Senior Dating Hots Up

If you ever thought that getting older meant an end to passion and lust, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider. An increasing number of retirement homes have been reporting issues in recent years with their residents having far more active sex lives than they had perhaps anticipated. What’s more, many of them are adopting an extremely casual approach to dating and sexual safety.

Following on from research done in 2010 in residential and care homes, the evidence supports what people have been saying for years: that age is no barrier to passion. In addition to noting that online dating by men and women over the age of fifty was becoming increasingly commonplace, the researchers also found frequent sexual activity reported among people in their eighties.

The retirement homes polled expressed the most concern about a sudden increase in promiscuity among the over sixties that is coupled with an alarming rise in risky sexual behaviour including multiple partners and a lack of barrier contraception use leaving them vulnerable to infections.

Health authorities continue to urge training, not just for the staff at facilities on how to sensitively deal with their residents’ requirements, but also for seniors themselves.

The problem seems to be that for many more senior daters and residents, the revolution in safe-sex education has entirely passed them by. The years of warnings about sexually transmitted infections and lessons on safe-sex practices and attitudes that hit hard from the 1980s onward have generally not been absorbed or, in some cases, even noticed by the more senior residents.

As a result, the introduction of Viagra and similar advances in medicine and health-care have combined with this lack of awareness and with assumptions that an inability to get pregnant negates the requirement for condoms.

Infection rates are through the roof, and the staff at homes are also finding themselves poorly prepared to deal with the emotional and physical fallout among their guests. Part of this stems from a still-widespread belief that the elderly should not be participating in sexual activities. This attitude is contributing to the problems experienced by making staff reluctant to get involved or to help accommodate those who need assistance.

Fortunately these attitudes are changing, and adjustments to living conditions, such as the provision of double beds and condoms in residential homes, are becoming more widespread. As with many issues in relationships, at any stage in life, the majority of problems and misunderstandings are solvable through dialogue and listening. So here’s to reinforcing that life and passion and the excitement of dating has no arbitrary expiry date. Thank God for that…