Sexual problems during old age
Human Beings are constantly changing. In early phase of life span the changes are evolutional i.e. they lead to maturity of structure and functioning. In the later part of life, the changes are involution i.e. the individual shows decline in body and activities. These changes are referred as aging.
Aging is thus defined as “progression of adult changes characteristics of the species and which should occur in all individual if they live long enough”.
As aging sets in the old age begins. Usually 65 years is taken as an arbitrary line dividing the middle and old age but this criterion of taking chronological age as an index is not very correct as there are marked differences among the individuals in the age at which aging actually begins.
Both Males and Females undergo sexual changes as age progresses. With Menopause the woman loses fertility and men in the late 50s exhibit decline in sexual potency. These changes cause immense psychological problems like anxiety, fear, depression etc. The women may become hostile and self-critical and may also develop the feeling of guilt. For males, reduced sexual potency typifies the loss of masculinity, which they find hard to accept. These changes can have negative impact on interpersonal relationships. If the man believes his growing impotence comes from lack of responsiveness on the part of his wife and she in turn finds his impotence a handicap to the satisfaction of her sexual desires, it will strain the relationship that is already strained by the lack of common interest and boredom. Sometimes, old men and women want to have sex but social and cultural norms act as barrier to sex or remarriage and thus these sexual urges may remain unsatisfied causing trauma.
Handling of Sexual Problems
A bit of liberal approach and sympathetic attitude towards the sexual needs of the aged can solve this problem. By revolting against the customs prohibiting the marriage of old widows and divorcees and allowing aged, the freedom to have sex with their wives, the problem can be solved.
Widowhood or Loss of Spouse –
Old Age happens to be the period when the couple need each other the most. The death or the divorcee of spouse creates a lot of problems for men and women in old age. If the death of the spouse comes shortly after man’s retirement from work, it greatly increases the difficulties of adjustment for him. The problem is much more for the person who depends too much on their spouse for emotional security.
How to Cope up with Emotional Problem of Widowhood?
2. Cultivate new areas of interest and active involvement
Old age is a new life; Enjoy it, Cherish it!