ElderAuthority Takes on Sex
In case you haven’t noticed, I have been writing a lot recently about seniors and sex. No, ElderAuthority has not sold out to the porn industry. Rather, I have received enough inquiries on this topic to make me do my research. There is much all of us can learn about seniors and sex.
Having written about the benefits of sex for seniors, sex positions for seniors, and reasons seniors have more fun with sex, I though it was time to put some of my own thoughts into the mix, rather than just writing clinical reports. Today’s article is about my parents and their sex life.
Mom and Dad Had Lots of Sex
It was no secret in my family that my parents enjoyed a happy sex life. Over the years, both of them talked about it enough for it to be clear that they had something good. They certainly had their bumpy periods, but they also had a hot romance for nearly sixty years. I think it was what kept them together through thick and thin.
When we were very young, they would take occasional three-day trips away, leaving us with a sitter (The Evil Mrs. Goodrich). As I recall we all acted out terribly and triggered the wrath of the sitter on a number of occasions. From the time they could leave us without a baby sitter, they took every opportunity to go out on “dates” with each other. During our formative years, the parental romance did not always seem so great to the five kids.
In my 20’s and 30’s I spent a lot of time resenting the parental relationship that deprived me of appropriate attention during critical moments (or at least that was my perception). From time to time over the decades I got the impression that the parental sex life continued to march forward valiantly.
Timex Sex (just keeps on ticking)
Flash forward to the year 2005. My father had a quadruple bypass which triggered vascular dementia. He also had skin cancer, prostate cancer, and diabetes. He becomes much more dependent on my mother and struggled with short-term memory. My mother, who had Parkinson Disease, did her best to take care of the daily business of life that allowed them to continue living in the independent living section of their retirement facility.
One day, when we were talking about all the things she was juggling she said, “…and your father is as sweet as he can be, but he always wants to have sex…the problem is that he forgets we already had sex today and wants to do it again. I can handle once a day, but more than once is really getting in the way of the work I have to do.” I had no suggestions for her. In fact I was totally speechless.
Understand the Proposed Treatments for Your Loved Ones
A few years later, Dad’s prostate began to cause continence issues for him. I went with him and Mom to the urologist who suggested that he could be treated by drugs that would lower his testosterone and probably diminish his sex drive. My father really did not follow much of the conversation, but Mom and I made the decision to leave his sex drive alone. We very clearly and carefully told the doctor to not treat him if it would affect his sex drive. Taking away his sex drive would be like pulling the plug on his life force.
Unfortunately, like my father, the urologist did not follow the conversation very carefully. He still administered a drug cocktail. Whatever it was, my father’s sex drive ceased to exist, and he died within a year at the age of 86. I think this was one of the saddest moments in Dad’s life. He never knew what was taken from him, but we saw his inner light shut off. He could have continued having memory-impaired sex to the end and would have died a much happier man.
I don’t know what we could have done differently to prevent this. We knew the doctor had given Dad something, but we did not inquire as to what it was since we thought we had made our wishes clear. It makes me sad every time I think about it.