Medicine has excelled to the level that most people live longer today. They lead healthier and more active lives. This is a positive trend, and it comes as good news for all the elderly. But it also raises different health concerns. One of the health concerns that older adults will face has something to do with their sexual health. Because of that, we are going to talk about sexual trends in senior communities. One of the subjects is going to be the importance of sexual education and its importance not only for older adults but for their health care providers, families, close friends and public health professionals. It is critical to have knowledge about this issue for both the elderly and the people who surround them.
During the 2013 meeting of the American Sexual Health Association it was concluded that the following matters are essential for aging adults regarding their sexual health:
- Despite the older age, social and sexual relationships remain equally important, especially today, as both longevity and quality of life have improved.
- Individuals who have a partner, regardless of age, tend to be happier and more satisfied with their lives. But there are many older adults who avoid relationships due to the difficulties that come with them. Their main worry is regarding sexual function and performance.
Some of these issues almost wholly disappeared thanks to the improvement of general health and the use of highly popular medications such as Viagra. Thanks to this, many elderly adults are now able to enjoy a quality sexual life regardless of their age. With old age, all of us are without a doubt going through various physical and emotional changes. Because of this, we are going to experience changes in our sexual desire and performance. Luckily, all of this can be handled with the proper support.
Being able to have a quality sexual life during the golden years is excellent for all seniors, but it also comes with a downside. Due to increased sexual activity, many older adults are exposed to STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). In recent times, the number of affected seniors is getting larger. According to AARP’s study that was published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections in 2008, the number of seniors with STDs increased by 50% in less than ten years. This is a reason for concern, as many sexually transmitted diseases are now more resistant to currently available antibiotics. Because of this, the issue of sexual health among seniors is more important than ever.
The Importance of Education
As a consequence of high sexual activity, seniors are at high risk of having an STD. But with things like that, this matter is not addressed as much as it should be. In most cases, due to shame, the elderly don’t talk about it directly. Of course, the issue is a lack of education, because the social stigma surrounding sexual activities in the elderly is still strong. The risk grows exponentially as more people are reluctant to talk about this subject.
Most seniors in their youth were more concerned with getting pregnant than with catching an STD. Because of that, they don’t know enough on the subject in their older days. That is why health care providers need to put effort into educating seniors about sexual activities and STDs and also performing testing and, if needed, getting them treatments. Some of the focal points in talking with the elderly should be:
- Knowing the sexual history of their partner before having intercourse
- Practicing monogamy or at least a limited number of partners
- Getting STD tests—this goes equally for both partners
- Using a condom and lubricant
- Not having sex under the influence of alcohol and similar substances
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