The poll also confirms something Price said she hears from her readers and audiences: Older people rarely discuss sex with their doctors, even when they are having problems.
'We recognise that sex and sexual health is something that is very important to the health and wellbeing of older people but is not something that gets a lot of attention, ' said Dr Erica Solway, who was involved in the research. A third of the people in their late 60s said they were extremely or very interested in sex, but that number dropped to 19 percent for those in their late 70s.
A whopping 84 percent of the men participating in the survey said that sex was an important part of a romantic relationship.
Overall, the survey shows that "sex is an important part of the lives of older people and a part that probably doesn't get the attention it deserves", said sociologist Erica Solway, associate director of The National Poll on Healthy Aging at the University of MI.
Officials found that 18 percent of men and 3 percent of women polled used some form of medication or supplement to rev up their engines going in the bedroom. Forty percent indicated that they were now sexually active; sexual activity decreased with age.
Interest in sex did appear to decrease with age however, with those between the ages of 65 and 70 almost twice as likely as those in their late 70s to be sexually active, and with 33% of those in their late 60s saying they were extremely or very interested in sex, compared with 19% of those in their late 70s. Healthier seniors were twice as likely as those seniors in poor health to be sexually active.
Two in five (40%) surveyed that they still have sex. Only 69 percent of the women surveyed agreed that sexual intercourse was important. However, women were more likely than men to be satisfied with their current sexual situation. The biggest gender difference, however, is in term of interest in sex.
But huge differences emerged between the sexes, with women less likely than men to be sexually active - 31 per cent compared with 51 per cent of men - and half of men aged 65 to 80 "very interested" in sex, compared with 12 per cent of women. "Although most older adults say that they would talk with their doctor about sexual concerns, health care providers should routinely be asking all of their older patients about their sexual health and not assume that bringing up the issue will offend or embarrass them".
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