Living with terminal illness can be traumatic to patients’ sexual well-being. Communication is critical for making good sexual adjustments during this vulnerable time. Professional help can often make this transition easier. According to the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, there is a place for sexuality, depending on patients’ conditions, during a terminal illness. Health professionals should acknowledge and support patients’ desires to function sexually within their abilities. In fact, health professionals should initiate this discussion.
Seniors who are not terminally ill should also have their sexuality recognized and accepted. Dr. Myrtle Wilhite, medical director of A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resources, does this by teaching a sexuality class for seniors. She says she teaches them the same things she teaches nurses. Whether it’s technique, anatomy, and everything else in between, she makes sure they leave with all the information she can give them to enjoy their sexuality, including tips on what to do when sex doesn’t work out right.
As one senior stated, “I still enjoy hearing about sex and all that.” Now, if we can just get more seniors and others to say, “I enjoy hearing about death and all that.” Hopefully, millions of baby boomers will make that statement a common one in the near future.
This video gives a classroom view of the senior sexuality class.