For seniors, being alone can escalate feelings of isolation. As men and women age, their social circles may begin to shrink.

The health resource Aging Care said 43 percent of seniors have a persistent sense of loneliness. For many, dating is helping them find renewed companionship, self-confidence and vigor. Despite the rush that one may feel when beginning a new relationship, it is important to put safety first. One of the key considerations is disease prevention.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that, between 2000-08, there was a 45 percent increase in reported sexually-transmitted diseases in Americans over the age of 40. Online dating may make seniors vulnerable to STDs.

Furthermore, many STDs go unrecognized and thusly untreated in the senior community because they’re simply not expected. Education can help keep seniors safe. Doctors can inquire about sexual activity as they would with other age groups. Seniors themselves should always practice protected intimacy and get refresher courses on “safe sex” education

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