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Aging Matters Course

In: Social Issues

Submitted By sugarrdoll
Words 1504
Pages 7
Topic: Intimacy and older adults; How older people express intimacy.
Scholars believe that sexual intimacy improves the quality of life. Thus, People in their adult life deserve the right to sexual fulfillment; yet, the expression in sexuality and intimacy changes in response to age. Research has shown that there are many barriers to intimacy in elderly population. The barriers are usually created as a result of the myths about sexuality and older adults. Many relate the sexual intimacy barriers of older adults to health and argue that there is a relationship between sexuality and health. However, this paper argues that the physical and pathological changes in elderly should not be associated with the opportunity to enjoy and express sexual intimacy. This paper first briefly reviews the physical and physiological and environmental factors that influence the sexual expression of older adults. The paper then argues that older people can only express intimacy when they accept their feelings, values and attitudes toward sexuality. Finally, educational intervention on attitudes toward sexuality can help older adults express intimacy.
The physical factors that influence the sexual expression of older adults are usually health related. Data suggest that approximately one quarter of elderly adult living in USA live with disability or illness that limits them from healthy sexual life and intimacy (Deacon, 1995). In other words, having poor health status can create barriers for older adults to remain sexually active. While, many chronic conditions in older adults such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and visual and hearing impairment can influence their sexual activity, promoting healthy behaviors can help them overcome the barriers that prevent them from having a healthy sexual life. For example in his article, better sex for the older patients, Walbroehl…...

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