When it comes to seniors, one of the topics that isn’t mentioned very often is love. Not family love, or love of friends, but intimate, romantic love. It’s important to remember that seniors have the same wants and needs as people of all ages. It’s not true that a man or woman doesn’t want to be embraced and kissed just because they are 82 instead of 28.
Businesses across the country have already taken up the opportunity of helping seniors find romance as they extend into old age. There are many options – dating services, dating websites, and medications – that represent the desire of aging people to remain intimate. Human beings thrive with another human’s touch. We are not made to be solitary beings.
Today, dating websites are available for all ages. Sites such as Senior Match, Our Time, and eHarmony cater to older, single people who want companionship and perhaps a long-term relationship. It’s important to remember that seniors today are not the seniors of the last generation. These seniors want to remain active, interested, and vital. Having a romantic partner is part of a happy life. If you are able to, consider helping out a senior friend or loved one set up an account on one of these sites. Monitor their activity to ensure their safety and who knows, they might just meet someone great!
Despite the desire of older men and women to keep a romantic relationship, keep in mind several seniors may experience limitations from demographic and psychological issues, to emotional and physical stigma, to loneliness and isolation. Help your senior identify, communicate, and work through these limitations, as they re-approach dating. For many seniors, dating is a new challenge presented in old age. They may need your support as a caregiver while they test the waters.
Finally, in addition to the barriers to romance facing seniors are family pressures. Children may be critical and wary of the partner their older parent has chosen to date. What is important, is to remind family members to respect the wishes of their senior parent. Provided that Alzheimer’s or a similar disease is not altering their cognition, a senior has the right to date or marry anyone they please and that there are several physical and psychological benefits to dating!
Children and caretakers need not overprotect their aged loved ones from romance. As the Blues Brothers said, everybody needs somebody to love, so they can live, thrive, and survive.