According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), sexual health is “a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social wellbeing in relation to sexuality… not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity”.
Age & Physical Intimacy
With advancing age, as the body slows down, various physical functions get slow. The energy level drops, speed reduces, reflexes compromise, hormonal changes, etc. However, it has been noticed that advancing age does not impact sexual drive/desire. If an individual has a positive attitude or response towards emotional relationships and possesses good physical and mental health, there should be no decline in normal sexual functioning. But still many factors can affect the sexual drive in a person, such as hormonal issues, illness, loss of a life partner, related sorrow and depression, monotony of the emotional relationship, dislike for the partner, and finding the partner unattractive, etc.
Society & Hesitation
In our society, social norms also prevent an individual from having regular sexual expression. Talking about their problems or approaching a doctor for our private problems seem taboo to many in our society. Very few individuals brace up to confide in their doctor regarding this issue and mention their difficulties and barriers. To discuss it and find a reasonable solution is essential.
Losing a life partner or compatibility issues with the partner is a big blow to a healthy sexual drive. If someone suddenly loses a life partner, it is emotionally impossible to forge a new alliance so soon and give preference to their sexual desire. At this stage, sexual distress might set in. In such a situation, a strategy should be adopted which helps clear these obstacles and let the person lead a normal healthy life. The doctors involved have a responsible role to play, and they should respond favourably and reassuringly to such senior citizens and help them settle the issue without any qualms.
Common Causes of Sexual Problems in Seniors
- Consumption of alcohol
- Heart disease
- Other medical conditions
Ageing & Men’s Sexual Health
Testosterone is the male hormone that plays an important role in a man’s sexual performance. As compared to younger men, older men have lower testosterone levels. Testosterone levels slowly decrease during adulthood (about 1 per cent each year). With age, erectile dysfunction becomes common, and other discomforting issues also arise. Medications are available to help deal with such problems.
Ageing & Women’s Sexual Health
As women proceed towards menopause, estrogen (female hormone) levels decrease. This may result in dryness, slower arousal, and stress. Some women feel relieved and happy as they no longer have to worry about pregnancies. On the other hand, some suffer thoughts of appearing less desirable physically.
Assumptions Regarding Physical Needs of Elderly
It is a social assumption that elderly seniors do not feel stirrings of sexual desire. But, the social norms prevent them from making it explicit. As per society, regular sexual expression is not a problem if you have a partner, but in cases where the partner is absent, it is not proper to have such thoughts or desires, especially in senior citizens. It is very important that such barriers are addressed, and the difficulties faced by the elderly on this issue be resolved. We should not turn a blind eye to this need of the elderly or leave them in denial due to hesitation.
This article aims to draw attention to this genuine problem faced by the elderly. To spread awareness and realisation that the issue of sexual health of seniors needs to be addressed effectively.
What are health and fitness?
Some stimulated activity is needed to achieve fitness. Active movements stimulate the body’s systems and help keep an individual energised and fit. Good health can be achieved by embracing a lifestyle supporting physical and mental fitness.
What are the 10 unhealthy habits?
Below mentioned are some unhealthy habits:
- Not drinking enough water
- Eating late at night
- Not getting enough exercise
- Skimping on sleep
- Eating too much sodium
- Eating more junk or oily foods
- Alcohol consumption
- Chewing tobacco
- Not maintaining physical hygiene
What is emotional health?
Emotional health describes how we feel and think usually. It is about our ability to cope with the ups and downs of life, how we manage emotions, and understand those of others.
What are the 10 healthy habits?
Healthy habits that seniors must adopt are given below:
- Eat healthy food
- Focus on prevention of adopting bad habits
- Stay informed on medication management
- Get enough sleep
- Drink enough water
- Screen for vision changes
- Stay physically active
- Follow a schedule
What is moral health?
An individual’s sense of right and wrong and adhering to it in their behaviour is known as moral health. Therefore, mental health awareness is crucial.