10.18.2021 0

The desire for intimacy has no age limit. Unfortunately, there are myths and misconceptions about aging and sexuality that undermine older people's ability to talk openly with family, friends, and health care providers about these issues. All of this limits their access to sexuality education, health care, and sexual rights. Sexual activity throughout life is a strong indicator of healthy aging and vitality.

There are many scientific studies on sexual health that help to improve and maintain intimate life and how it affects the relationship of partners.

A study conducted in Sweden indicates an increase in sexual activity among older people compared to previous generations. The quantity and quality of sexual experience among 70-year-olds in Sweden has increased over the past 30 years. Older men and women report greater satisfaction with their sexual lives, fewer sexual disorders and more positive attitudes toward sexuality than younger people. Among married men, the increase in sexual activity ranged from 52% to 68%, among married women from 38% to 56%, among unmarried men from 30% to 54%, and among unmarried women from 0.8% to 12%.

Studies that have examined the sexual behavior and attitudes of older adults toward their own sexuality have reported that most are in partnerships or other intimate relationships and view sexuality as an important part of life.

The European Ageing Study notes that about half of men over the age of 70 reported having sexual intercourse at least once a week. About 49% reported at least one sexual encounter per week (20% more than before), and more than 75% had thought about sex in the previous four weeks.

According to a 2008 study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, many couples have improved their relationships after their children left the family nest and they were left alone. This also applies to the improvement of sexual life.

However, research consistently finds that older adults are often aware of stereotypes and myths about sex/sexuality in late life and often hesitate to express their sexuality.

A particularly important sign of ageism is the reluctance of older people to discuss sexual problems with their primary care physician because of the fear that sex in old age does not meet social expectations and that health care providers may disapprove (Gott and Hinchliff 2003) of their behavior.

In a telephone survey of 1,500 respondents in the UK, middle-aged and elderly people reported some sexual health problems, but only 26% men and 17% women discussed it with a doctor. It has been proven that older people do not disclose problems in their intimate lives due to ageism, stereotypical attitudes towards their age, loneliness, embarrassment, or fear of being misunderstood or laughed at.

The CPC has prepared tips on how to maintain sexual health throughout life.

Sexual activity in old age is closely related to physical health, illness, and decreased functional capacity.

Today, there is a need in society to improve the access of older people to sexual health issues. Medical personnel need sufficient training so that they do not scare away older patients, but become receptive to their sexual problems, which often manifest themselves in rather difficult situations of chronic and somatic diseases.

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is an important component of human existence. SRH significantly affects the quality of life, psychological and physical health. It should be remembered that regular sex slows down aging and prolongs active life. Sexual intercourse causes an explosion of hormones, which significantly improves mood and vitality. The main balance of care falls on the younger generation, while the elderly are left to deal with their problems alone.

Simple tips on how to maintain sexual health:

quit smoking;
Exercise regularly;
Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight;
limit or avoid alcohol consumption;
avoid stress and think positively;
Do not self-medicate;
Visit your primary care physician regularly to monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.