Lately, the topic of intimacy in senior years has become increasingly approached in the public domain. The reason could stem from a number of things, such as the fact that people are living longer in general, or that baby-boomers in particular are living more active and healthier lifestyles than their predecessors. While some of us may not particularly enjoy the specific thought, our parents may require intimate companionship. Embracing this could even lead to longer, more fulfilling years.
Corporations have taken note of this, and begun providing more opportunities for the over-55 population, ranging from prescription drugs to online dating sites catering specifically to seniors. As well, senior meetup groups are thriving like never before. People are searching for… people.
Intimacy is defined as a close feeling shared between two people, based on knowledge of and familiarity with the other person. It includes emotional, social, and physical aspects. And whereas most people believe that the elderly do not engage in such activity, Psychology Today reports that over 80% of married men and women between the ages of 60-64 still engage in physical intimacy. The numbers dramatically decrease to 25-29% for those in their 80’s.
Everybody wants love in their lives. But even with the aforementioned opportunities, there are many factors that can make it generally more difficult for seniors to achieve this goal than others. For one, women tend to live an average of 8 years longer than men. Moreover, older men sometimes tend to date women who are younger, leaving senior women with fewer prospects for love. The loss of a partner can also affect one’s drive, as can certain prescription drugs. And another intimacy barrier in older age is simply, lack of privacy. When living with their adult children, who often have children of their own, it can prove nearly impossible to grab “we-time” with a significant other. Assisted living facilities can sometimes, depending on actual living arrangements, prove to be not much more convenient.
There are two things for certain, though: people thrive off of intimacy, and as we live longer and healthier lives, we will be seeking it more often. Perhaps a conversation about the role of intimacy with your elderly loved one is on-deck? It may not be the most comfortable subject matter for you to discuss with them, but if you do, you could end up finding out more than you’d ever thought you knew about your mom or dad – and begin to help them live more graceful lives than they had ever dreamed possible.
There is so much to think about when entering the later stages of life. If you are considering elder care options, we at 805Aging can help. Our professional staff specializes in assisting you to choose the right kind of care for your loved one.
We conduct regular check-ins when you are unable to do so. 805Aging also provides oversight and detailed feedback to the family to keep your loved one safe and well-cared for day or night, weekday or weekend, holiday and every day.
We have the resources. We can hold your hand. We can guide you. Your peace of mind is our main goal, and is well assured. To find out more, call us at 805-750-4755 or visit our website and sign up for our monthly newsletter: www.805Aging.com.
There is no manual on how to take care of your parents as they age. They had a baby book when you were young. You have us. -Amy