Ah Valentine’s Day; a date some dread, others celebrate with flowers, chocolate and extravagant dinners and some use for quiet reflection. As we age, our enthusiasm over dates on the calendar may wane along with some of the physical passions of youth but the desire to express and receive love do not.
Remaining sexually active in older age is a subject many people find uncomfortable but sex is not only for the young and seniors, even elderly adults living in retirement communities, are enjoying lovemaking well into their 70s and 80s. People are living longer, often in better health and with the help of drugs like Viagra, are able to overcome many functional problems.
Intimacy between loving partners may certainly change over many years but attitudes towards sex have also evolved and baby boomers reaching retirement age, once part of the sexual revolution generation, aren’t about to be put on a shelf and relegated to golf and bridge in old age.
And please don’t assume that because an older adult is single, they aren’t enjoying sexual pleasure. Perhaps we don’t need to discuss sexuality over Sunday brunch, but don’t write it off as a possibility for seniors over 65. In fact, many nursing homes are exploring innovative ideas to accommodate the desires of their residents in a way that is both respectful and responsible.
If you want a good listen this Valentine’s Day, check out the New York Times Modern Love Podcast: “Yes, We Do. Even at Our Age,” read by actress and comedian Andrea Martin by following this link.
And if you need a good belly laugh, tonight is the perfect evening to binge watch Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Martin Sheen. The addictive comedy takes a unvarnished look at aging and hilariously tackles issues including sex, divorce, work, health and relationships in older age.