Sexuality and Love in Senior Years
Love and companionship are a vital part of life and are also good for your health.
“Treat people like human beings and what goes around comes around.” That’s one element of Don Pembleton’s secret to living a full and rich life—a mantra that has seen him through many ups and downs over the last 92 years. The other cornerstone is having a loving wife and partner, Lela, to share his life journey with—and that has made all the difference.
Strong bonds of love and small gestures of intimacy are exactly what we all need to stay happy and healthy, according to Michele Cauch, executive director of Sage Health Network. “The desire to love and to be loved never goes away; we always have it throughout our life. That emotional connection is what leads to happiness and overall well-being, whether we’re 18 or 80.” There are many physical and mental benefits too: on top of potentially curbing diseases related to depression and diminished mental capacity, “companionship and closeness can give us such incredible comfort.”
Just look at the Pembletons. Don swept Lela off her feet the day they met—on a dance floor 74 years ago—so it was only fitting that they celebrated 73 years of marriage this year with great music, good food and 70 of their closest friends and family at their Kensington Village residence. “We love music and love to dance and enjoy life. That’s all we do!” says Don. And they always do it together. As Lela explains: “We’re not sitting at home... where he goes, I go, and where I go, he goes... If I had to do it over again, I would do it all the same!”
So even if your fiery tango has turned into a romantic waltz, the dance is still more enjoyable, and possibly healthier, with a partner.
Waterside Retirement Community – Photograph by John Major