London - Ask an elderly couple what the key to a happy marriage is, and they-ll probably tell you it-s down to mutual respect and not going to bed without resolving an argument.
But, according to researchers, the secret is regular sex.
Scientists say older people are much more likely to enjoy their twilight years if they make love frequently.
A study of over 65s found almost 80 percent who had sex more than once a month were “very happy” with their life in general.
This compared with just 59 percent who reported no sexual activity in the past 12 months and 40 percent who had been celibate for over a year, according to the findings presented at an ageing conference in Boston, in the US.
Professor Adrienne Jackson, of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, said: “This study will help open the lines of communication and spark interest in developing ‘outside the box’ approaches to dealing with resolvable issues that limit or prevent older adults from participating in sexual activity.
“Highlighting the relationship between sex and happiness will help us in developing and organising specific sexual health interventions for this growing segment of our population.”
Based on a social survey of 238 married people aged 65 or older in the US., she discovered frequency of sexual activity was significantly linked to both general and marital happiness.
The association remained after accounting for factors such as age, gender, health status and satisfaction with financial situation.
The respondents were asked about the frequency of their sexual activity during the past 12 months and also invited to assess their general and marital happiness by describing themselves as “very happy”, “pretty happy”, or “not too happy” in answer to each question.
On Saturday, the Mail revealed that Britain is seeing a boom in “silver separations” as the latest figures, for 2009, reveal that more than 11,500 over-60s were granted a divorce. This is up by four percent in two years and pensioners are the only age group where the divorce rate is rising.
On reaching retirement, and without the routine of work to fill their day, many realise they can no longer stand their husband or wife.
More men than women over 60 were divorced, reflecting the fact that husbands are usually older than their wives.
Among the male over-60s age group, the divorce rate rose by 3 percent between 2007 and 2009 but among the female over-60s, it soared by 6 percent.
Despite older women showing a bigger increase, overall there were still more men than women getting divorced. - Daily Mail