We wanted to know more about opportunities for and barriers to sexual expression in this emerging environment. As for making love, it just gets better with age, according to Cornelia Spindel, 75, who married her husband Gerald when she was While the frequency or ability to perform sexually will generally decline modestly as seniors experience the normal physiological changes that accompany aging, reports show that the majority of men and women between the ages of 50 and 80 are still enthusiastic about sex and intimacy. Sexuality at Midlife and Beyond: For men, "biology or hydraulics" is the biggest impediment to sex later in life, says Dr. Policies and training should address and accommodate the diversity of sexual needs and desires or older adults. The two gradually became close friends, and after his wife's death, became intimate. When Gerald proposed, she accepted with pleasure. He says it's so nice to wake up next to me.
It includes people 65 and beyond. It's a matter of survival," says Dr. We wanted to know more about opportunities for and barriers to sexual expression in this emerging environment. These commonly used terms speak volumes about how society views older people who are interested in sex. That's too bad, experts say, because even serious medical conditions need not prevent elders from having a satisfying sex life. And although not everyone wants or needs an active sex life, many people continue to be sexual all their lives. Illnesses, disabilities, and surgeries can also affect sexuality, but in general, even disease need not interfere with sexual expression. Some experts, in fact, worry that these drugs may cause an upsurge in AIDS in people over 50, because they are not likely to take precautions; they urge older people who are dating to practice safe sex. For men, "biology or hydraulics" is the biggest impediment to sex later in life, says Dr. The topic may well lose some of its taboo status, however, as the baby boom generation enters its later years. But in reality, sexuality in later life is much more complicated than stereotypes. Despite these hopeful prognoses, studies show that only a fraction of the seniors who could be treated for sexual problems actually seek medical help. At least one nursing home has been successful at creating and implementing a policy that supports sexual freedom, which could serve as a model for assisted living and other long-term care settings. Need for long-term care services increases with age, and recent estimates suggest that the majority of older Americans will utilize long-term care services at some point in their lives. Experts say these changes are not usually a barrier to enjoying a healthy sex life, but couples may have to take more time for arousal. In the NCOA study, older men are more likely than older women to be married and have sex partners. Men may suffer from impotence or have more difficulty achieving and sustaining erections as their blood circulation slows and testosterone levels decrease. The partner gap The physical changes that occur with age can give older people a chance to revitalize their lovemaking by focusing more on intimacy and closeness instead of sex alone. Adults of all ages have the capacity for and interest in romance, intimacy and sexuality. As the baby boomer generation — a generation that came of age during the sexual revolution — ages and more older adults utilize assisted living, it will be important to create specific policies and training regarding sexuality. By the year , it is estimated that one in every five Americans will be 65 or over. Additionally, as the number of older adults with dementia in assisted living increases, staff and administrators will need to prepare for the ethical dilemmas regarding sex and dementia. And while some seniors may be forced to give up strenuous sports, sex is a physical pleasure many older people readily enjoy. While more research is needed, we believe that all adults, regardless of age or living arrangements, should be able pursue love and intimacy. They met when Gerry Spindel took his wife, who was dying of Alzheimer's, to a kosher nutrition program where Cornelia, a widow, worked as a volunteer.
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