Data from the National Poll on Healthy Aging has revealed that 40 percent of people between the ages of 65 and 80 are sexually active, disproving common assumptions about the intimate lives of seniors.
Around 75 percent of people in this age group have a romantic partner, and more than half of the individuals involved in a relationship are having sex.
Furthermore, nearly two-thirds of older adults reported being interested in sex, while more than half reported sex as being important to their quality of life.
The results of the poll, which was conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, also showed that 73 percent of over 1,000 seniors who were surveyed said that they are satisfied with their current sex life.
The respondents also reported on whether they have sought out help or advice about sexual health or sexual problems.
Overall, 18 percent of men and 3 percent of women said they have taken medications or supplements to improve sexual function in the past two years. However, only 17 percent of older adults said they have discussed their sexual health with a doctor in the past two years.
“Sexual health among older adults doesn’t get much attention but is linked closely to quality of life, health and well-being,” explained co-associate poll director Dr. Erica Solway. “It’s important for older adults and the clinicians who care for them to talk about these issues and about how age-related changes in physical health, relationships, lifestyles and responsibilities such as caregiving, affect them.”
Dr. Alison Bryant, senior vice president of research for AARP, said that this survey confirms that the interest in sexual intimacy does not stop at any certain age.
“Although most older adults say that they would talk with their doctor about sexual concerns, health care providers should routinely be asking all of their older patients about their sexual health and not assume that bringing up the issue will offend or embarrass them,” said Dr. Bryant.