If your parent is at the point of seeking a physically intimate relationship, a discussion with the doctor might be in order. According to England’s Family Planning Agency (FPA), the number of reported cases of STDs among 50-to 90-year-olds has more than doubled in the past decade, perhaps due in part to the availability of drugs mentioned previously. If your parent is recently divorced or widowed remind them (as they may have frequently reminded you) that it’s not wise to jump into a relationship too quickly. If your parent is looking to meet potential love interests online, remind them things aren’t always as they seem on the Internet and to beware.
Remind dad (or mom) to always carry along a condom. While most counselors recommend waiting at least a year to remarry after a divorce or death of a spouse, your parent, understandably, may feel that life is too short to wait around once they have found, “the one.” No, you can’t tell your parent what to do in matters of love, but it may be helpful to remind them that while loneliness is not good, spending the rest of their life with the wrong person is worse. More serious than a date who lies about his age or other details is one who is a threat to your parent’s safety.
Now, as the adult child of an aging parent you may find the tables have turned, and it’s your turn to have “the talk.” Sure, it’s hard. Besides, if he also knows the rule, he’ll make an effort to ask questions and give her ample opportunity to talk, too. For as many as 25 percent of 65-year-old men, however, erectile dysfunction is a regular problem, according to the National Institutes of Health.
(Carrying quarters is still a good idea for toll plazas and parking meters, however.) Make sure your parent doesn’t leave the house without a fully charged cell phone – but remind Dad to avoid using the phone to check on sports scores, grandchildren or the latest cool apps. (The same goes for Dad – tiny Speedos are an absolute “no-no” if he takes a lady friend to the beach or pool! If mom wants to look sexy for her date, a turtleneck probably isn’t a good idea either, but neither is a plunging neckline that shows way too much cleavage. But remind her of the one rule of dating that has persisted even since she was a teenager: Let your date do the talking.
“They’re old, not stupid” wrote one Huff Post50 reader.
If your parent is recently widowed or divorced, or has decided after some time of singledom that it’s time to look for love, here are 7 pieces of advice you may want to offer for dating in the 21st century. Today, a pay phone is a rare find and a couple of quarters just won’t cut it if Mom needs to call for help or a ride home. Now it’s time for you to broach the subject of modesty with her. If your parent has lived alone for a while, it can be tempting to talk when she finds a listening ear.
When you were dating, your parents likely had you carry change for a pay phone — just in case. Mom wouldn’t have let you out the door wearing a micro-mini skirt or a skimpy bikini.
In her initial conversations and meetings with an Internet date, ask your mother to use just her cell phone (her home phone can easily be tracked to her home address) and to meet him in a public place. These 7 pieces of advice should serve as a starting point for the talk, or better yet, an ongoing dialogue with your parent.
My last Huff Post blog about this topic set off a stream of comments, some asserting that I was being condescending.In my 20 years of working as an advocate for caregivers, baby boomers and mature adults, I’ve never seen such a strong reaction to a topic.