January 21, 2009 - 10:54am
Key West Sunset
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: I thought you took the day off.
JOE: Actually I was up before five, read the paper and went back to bed. I got back up and went shopping. Now I'm here.
CALLIOPE: Okay. I'll let it slide for today. Catchy title for today's blog. Care to explain it?
JOE: Okay. In my travels yesterday, I ended up at Preferred Care (health insurance) in Rochester yesterday afternoon for a presentation on the topic.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about it.
JOE: Eileen Merges, a psychologist from St. John Fisher College presided over a presentation and discussion of myths, perceptions and enhancements regarding sex for seniors.
CALLIOPE: Did you learn anything new?
JOE: I mostly confirmed what I had already learned in my psychology practice with couples, some of them older. We discussed the importance of communication critical to the success of any sexual relationship and expanding our definition of what constitutes sexual activity as well as hindrances and enhancements of senior sexuality.
CALLIOPE: What else?
JOE: I was surprised to see the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among seniors. Current patterns suggest that two and a half million people over 40 will contract an STD.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like a worthwhile presentation. Have you been concerned about aging lately?
JOE: Of course. I'm not getting any younger.
CALLIOPE: Have you run across any good books on the topic.
JOE: I have found some not so good. One I thought was excellent was Joan Chittister's book, The Gift of Years: Growing Old Gracefully. She stresses the wisdom, freedom and prosperity of old age. She also sees this as "the time in which a whole new life is in the making again. The gift of these years is not merely being alive, it is the gift of becoming more fully alive than ever." I would recommend it to anyone facing older age or who has older relatives facing it. Talk with you tomorrow.