Albert and Sally. Kitty and David, Tony and Alice, Herb and Henrietta. Nelson and Bridget, Rita and Irving. All of these couples are seniors who first met at and are now dating (one couple even got married) in their independent living community.
A recent article in New York magazine tells their true stories of senior living romance at Flushing House (in Queens), lifting the veil on “sex and love in retirement.” It’s a fascinating piece that follows the residents’ flirtatious encounters, presents the conundrum of sex versus the community’s religious affiliation (or the opinions of family members), and includes information about Flushing House’s sex-ed programs, led by the Visiting Nurse Service of New York. There is also a mention of the staff turning a blind eye when one resident “started going out clubbing.”
Though many may prefer not to think of people their grandparents’ age (or older) as sexually active, it’s still happening, and it’s not an entirely bad thing. Of course, sexually transmitted diseases pay no mind to age, so it is essential that seniors who are active are also protected and cautious about coupling. (Read our post, Tough Topics: Sex in Senior Living, to learn more.)
Romance is certainly a good antidote for loneliness, isolation and depression, wouldn’t you agree?