How to protect seniors -- older parents, relatives and loved ones -- who live alone. Tips on what to do in case of an emergency. Safety ideas.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Seniors, Sex and Staying Safe

Based on the article “Seniors Having Sex” on

Edited (with Introduction) by Dr. Don Rose


Yes, it is true -- seniors have sex too. Not surprising, since older Americans today are living longer and keeping in better shape than ever before. Not to mention the availability of better and safer, um, “tools of the trade.” Like Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, and vitamin supplements that can at times achieve the same goal: improvement in sexual function. However, there is a potential danger for seniors: lack of knowledge, especially if they have been “out of the game” or “off the bike” for a while. This article discusses these issues. –D.R.



No, the title does not refer to seniors in high school, nor seniors in college. This is about, yes, sex for grandma and grandpa. Most people don’t want to think about their parents making whoopie, let alone gramps and grannie, but the fact is older folks are having more sex than ever before -- since there are more of them, and more of them are staying healthy into their later years.

Senior sex: courting danger?

While most people associate sexual risk with youth, sex for seniors can be more dangerous than sex among younger age groups. Many seniors haven’t been exposed to sex education, including STDs, HIV and AIDS -- issues that have impacted so many younger Americans. The young are used to dealing with these matters, whereas some seniors may be in the dark about sexual dilemmas of the day – especially those newly single, coming off a divorce or death of a spouse after years of marriage. Reports have stated that 20% of new HIV cases are seniors -- a surprisingly high figure, one which suggests a lack of knowledge.

One problem is that some seniors just think of condoms as a device to prevent pregnancy. Since most male seniors aren’t worried about impregnating female seniors, they may feel condoms are unnecessary. They may not care or even know about other things condoms can protect them from. Another problem: seniors often find talking about sex to be rude or improper, even if they are sexually active. It is a topic that many feel belongs behind closed doors.


If we want to keep grandma and grandpa alive and kicking for a long time, they need to be exposed to updated sexual information. Sex in the golden years is happening whether we want to believe it or not. They have Viagra and other drugs that can help out. Their doctors need to talk to them about sexual diseases and protection.

Maybe we’ve reached an ironic time in history where kids need to sit their parents down to have a sex talk. A little weird, perhaps, but it can save a life.


This article and the content it is based on are covered by a Creative Commons License. Please go to the Creative Commons License site for more information on the CC license that applies to this work.

Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on computers, the Internet, AI, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

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