Love Never Gets Old, a Citizen series on love, sex and romance among seniors, looks at the sex education side of relationships.
When a health worker introduces a senior to personal lubricant, there can be many reactions.
There's definitely shock but maybe not for the obvious reason.
The shock is more about seniors who don't know lube even exists.
And then there could be embarrassment, and even more often than not and more importantly, there's acknowledgment.
Mary Jackson, educator for Northern HIV and Health Education Society, has seen it all.
She fondly recalls walking around the Prince George Exhibition, approaching senior couples to provide information about personal lubricant and she's happy to report some seniors, when they hear the good news, are relieved to know there's a product available to them.
Water-based lubricants offer a solution for women who suffer from vaginal discomfort or dryness that can occur after menopause due to hormonal changes.
It's all in a day's work for Jackson who offers seminars and workshops, with lunch included, of course, to educate seniors on the new facts of life.
Recently there's been a noticeable increase in those affected with HIV, specifically in older people, who are not aware of the risks involved in having unprotected sex.
In 2008, 15 per cent of new HIV infections in Canada occurred in people 50 years and older, according to Health Canada - up by two per cent from 2006.
"So that means it's on the rise," said Jackson.
Seniors' Jeopardy is a seminar that offers up some fun, and team players learn about subjects in categories like Let's Get Physical, What's Eating You? Your Hurtin' Heart, Playing It Safe and The Birds and the Bees.
"Guess which category gets picked first every time?" asked Jackson. "That's right, it's always The Birds and the Bees. So that means there is a desire to learn more."
She's also got an HIV and Hepatitis A, B and C workshop which offers updates on the viruses and how they spread. It also covers protection and treatment and an information session is then followed by a new jeopardy-style game that reinforces the newly-acquired knowledge.
Because seniors have not had the formal education and they aren't concerned about getting pregnant, they look at protection a different way, Jackson explained.
"Seniors need to be made aware of the the facts of life since there are medications now so men can get erections when in the past they couldn't, people are living longer and staying healthier longer so more sexual activity occurs, " Jackson said. "Seniors are not very well educated because growing up there were cultural and religious taboos when it came to talking about sex."
To schedule a workshop contact Mary Jackson, Northern HIV and Health Education Society at 250-964-8558 or email: jackso...@shaw.ca.