Saturday, December 16, 2006


You may be getting older but love and sex are still a vital part of your life. Here is the book that speaks to your concerns about sex beyond the middle years. Two leading experts have completely updated and revised the classic guide on the subject to address the needs of our changing world in the new millennium. Inside you'll find:
• The truth about aging and how it affects sexual desire and lovemaking
• A thorough guide to common medical problems-and solutions
• New drugs that can improve and enhance sexuality-including the latest on Viagra
• Research on post-menopausal changes
• A detailed look at the procedures for easing and solving sexual problems
• Practical strategies for finding new relationships and staying sexually fit
• Advice to help your adult children understand your new relationships
The best authorities on whether love and sex can exist in later life are older people themselves. Frank and Marianne have been together forty-six years. They've led unremarkable lives in terms of success and lucky breaks and have had more than their share of tragedies. Yet in their late seventies they are enthusiastic, optimistic, and in love. Frank says of Marianne, "I love this woman more each day." Marianne replies, "I couldn't have asked for a better partner-he's kind, sweet, funny . . . he is everything a woman could want." Both are quick to add that it is their relationship that has been the core of their sense of satisfaction in life-and their sexual closeness is an indispensable part of their affection for each other. These two are not alone in their point of view. Any of us who has worked professionally with older people (or is older himself) could cite scores of examples of similar attitudes among older men and women, married or single.
Sound research data beyond the clinical observations of those working with older people is another story. The United States lacks a truly comprehensive national survey of sexuality that encompasses the older population. The available information includes the important but now outdated and limited Kinsey studies (first published in 1948), the physiologic investigations of Masters and Johnson, and the findings of both the Duke Longitudinal Studies and the Baltimore Longitudinal Study on Aging. Questionnaire surveys of self-reported sexual activity among older people have been conducted by mail (for example, by Consumers Union), but these provide information only on those who volunteer. Other studies have age cutoffs for their subjects, usually at sixty or seventy. The outcome is that facts and figures on the nature and frequency of sexual activity among older persons, including its association with marital and health status or any other variable in people's lives, are unknown.
One thing is certain, however. Our society is in the midst of an immense demographic change. Every day over six thousand Americans turn sixty. Altogether, forty-five million people or one out of every six of us are sixty or older. By the year 2006 baby boomers will begin to dramatically expand the ranks of the older population as they themselves start turning sixty. In about twenty five years, one in five Americans, including the boomers, will be over sixty-five-a historically unprecedented 20 percent of the population.

The definition of old age is changing. In June 2000, The New Yorker Magazine ran a cartoon showing a woman announcing to her husband, "Good news, honey- seventy is the new fifty." That same year a Harris Poll found that only 14 percent of respondents believed chronological age was the best marker of old age. Instead, 41 percent cited a "decline in physical ability"-a highly variable event-as the best evidence of the beginning of old age. According to this definition, people in good health are younger longer, whereas anyone who gets sick becomes older sooner. As for disability itself, studies show that there have been significant declines in disability rates since 1982. Heart disease and stroke alone have been reduced 60 percent since 1950.

In light of all this, what can we safely say about sexuality in later life? Our views on this topic have not yet caught up with the slowly changing character of aging. Many people-not only the young and middle-aged but older people themselves-are quite uniformly negative about the prospects of continued sexual interest and ability. Many simply assume that the game is over somewhere in late midlife or early later life. They couldn't be more wrong. In spite of the scarcity of nationwide data, we turn to our own clinical and research work and the work of other gerontologists and researchers to demon-B strate that relatively healthy older people who enjoy sex are capable of experiencing it-often until very late in life. Frequently those who do have sexual problems can be helped.

We have written this book for those older men and women who are presently or potentially interested in sexuality and would like to know more about what is likely to happen to their sexuality over time.We will offer solutions to sexual problems that may occur, and propose ways of countering the negative attitudes that older people may experience-within themselves, from family members, from the medical and psychotherapeutic professions, and from society at large. We especially want older people to know that their concerns and problems are not unique, that they are not alone in their experience, and that many others feel exactly as they do. Even those people who have had a lively enthusiasm and capacity for sex all their lives often need information, support, and sometimes various kinds of treatment in order to continue engaging in sexual activity as the years go by. In addition, people for whom sex may not have been especially satisfying in their younger days may find that it is now possible to improve the quality of the experience despite their long-standing difficulties.

Sex and sexuality are pleasurable, rewarding, and fulfilling experiences that can enhance the middle and later years. But they are also-as everyone knows- enormously complex psychologically. Every one of us carries with us throughout our lives a weight of attitudes related to sexuality that have been shaped by our genes, our parents, our families, our teachers, and our society, some of which are positive and some negative, some of which we realize and many of which we are unaware.

Because of this, it is useful to understand what underlies so many of the attitudes and problems about sex that one encounters. If you are an older person, be prepared for the likelihood of conflicting feelings within yourself and contradictory attitudes from the outside world. Should older people have sex lives? Are they even able to make love? Do they really want to? Is it appropriate-that is, "normal" or "decent"-or is sexual interest a sign of "senility" and brain disease (he/she has gone "daft"), poor judgment, or an embarrassing inability to adjust to aging with the proper restraint and resignation?
How much less troubling it would be to accept the folklore ......

More and more parents are choosing to live apart from their children after the latter get married, without any bad blood from either side.Sudeshna Chatterjee reports
THE apron strings are being loosened a bit. Where earlier parents looked forward to spending their twilight years with their children and grandchildren, now an increasing number of senior citizens in India are choosing to live a life of their own in their golden years. Enjoying their space and sense of dignity, the silver-haired populace is opting to live separately after their children get married. And by building their own support network. they are enjoying life on their own terms while keeping in regular touch with their children as well.IN SEARCH OF AN IDENTITY: According to Sheilu Srinivasan. the founder chairperson of Dignity Foundation, the increase in disposable income and the preference for a nuclear family set-up has prompted many elderly people to opt for an independent life and carve an identity of their own."Today, many people from the older generation continue to work even after retirement. And they also get rich dividends from their investments. So they prefer to live separately as they don't want to be a burden. Many of them have bought cottages at Dignity Lifestyle - a township we have built for the older generation at the foothills of Matheran, close to Mumbai," she says. Here, all their needs are taken care of - for a modest price of course - and the couples lead a life far removed from the old age homes that one comes across!LIVE AND LET LIVE: Take 60-year-old
Shefali Sinha. With her husband, Baishnab, she stays in a far-flung suburb of Mumbai, while their two sons reside in different parts of the city."We are happier with this arrangement - we visit our sons often or on weekends. At times, they drop by as well. Now, we all live our life the way we want to. There's no tu-tu-mainmain with my daughters-in-law, I can do things at my own pace and even they don't have to constantly adjust their schedules. I need my space and I need to live my life the way I want to," she maintains. Of course, to cast a blight on the proceedings, an occasional illness does come up, when it's tough for the kids to help as they stay far away and have their jobs and commutes to tend to. "But, we have created our own support system where our neighbours and friends extend the necessary help," adds Shefali, "For instance, recently when I had malaria, my friends regularly sent me food and dropped by often to cheer me up." DISTANCE MATTERS: Distance does make the heart grow fonder. Dr KN Manjunath, consultant geriatrician and physician, Wockhardt Hospital, Bangalore, explains, "People are living longer today. f\nd senior citizens, with more awareness and exposure
to the world, have become more outgoing and have started valuing their independence. Older people are often apprehensive that staying together 24x7 with their children may not ensure the love and bonding which they feel they get when they live independently. Hence the shift. And they seem to be managing rather well, thanks to group activities like a walker's club (as most couples go for morning walks). They make friends there. " CHILL OUT: Cultivating their own in·· terests and hobbies assumes greater importance at this age. For instance, Chennai-based Yogam (77) and BV Eswaran (84) who have three sons constantly exhorting their parents to come and live with them, prefer to live on their own as they can do all the things they've always wanted to.Says Yogam, "We share a great rapport with our daughters-in-law and grandchildren, but it's'nice to have the time to do things I enjoy, which I couldn't do earlier due to time constraints. For example, we have been teaching needy students, reading out to the blind, etc. On behalf of our local sports club, we also organise picnics. We are really chilling Q.utl" -TIMES NEWS NETWORK

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

saby please have new posts in ur other 30 blogs.I read it and I paste your views on different forums.

sabyism is very much alive.