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Our Sexual Minds Getting Older

Sexuality isn't just what we do and how our bodies do it, sexuality is how we think and how we feel.

Just as our bodies change as we get older, and this can impact our sexuality, so to do our thoughts and feelings change with age. And these changes can also have an impact on our sexuality.

Changes can be a result of age and experience. They also may be a result of medications we take or organic changes, like dementia.

But our sexuality doesn't disappear with these changes. Even if you find yourself less interested in having sex or thinking about sex, it doesn't make you less of a sexual being.

Folks who experience these changes, for example, developing dementia or other significant cognitive changes, usually feel the negative impact in the way other people treat you:

  • If you have moved into a nursing home or any institutional setting, you probably have less privacy, and likely are treated as if you aren't sexual at all.
  • If you're behaviour is erratic people tend to start treating you like a child, and therefore as if you have no sexuality at all.
  • Because many of us spend years in relationships without talking, when a major change happens to one person in a couple, often the other withdraws sexually.

There can also be huge sexual impacts for partners of people who experience dramatic changes in their thoughts and feelings. Partners may be unsure of how to interact with a spouse who suddently seems like a stranger. Often times partners worry about the ethics of having sex with their spouse if sometimes they seem "out of it".

There are no easy answers here. In many cases if you are receiving social support from an agency, they may be able to point you to someone you can talk to about sexual concerns. When in doubt, feel free to contact us and we can try to refer you to a service that is local to your area.

 

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