSU, shares 5 tips on how to target the adult audience. The long history of sexuality education and organisations working on the issue is truly an advantage. Swedish RFSU does not need to try reach the media to attract attention to their message. Instead, it is easy for the media to pick up the campaigns that RFSU launches. In the s and 90s, RFSU concentrated on HIV prevention, but today the topic of sex education is broader and more positive about sex.
What does it mean to be sexually well or sexually healthy in later life? This question has not gotten much attention until recently, given the prevalence of stigmatic beliefs about aging sexuality and lack of understanding about aging sexuality. The reality is people express themselves sexually across the lifespan, and even though sexual scripts may change over time, sexual expression continues and it remains important in relationships and for overall well-being. More articles in this series By Peggy Brick.