The dating landscape has changed significantly from when today’s seniors were in their 20s and 30s, and now COVID-19 has changed the game even more. While it is common for seniors to enjoy their Golden Years by spending time with family, socializing with old friends, and enjoying hobbies, today’s generation of seniors, the Baby Boomers, have normalized pursuing romantic endeavors as another way to stay youthful.
“Staying romantically and sexually active in your later years is now more common than ever,” said Dr. Mayda Antun, Chief Medical Officer of IMC Health Medical Centers. “We can see that seniors are casually dating further into their later years than previous generations. This can be attributed to better health among seniors, longer lifespans, more divorces, more open attitudes toward sexuality and internet dating, and recognizing the importance and value of companionship.”
Maintaining companionship, intimacy and romance during one’s Golden Years has many psychological and physical benefits than can lead to more successful aging—after all, healthy relationships can bring happiness, which has shown to slow biological aging—but if not done carefully, it can leave seniors susceptible to some of the dangers of dating.
Dr. Antun recommends the following to keep seniors safe while dating in the time of COVID:
There are many online dating sites, even some catered specifically toward seniors, where seniors can meet others from the safety of their own home. However, seniors tend to be even more susceptible to catfishing, identity theft and money scams.
- Speak through video call—or at least over the phone—before meeting in person.
- Check your date on social media and other public websites.
- Meet for the first time in a place you know, never at your home.
- Share the location of the date, the person’s name and any other important information, with a trusted friend or family member.
Meeting in Person:
Seniors, especially, should also take health precautions in the time of COVID-19, due to their susceptibility to the virus.
- Wear a mask—and possibly gloves.
- Go to a location that is following COVID-19 safety guidelines or where it is easy to keep social distance, like a restaurant or park.
- Wash your hands before touching your face and after hand holding. Avoid hugging and kissing, until you are sure your date is not sick!
Even though women 65 years and older no longer have the biological ability to bear children and COVID-19 has not been proven to be transferred sexually, both elderly women and men have a larger chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases than younger adults—and with more dangerous repercussions—because of lower immune function and pre-existing conditions.
- Talk with your partner about their sexual history and both should get tested prior to entering into a sexual relationship.
- Continue to practice safe sex for 6 months, and then both should get retested.
- Speak to your healthcare provider before becoming sexually active if you have been sexually inactive for a time, or have pre-existing conditions that can be exacerbated by cardio.
IMC Health Medical Centers has provided a place for excellence in healthcare services in South and Central Florida since its founding in 2014. IMC Health offers state-of-the-art medical care designed to meet each patient’s unique physical, mental and social healthcare needs. Its comprehensive medical home model focuses on preventative, acute, and chronic healthcare delivery, resulting in improved patient outcomes for adults and children. Members have access to 13 state-of-the-art locations. IMC Health accepts Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Medicaid Dual–Eligible, Medicaid, Florida Healthy Kids, ACA Exchange and Commercial insurance patients. For more information, visit imchealth.com.