The good news is that seniors are having sex. In the past, it was difficult for many people to think of their parents having sex. Now, people are realizing that grandma and grandpa are “doing it”. And, if they are a single grandma or single grandpa, they just may be having sex with a new partner. So, we need to have that talk about safe sex for boomers and seniors.
With that good news comes the need to discuss the sexual risks that accompany sexual activity with new partners. Many seniors have not been “educated” regarding STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), HIV and AIDS. Seniors who have been married a long time and are newly divorced or widowed may be unaware of the risks and safety measures. It is reported that 20% of the new HIV cases are seniors.
Condoms, the most common form of “Safe Sex” is often thought of as “Birth Control” by seniors. If accidental pregnancy isn’t an issue anymore, why deal with the hassles of condoms? Safe sex programs are aimed towards the younger aged sexually active population, not towards senior adults. We still haven’t seen an article or ad in an AARP publication discussing the dangers of unprotected sexual activity. Yet, the Center for Disease Control does report an increase in Sexually Transmitted Diseases, HIV and AIDS among persons over 65.
Recommendations are similar for Senior Adults as for Young Adults: talk with your partner about safe sex practice; use condoms; get tested. Talk to your new partner about his or her previous safe sex practices and number of sex partners.
If the relationship is growing and monogamous there may be a desire to be tested for HIV and STD’s. Open communications between couples is most important for health as well as happiness. Clarify these issues and then continue achieving closeness and fun times.
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Written by Elaine Rodino, Ph.D
Elaine is CEO of Senior Premier Dating LLC and is a licensed psychologist in private practice. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Pennsylvania Psychological Association and the Los Angeles Society of Clinical Psychologists. Dr. Rodino is a past president of the APA Divisions of Independent Practice, The Society for Media Psychology and Technology, Central Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Los Angeles County Psychological Association (LACPA), the Foundation of LACPA, and recipient of the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Media Psychology Award, and the Distinguished Service Award to LACPA. She has appeared on T.V. and radio and contributes to magazines, newspapers and online health sites on issues regarding Couples, Relationships, Sandwich Generation, Holiday Blues, and other popular topics.