We often hear the expression “the sixty of today is the forty of twenty years ago. We can now stretch this to say, “The eighty of today is the sixty of twenty years ago! Due to better management of chronic health conditions, and people taking more responsibility for their wellbeing, we are staying healthier and more active further into our senior years.
The baby boomer generation is the one that turned the Western world upside-down. We did not accept what authority told us without questioning, and”if necessary”we protested about issues to make our point. Over the years, most of us became parents, held jobs, and lived middle-class lives. However, somewhere inside each of us there is still the rebel. We don’t like accepting the status quo and are looking at aging with completely different eyes than our forefathers viewed it with.
Many of our generation are aging as singles. Many others are openly declaring their homosexuality. In past generations, homosexuality was illegal, and openly acting on your desires could lead to jail time. Now homosexual relationships are acknowledged in the legal and social security systems of many Western countries.
Many over-fifties do not want to be confined to one partner of either sex and choose to live independently and enjoy multiple sexual partners. Baby boomers initiated the sexual revolution of the 60’s. In past generations, this would have been frowned upon, and polite society would have ostracized such people. We remember maiden aunts or uncles, and great-aunts or great-uncles, who lived alone or with their aging parents. But often they had a “friend” with whom they spent time or might travel. The fact that these couples might have a sexual relationship was never openly discussed.
Some over-fifties live in retirement villages that have rather wild social scenes that are great for singles wanting to get connected and to belong to a group. Some centers have quite a swinging scene that can include partner sharing and group sex. Multi-partner types of sexual relationships have their issues, including sexually transmitted infections, that are usually considered issues only for the younger generations. Some may moralize about these liaisons but that is the reality of what is going on today.
In the early years of the AIDS epidemic in the USA, there was a great deal of concern. Several older women and a few men from some retirement resorts in Florida were being diagnosed with the disease. Upon investigation, it was discovered that one bisexual senior gentleman was sharing his sexual affections with both men and women in these communities. Being seniors, they never thought of the need for condoms. After all, the ladies were all postmenopausal and for this reason did not need contraception. They were obviously unaware that the original purpose of condoms was to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
There are some baby boomers who are starting to suffer the affliction of great loneliness, when declining health makes access to new partners more difficult. In Western societies, there is the growing issue of older people who have no children or other family members to support them when they are disabled or frail. This situation is now being addressed by some groups. There are now also elder-care facilities specifically for male or female homosexuals. Many single heterosexual seniors find that retirement communities give them the support and connection that they need.
If you have lost that spark that you had in your earlier years, it is time to renew yourself. If your health needs attention, look after it. Open yourself to receiving new people into your life. Many great relationships are created even in our 50’s and 60’s. Don’t let past relationship failures dictate the future. Move on and expand your expectations.
Editor’s Note: Dr Adele Thomas, semi-retired medical doctor, and Dr Ely Lazar, retired chiropractor, are on a new mission as the Passionate Retirees. They are dedicated to inspiring the over 50s to live fulfilling and adventurous lives, so that the twilight years will be the highlight years. Their book, Travel Secrets For Seniors was released in early 2014. With more than 80 years combined of professional experience, their articles, books and workshops cover a range of topics from travel, health, relationships, sexuality and finances for seniors.
Adele and Ely have always impressed me with their exceptional knowledge, professionalism and positive attitude. Mention their name and the one word that always comes up is respect. “ John Ross, Master Networker