Older people and sexual wellbeing
Research, practice and educational issues.
From MICRA, Manchester Metropolitan University, the Association for Education and Ageing (AEA) and Age UK
Friday 6 February 2015
- Dr David Lee, Age UK Research Fellow, The University of Manchester – ‘Sexual health, quality of life and well-being among older people in England’
- Professor Josie Tetley, Professor in Nursing, Ageing and Long Term Conditions, Manchester Metropolitan University – ‘Let’s talk about sex – what do older men and women say about their sexual relations and sexual activities’
- Dr Sharron Hinchliff, Senior Lecturer in Social/Health Psychology, The University of Sheffield – ‘Sexual health and well-being in middle and late adulthood: current knowledge and future directions’
Human sexuality is a universal part of living but stereotypes of older adults continue to ignore sexuality, and the question of how important sexual health and fulfilment is to overall health and wellbeing has been largely neglected. Questioning whether sexual decline is an unavoidable consequence of growing older reflects changes in the ways in which we view ageing. There is a view that the sexual health of older people, particularly in terms of defining ‘normal’ versus ‘abnormal’, has become overly medicalised, focussing on the physiological mechanisms of 'dysfunction' and neglecting the potential importance of social and behavioural factors. This seminar explored some of the current issues around sexual lifestyles and ageing, examining how sexual health issues contribute to wellbeing in later life, what factors older men and women specifically identify as impacting on their sexual activities and relationships, and future directions for research and practice.