Healthy Relationships

Who’s Having the Talk with Grandma?

February 28, 2020

As Valentine’s Day approaches, love is in the air, and Cupid is busy …

Okay, no use stalling, I’m just going to say it: Someone in your life who is over 60 is having sex. Lots of sex. Probably more than you.

Maybe it’s Mom. Or Grandma. But when they tell you, “That’s when I watch Jeopardy, please don’t call during that time” … they may not be spending the evening with Alex Trebek.

Which is great, right? No one wants an aging loved one to be lonely. Finding oneself suddenly single can be devastating; there’s lots of self-talk about never being happy again. And then they meet someone – in church, in their neighborhood, online … maybe even in their senior living community.

And cue the music … enter romance. And let’s say it’s a lot more free-and-easy than earlier in their lives. No worries about getting pregnant or kids barging in at the very worst moment; the 18-hour days of over commitments and obligations are in the rearview mirror. Viagra has lent a strong assist. This is the time to live without restriction! And they are.

According to the CDC, there were 82,938 cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia reported among Americans 45 and older in 2016. Last year’s figures are not yet available, but year-over-year increases have been the trend since at least 2012. While all three STDs can be cured with antibiotics, untreated cases have severe consequences like chronic pain, fatigue and memory loss … ironically, often mistaken as the consequences of natural aging.

Since this group was happily married (or too busy to care) during the “safe sex” campaigns of the ‘80s and ‘90s, there’s some education that needs to occur. And … who’s having the talk with Grandma?

The National Institute of Aging/National Institutes of Health suggests the following:

Educating mom or grandma about safe sex probably wasn’t on your to-do list for 2018. But think of it as a special Valentine for someone you really, really love.  For more information click here.