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Gerontology: Sexuality Chapter 7. The majority of elders lead active lives. –Benefit of more education and better health care practices As one ages, it.

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Presentation on theme: "Gerontology: Sexuality Chapter 7. The majority of elders lead active lives. –Benefit of more education and better health care practices As one ages, it."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gerontology: Sexuality Chapter 7

2 The majority of elders lead active lives. –Benefit of more education and better health care practices As one ages, it is important to know what to expect and what can be done in order to prolong health and become a successful ager.

3 Wellness Perspectives An individual’s balance between occupational, intellectual, spiritual, social, physical, and emotional dimensions change as one matures. For example, their physical activities may decrease in importance and spiritual ones increase. Sexuality is considered a part of one’s emotional dimension.

4 Sexuality Pervades our society: –Advertisement –Stereotypes –Jokes –Songs movies Sexuality is more than the ability to be intimate with another person in a satisfying manner. Sexuality Is: –The core characteristic of who we are –It is a state of mind –It is a holistic concept –It is a part of our sense of self –It is how we feel about ourselves and how we express ourselves

5 Components of sexuality: –Our feelings and beliefs about what it is to be male or female –How we relate to people of our own or the opposite gender –How we establish relationships –How we express our feelings The environment of our family, culture, and religion influence the growth of our sexuality Can you tell me what I mean by that?

6 Aging and Sexuality Our youth-orientated society assumes that sex and sexuality is only for the young Yet feelings of sexuality do not disappear as we age Pleasuring, cuddling, and touching are more important among elders They view sexual experience through a qualitative view rather than quantitative view

7 Intimacy Literature tells us that intimacy is important to the elderly –It requires self-acceptance and risk taking –Intimacy comes in different forms –Freedom of expression is a vital key to aging –When sexual intimacy is a satisfying one, there is reinforcement of self-esteem and safety –To touch, know and love each other, gives a sense of control and an acceptance, rather than a fear, of aging

8 Physiological Changes In Sexual Functioning As We Age Women –Gravity- body sags –Decrease in sex hormones (estrogen) –Menopause – the major physiological change How this is dealt with by women is influenced by their culture, religious and family experiences, as well as their acceptance or denial of the aging process ERT (risks) Natural homeopathic and herbal remedies (diet and exercise)

9 Men –Less dramatic –Gravity- waistline increase –Decrease in sex hormone (testosterone) –Pages 208-209 list of physiological changes experienced by both genders

10 For women, knowing and understanding the effects of theses changes, combined with the appropriate adaptations, enhance rather than deter sexual satisfaction. For men, knowing and understanding theses changes can diminish a man’s fear of performance and in fact contribute to increased sexual pleasure

11 Knowing what to expect as you age and the availability of treatment is all part of successful aging It is important for health care professionals to recognize the importance of continued sexuality in the lives of elders, helping to enhance their self-esteem and increase the options for intimacy

12 Imaging Professionals Role????? –We will see the effects of illness on sexuality, but may not be the professional to address it –Needs to be addressed in order to give the patient what they consider a meaningful existence by restoring their intimacy and sense of autonomy in their lives

13 Gender Differences For both genders, a new meaning regarding sexuality may take place as one ages Current cultural expectations and changes with the female gender –Assume the lead, share expenses, role transitions, increases self-esteem, ability to choose and have control over their sexual life Research: –Sexual activity is more stable over time, and as you age, there is an increase in sexual satisfaction from when you were younger

14 Older Lesbians and Gays Diverse group –Often negative image or stereotyping –In finding their niche in society they have developed high level adjustment skills –Knowing that they may not be able to count on family in old age has led them to carefully plan for old age –A report has shown that a substantial portion of older gay men were found to be psychologically well-adjusted, self- accepting, and adapting well to the aging process

15 Addressing Sexual Issues Pages 211-220 Health care professionals need to address sexuality as a necessary part of a functional evaluation –Imaging professionals need to be sensitive, understanding, and knowledgeable of available resources These pages give specific diagnostic categories and their effects on sexuality along with adaptation techniques Diseases processes that can effect sexuality and potential solutions on how to deal with these problems

16 Responsible Sexual Behavior Age is no excuse for unsafe sex practices STD’s and HIV do exist in the elderly 10% of Americans diagnosed with AIDS are 50 years of age or older

17 Education is directed to the younger cohorts –Another example of how we stereotype sexuality to the the young Research: –At risk persons older than age 50 were only 1/6 likely to use condoms as compared with the at risk persons in the 20-29 age group

18 Recommendations Health care practitioners routinely make sexual histories a part of their medical examinations –Acknowledge the importance that sexuality plays in their lives –Address their sexual issues and concerns –Assist them in how to effectively deal with sexual problems

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