A Parent’s Decision

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So you are an older, or maybe even elderly, man and still not circumcised.  Are you thinking of the future and perhaps worrying how being uncircumcised will affect you?

More importantly, parents who are now making the decision whether or not to have their sons circumcised, please consider the fact that your son will not always be a baby, a child or a young man - he will one day be an elderly man.

During my career I filmed in many hospitals, often on Geriatric Wards.  The Nurses told me many times about one of the biggest problems they face daily -

the difficulties ensuring that elderly, uncircumcised men kept their penises clean and healthy, especially if they are suffering from Alzheimer's or Dementia, or recovering from a Stroke, or are disabled, making them unable to do it for themselves.  

Maybe you already know a gentleman in this situation, a hospital patient or Nursing Home resident?  If you do then you will know what I’m talking about.  You will understand that through no fault of their own their personalities may no longer be the same as when they were young men due to their illness or condition.  In this situation some men become terribly distressed and even quite  aggressive when a Nurse or carer approaches their penis during bathing; most men find this excruciatingly embarrassing.  

Just imagine the indignity of needing to be held still while your penis is cleaned.

It’s a frightening thought, isn’t it.

So think about your own future and old age.  I don’t suppose you like the idea of being dependent on someone for your personal hygiene, a Nurse or member of your family needing to clean under your foreskin for you.  I imagine it could be humiliating as well as embarrassing.  

You know, you could make it easier for the Nurses or carers.

You could avoid that humiliation and embarrassment for yourself, and for your sons.

Get circumcised as soon as possible.  Get it done now.


Perhaps you would like to read what Nurse Gail has to say on her Blog on this subject, as I think she makes these points much more clearly than I can.  With Nurse Gail’s permission, I have copied her Blog entry below for ease.

Nurse Gail graduated cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin in 2004. She is currently enrolled in the Adult/Geriatric Primary and Holistic Nurse Practitioner programs at New York University.

Circumcision–A new perspective | Elders at Risk for Infection

By  Nurse Gail  :  July 16, 2012

I witness many conversations, both professionally and socially, regarding infant circumcision.  In all of the discussions, no one mentions how circumcision, or the lack of, impacts a man when he has aged and can no longer care for himself.

One of the most gut wrenching experiences of my hospital career came when I was a nurse’s aide on a medical/surgical floor.  A stoic elderly man was transferred to my unit from a nursing home and it was my responsibility to remove his street clothes and dress him in a hospital gown.  The stench of gangrene filled the room and overwhelmed me when I removed his pants.  He was too sick to communicate with words but looked at me with soft eyes and an apologetic face.  I discovered a severe infection that fused the meatus inside the foreskin.  I alerted the nurse to what I had found and she delegated the laborious task of cleaning to me.  It took hours of warm compresses followed by excruciating crust removal.  I apologized repeatedly and when tears flowed from beneath his thick horn-rimmed glasses, I cried too.

I will never forget this experience and I offer it to others when they consider circumcision.  The elderly population, specifically 85 years and older, is growing at a rapid rate in the United States.  Men are living longer than ever and the health care system is struggling to keep up.  Hospitals, rehabs and nursing homes are filled with patients who need increasing assistance with activities of daily living.  Dementia, incontinence, decreased sensation, and impaired vision are risk factors which can lead to infection in the uncircumcised elderly male.  Lack of awareness in this area by family and/or overworked, underpaid nursing home staff contributes to the problem.

Parents who are considering circumcision should examine the consequences for a child at different stages of life.  The discomfort of circumcision for an infant may be minor compared to the loss of dignity and pain experienced by the uncircumcised elder.  Parents can honor their child by making a decision that outreaches their lifetime; one that allows their baby to face his twilight years with grace.



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