The good news in your 70s: Your relationship is better than ever. And the sex isn’t bad, either.
The reality check in your 70s: If you’re socially isolated, it’s time to put yourself out there.
- You’re thrilled with your marriage … Sixty percent of people age 65-plus said they were “very happy” with their union, in a recent University of Chicago survey; another 38 percent were pretty happy, too. That’s slightly more than for younger couples.
- … and your life. Happily married pairs in their 70s rated their physical health and life satisfaction higher than those who were unhappily wed, a study found. They also felt significantly less lonely.
- You’re still sexually active. One in 6 women and nearly 1 in 3 men in their 70s are enjoying intimate fun between the sheets, a large survey showed. For at least 1 in 4, it’s on the calendar one day a week, minimum.
- Most men are up to the task. Between ages 65 and 85, about 44 percent of men experience erectile dysfunction — meaning more than half will never have it. Even so, things take a bit longer than they used to. The keys to a long, satisfying sex life: patience, a sense of humor and a little help from your doctor and the drugstore. It may take longer now to feel aroused (and show it), so get your physician’s advice on common and fixable problems such as erectile dysfunction and vaginal discomfort.
- You know quality beats quantity when it comes to relationships. Adults age 70-plus are less likely to feel lonely than their younger peers. But it’s not because you have tons more friends. Drawing on a lifetime of experience, older adults are better at choosing new buddies and maintaining existing relationships, along with giving and receiving more support and savoring the good times, researchers report. Older adults who value friendship saw their happiness and well-being soar in their 60s and 70s, in one revealing study.
- Loneliness can be a killer. Still, 1 in 4 of us feel isolated, a sign that it’s time to put your social networking savvy to use by signing up for a volunteer activity or enjoying a hobby or interest with others. A joint study that was conducted by AARP and Stanford University found that Medicare spends an average of $1,608 more a year for each older person who has “limited social connections.”
- But you’re less likely to be living alone. Thanks in part to increases in men’s longevity, the number of women ages 65 to 84 who live alone has fallen, to 30 percent, in recent years. The number living with their spouse grew, as did the percentage living with family.