Relationships in later life

Satisfying relationships, including intimate relationships, are important to the wellbeing of all people, including older people.
In this section we look at some of the relationship issues you may face as you grow older. 
This series of articles has been produced by Age Concern New Zealand in partnership with Relationships Aotearoa

Intimacy in later life

Most of us need to feel physically and emotionally close to another human being.  Acts of intimacy are expressions of human connection that make us feel special and valued.

Keeping the balance in your relationship, in times of ill health 

For years you’ve been equal partners. Now one of you is growing more dependent and the other is doing more care. The chances are this will affect your relationship.

Thinking about a new relationship 

If you find yourself single later in life you might start contemplating a new relationship. The desire to be special to someone else, and to have someone special, is part of what makes us human.

But before you leap, there’s a question to consider. Do you actually want a new partner?

Violent and abusive behaviour

Is your partner behaving in a way that causes you physical or emotional pain?
Are you causing your partner physical or emotional pain?

If so, has this always been the case, or is it a recent development, perhaps caused by new pressures on your relationship? Either way, it’s never too late to change.

Adapting your relationship to life after work 

What will life be like when you or your partner stops work? You might find it hard to form a realistic picture of the shape your day will have. Whatever happens, it will almost certainly affect your relationship. Retirement is a common time for relationships - even really strong ones - to come under stress.

More information about health

Dealing with depression