You Should Respond To At Least Two Of Your Peers By Extending, Refuting/Correcting, Or Adding Additional Nuance To Their Posts Health Issues Facing the El

You Should Respond To At Least Two Of Your Peers By Extending, Refuting/Correcting, Or Adding Additional Nuance To Their Posts Health Issues Facing the El

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Health Issues Facing the Elderly

Paula, Lynette

St. Thomas University

January 24, 2022


















Health Issues Facing the Elderly

Pathological Factors Affecting Response to Sex among the Elderly

Various diseases, medicines, injuries, and surgeries affect the sexual responses of the elderly (Gewirtz-Meydan et al.,2018). For instance, diabetes causes erectile dysfunction in elderly males and regular vaginal yeast infections in women. These instances make sex undesirable and uncomfortable for the elderly. Heart disease affects the ability to experience orgasms, be aroused, or maintain an erection. Older persons dread engaging in sexual intercourse for fear of another heart attack. Arthritis is another disease that makes sex unbearable. Pain in the joints prevents the elderly from engaging or enjoying intimacy. Chronic pain due to injuries, surgery, and specific diseases interferes with the desire for sexual intimacy among older people (Srinivasan et al.,2019). Medications meant to manage the pain have side effects which affect sex drive. mastectomy and hysterectomy make older women unsure about sex (Mernone et al.,2019).  They feel unattractive to their spouses.

Dementia has a huge effect on sexual life. Elderly patients with this condition may be interested in having sex, but they are unable to distinguish between good and bad sexual behaviors. For instance, dementia patients may not recognize their partner, and end up making advances to other people (Pinho & Pereira, 2019). Menopause also affects women’s sexual response. A dry vagina and disinterest in sex are the symptoms of this stage due to hormonal changes. Menopausal and post-menopausal women experience pain, irritation, and burning alongside bleeding during sex (Scavello et al.,2019). These experiences decrease their interest in intercourse. Medications meant to treat various diseases also cause sexual problems.  Drugs to treat high blood pressure, depression, allergies, ulcers, anxiety, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and appetite affect the sex drive of elderly patients. These medications cause erectile dysfunction in men. They also make the men experience difficulties in ejaculation. STDs like gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS, and syphilis prevent the elderly from sexual activity. The fear of infection and medication causes a negative response to sex in the elderly. Nurses should support the elderly to encourage them to engage in sex.

Factors Decreasing Immunity in the Elderly

Aging decreases the performance of organ systems including the immune system. Immune cells cannot fight diseases like before, making the elderly more vulnerable (Fuentes et al.,2017). Nutritional and psychological factors, complementary, and alternative medications, and drugs affect the immune system of the elderly. Psychological factors like stress, life experiences, emotion, and anxiety alter the functionality of the body’s immunity.  The elderly experience psychological problems due to changes that alter their normal functioning. Stress and life events influence the susceptibility to disease development in the elderly. For instance, stress reduces the antibody responses causing poor immunity.

Nutritional practices affect the elderly’s immune system. Malnutrition is a common effect of poor nutrition among the elderly. Fried foods result in inflammation thus dampening the immune response. Meat carries toxic chemicals and viruses that interfere with immunity and increase inflammation. Processed foods drain nutrients and hinder proper immune functioning (Houghton,2020). These foods affect gut health, increasing the risk of disease development in the elderly due to poor immunity.

 Some medications are taken daily to treat diseases like diabetes, HIV, and others that affect appetite. Most are associated with weight loss and loss of appetite. Alternative and complementary medications also have the same effect. Constant interaction between the medication and food nutrients affects absorption, metabolism, digestion, and excretion.  Drug abuse further causes dehydration, sleep problems, poor nutrition, and stress. These alter the immune system increasing the risk of infections and disease. 


Fuentes, E., Fuentes, M., Alarcón, M., & Palomo, I. (2017). Immune system dysfunction in the elderly. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 89(1), 285-299. doi:10.1590/0001-3765201720160487

Gewirtz-Meydan, A., Hafford-Letchfield, T., Benyamini, Y., Phelan, A., Jackson, J., & Ayalon, L. (2018). Ageism and sexuality. In Contemporary perspectives on ageism (pp. 149-162). Springer, Cham.

Houghton, T. S. (2020, March 20). How does nutrition affect the immune system? [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Mernone, L., Fiacco, S., & Ehlert, U. (2019). Psychobiological factors of sexual functioning in aging women–findings from the women 40+ healthy aging study. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 546.

Pinho, S., & Pereira, H. (2019). Sexuality and intimacy behaviors in the elderly with dementia: the perspective of healthcare professionals and caregivers. Sexuality and Disability, 37(4), 489-509.

 Scavello, I., Maseroli, E., Di Stasi, V., & Vignozzi, L. (2019). Sexual health in menopause. Medicina, 55(9), 559.

Sexuality in later life. (n.d.). PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e321712004-001

Srinivasan, S., Glover, J., Tampi, R. R., Tampi, D. J., & Sewell, D. D. (2019). Sexuality and the older adult. Current psychiatry reports, 21(10), 1-9.

World Health Organization. (2021, April 13). Diabetes. Retrieved from

Pathological Conditions in Older Adults



Crego Leon, Leticia

St. Thomas University

January 25, 2022









Pathological Conditions in Older Adults

Pathological Conditions that might affect the Sexual Responses in Older Adults

Many physical and/or medical issues can impair sexual function. Diabetes, heart and vascular (blood vessel) illness, neurological problems, hormonal imbalances, chronic diseases such as kidney or liver failure, alcoholism, and drug misuse are examples of these ailments. Furthermore, the adverse effects of various medicines, especially antidepressants, might impair sexual performance. Again, psychological factors such as work-related stress and anxiety, concerns about sexual performance, marital or relationship problems, depression, feelings of guilt, body image concerns, and the effects of past sexual trauma can all impact sexual responses, particularly in older adults.

Intimacy between elderly individuals might be hampered by pain. Chronic pain does not have to be a part of becoming older and is frequently treatable. However, certain pain relievers can impair sexual function. Furthermore, some persons with dementia may have an increased interest in sex and physical intimacy, but they may not recognize what appropriate sexual activity is. Those with severe dementia may not recognize their spouse or lover, but they still need sexual interaction and may seek it elsewhere (Ferretti, Iulita, Cavedo, Chiesa, & Dimech, 2018). It might be perplexing and tough to know what to do in this case.

In cases of heart attack, blood vessels can become narrowed and hardened due to artery narrowing and hardening, causing blood to flow more slowly. As a result, both men and women may have a hard time with orgasms. It may take more time for both men and women to become excited, and it may be difficult for some men to establish or sustain an erection. People who have had a heart attack, or their partners, might be terrified of having sex because it will trigger another attack.

How Nutritional Factors, Psychological Factors, Drugs, and Complementary and Alternative Medications affect the Immune System in Older Adults

The relationship between aging and nutrition is complicated since determining what influences what is challenging. Although natural aging can be reversed, it can be postponed with dietary treatments. The complex interaction between nutrition and aging has a bidirectional relationship, which means aging influences nutrition and vice versa. Individuals’ pathological, physiological, social, and psychological states change as they age. Nutrition is a crucial aspect of health in the elderly, and it impacts the entire aging process. Changes in glucose homeostasis, for example, in old age, may lead to altered appetite and satiety. Malnutrition is a cumulative problem in this group, and it is linked to deteriorating functional status, decreased muscular function, decreased bone density, immunological dysfunction, and so on.

Interactions between nutrition and medications can impact drug metabolism, absorption, digestion, and excretion. The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is quickly expanding, reaching the prevalence of more than 60% among those aged 50 and over. The senior population is more vulnerable to chronic health issues due to natural aging processes. As a result, CAM has piqued the interest of many older persons and their carers, as it frequently provides softer and safer alternatives to addressing common health concerns experienced by the elderly (Siddiqui, Min, Verma, & Jamshed, 2017). Older adults who have musculoskeletal disorders such as joint pain and osteoarthritis, hypertension, and stroke seek CAM treatments to help them feel better.





Ferretti, M. T., Iulita, M. F., Cavedo, E., Chiesa, A. P., & Dimech, A. S. (2018, July 09). Sex differences in Alzheimer’s disease — the gateway to precision medicine. Nature Reviews Neurology volume, 14(1), 457-469. Retrieved from

Siddiqui, J. M., Min, C. S., Verma, K. R., & Jamshed, S. Q. (2017, December). Role of complementary and alternative medicine in geriatric care: A mini-review. Pharmacognosy Review, 8(16), 81–87. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.134230

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