Despite what a lot of people might think, the need for intimacy doesn’t decrease as you get older. And that includes physical intimacy, as well as emotional and social intimacy. This is known as Geriatric Intimacy.
Intimacy is a feeling of closeness between two individuals who have gotten to know each other, and geriatric intimacy is similar to intimacy that would occur at any other age. But there are still things that you should consider regarding sex, intimacy, and aging, so we’ve compiled some helpful information below.
Factors That Might Affect Intimacy
Physical intimacy in your senior years could be affected by a few different factors that include disorders and normal changes that occur with age.
For example, diabetes and vascular disorders may lead to erectile dysfunction, and that could get in the way of physical intimacy. Arthritis, too, could get in the way by limiting movements and causing pain.
But in addition to the disorders themselves causing problems with intimacy, prescription medications might also lead to side effects, such as reduced libido, that could limit a couple’s ability to be intimate.
Physical changes, such as vaginal dryness and a decrease in sex hormones, are a normal part of aging, yet they could also inhibit intimacy.
The Benefits of Intimacy as You Age
Many elderly couples are able to maintain their sexual relationship, and that’s a great thing because physical intimacy helps to boost self-esteem, and it might even help to keep depression at bay.
Seniors who choose to start dating again after the death of a spouse or after a divorce are able to derive the benefits of companionship. And those who establish new relationships can enjoy the health benefits that come with being sexually active, especially if they are practicing safe sex.
The Link Between Intimacy and Quality of Life
Quality of life can be maintained as you get older by holding onto positive relationships with others, including intimate relationships, as well as by having support from a social group and by maintaining good health.
Like intimacy in your younger years, geriatric intimacy consists of a few different components. In addition to being committed to someone else emotionally, you also share the same values, think about one another, and care about each other. It goes without saying that this alone could be extremely beneficial to seniors. Beyond that, however, physical intimacy, which could range from intercourse to just being close to one another, is also important and shouldn’t be neglected. Just because you are older certainly does not mean that you can’t be romantic or sexual.
There Are Other Forms of Intimacy That Seniors Can Enjoy
Even seniors living in long-term care facilities should be able to express themselves sexually and display intimacy in healthy ways. But even though sexual intercourse is one form of physical intimacy, as you get older, you might find that you prefer other methods of expressing your love for someone else. You might, for example, focus on your emotional connection with the other person, or you might focus on kissing, massages, and gentle touches. As long as the intimacy is consensual and private, it can be a positive thing.
Overall, intimacy is important at all ages, and geriatric intimacy shouldn’t be ignored.