Intimacy between seniors is a topic that warrants discussion but is rarely addressed. Adult children do not initiate questions, and older parents find it equally difficult to bring up the subject. Nevertheless, a healthy sex life for adults aged 50 and over brings greater life satisfaction.
Physical closeness is a necessity for people no matter what age they happen to be. People in their 70s and 80s may not experience sex as they did in their 20s and 30s, but intimacy can be shared by senior couples for as long as they desire.
What are health obstacles to an active sex life?
Seniors may have an illness, lose a partner or feel embarrassed by either an aging body or lack of performance. Rather than allow a temporary setback to take over, seniors are encouraged to seek professional help. Support can lead to restarting or improving an older individual’s sex life.
Sexual function may be affected by the many factors that impact health. Sex drive, for instance, may be dampened by high blood pressure, hormonal problems, depression, anxiety or illnesses that affect the cardiovascular system. Medications, too, can inhibit sexual responses.
Professional medical advice can be a pathway to relieving these health conditions and jumpstart a better sex life. A doctor may devise strategies to combat physical ailments. Furthermore, a physician can adjust medications or dosages to achieve fewer sexual side effects.
Older adults who have had a heart attack or who have heart disease may be reluctant to engage in sexual activity. These seniors are fearful that sex will trigger another heart attack. The medical fact is that death rates during sex are extremely low.
Seniors with heart disease may resume sex once their condition is under control and their doctor says it is safe to do so. Improving fitness through cardiovascular rehabilitation is recommended. Plus, seniors who are able to sustain physical activity without a flareup of symptoms are fit enough to have sex.
What are benefits of sex for older people?
The emotional and physical benefits of an active sex life for older people are enormous. Sex offers a powerful way to intimately connect with a partner. For aging people, personal relationships have greater significance, replacing commitments, like small children and a career, from their younger years.
Older people express their closeness and strengthen relationships with their significant other through sex. Married couples who are sexually active consistently report greater marital satisfaction. Even sexual touching, such as kissing, hugging and cuddling, provide benefits equal to sexual intercourse.
As a natural result of sex, the brain releases endorphins. Seniors consequently experience significant emotional well-being. Research shows that couples who have sex two to three times per week are 33 percent happier in comparison to older couples who do not engage in sex for a year.
A bedtime romp can also promote improved sleep, which is especially important to seniors with insomnia. The hormone oxytocin is released during sex, while cortisol (a stress hormone) is decreased. As a result, partners experience decreased levels of stress, fear and anxiety.
Additional hormones released during sexual activity (at three times per week) are responsible for partners looking 10 years younger. On the flip side, a youthful appearance may be attributed to sexually active seniors paying more attention to their physical fitness, looks and diet.
How do seniors talk about sex?
Some older people may find it challenging to raise the topic of sex. However, the more sex is discussed, the easier it becomes. It is worth nothing that just talking about sex can help an elderly individual actually feel sexier.
Playful interactions, humor and gentle teasing help seniors lighten their moods and set the stage for open and honest discussions about creative ideas and passions. Seniors enjoy sex more when they candidly express their needs, desires and concerns with their partner.
Seniors have plenty of time to explore sex in their later years. Connecting intimately may start with a shared experience, such as a candlelight dinner. Holding hands and frequent physical contact can spur comfort. Additionally, relaxation techniques, like massages or baths, foster confidence.
How do seniors overcome age-related hurdles?
Energy levels may wane during certain times of day in aging individuals. Such obstacles may be overcome with creative strategies. Instead of waiting until late evening, seniors may wish to engage in sexual activity in the morning, when energy levels are renewed.
Older people who feel stressed, depressed or anxious may feel less emotionally connected with their partner. Psychological changes may also lead to a decreased interest in sex. Discussing concerns with a partner, friend or counselor helps to reassure the senior.
Wrinkles, gray hair and cellulite are a natural part of aging but may lead to seniors feeling less attractive to their partner. Worries about performing in bed can stall an older person’s sex drive. However, simply engaging in sex despite hesitations can help lend a boost to seniors’ sex lives.
Seniors who increase their general physical activity levels see their sex drive normalize and their sense of well-being improve. A professional caregiver from Assisting Hands Home Care, a local elder care provider, can help seniors reach exercise goals while ensuring their safety.
For instance, our caregivers accompany senior care recipients on walks to promote balance and confidence. Walks around the block or at the local park are common. We’ll also drive an elderly loved one to therapy sessions when treatment for anxiety, stress or depression is necessary.
A senior who is worried about heart health should seek the advice of a medical professional prior to engaging in sexual activity. Assisting Hands Home Care professionals will transport your loved one to doctor’s appointments. We also assist with grooming and dressing so they are ready for a medical visit.
As a reputable home care service provider, Assisting Hands Home Care offers comprehensive non-medical care to the elder population. We are dedicated to serving aging people in the communities of North and Central Palm Beach County, Florida. Call us for a customized care plan for your loved one.