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How to Tackle Online Dating in Your Golden Years

Tuesday , February 18 , 2020

How to Tackle Online Dating in Your Golden Years

Are you over 60, newly single, and looking to mingle? You may have noticed that the dating world has changed quite a bit over the last few decades.

Gone are the days of meeting through friends or marrying your high school sweetheart. Making connections at work happy hour or the church social are things of the past.

These days, people meet online. And in a world where we bank, shop, and set appointments from our computers, doesn’t that just make sense?

While online dating may sound daunting, it’s a total game-changer. Finding love online puts all the power in your hands, allowing you to “browse” the options before making any decisions.

And if thousands of other adults aged 60+ are doing it, why can’t you? All you need is an open mind, the ability to navigate some very basic technology, and a positive attitude!

Ready to jump in? Here’s what you need to know:

Choose the Right Dating Site
With so many dating sites out there, you may not know which one to choose. Our tip? Vet a few (specifically targeted at seniors) before you choose one or two to join.

Most sites will offer a free trial before they make you officially sign up. During that time, you can browse members to see if they seem like your type, note if they seem to be active, and (depending on the site) even message a few people.

Not sure where to start? According to Mashable, the top eight senior dating sites are:

• eHarmony
• Match
• EliteSingles
• SilverSingles
• Zoosk
• OurTime
• Senior FriendFinder
• SeniorMatch

Be Honest
When it comes to the internet, people tend to only post the very best things about themselves: The most attractive photos, the wittiest quotes, the happiest announcements.

But that’s not real life.
If you’re hoping to start a quality relationship with someone new, it’s best to start off on the right (honest) foot.

Post current photographs that show what you look like now (not when you were 20 pounds lighter or 10 years younger). Share your actual interests (not made-up hobbies that you think will make you look interesting). And, most of all, be honest about what you want (whether that’s a long-term committed relationship, or a casual fling).

Be Realistic
The over-60 dating pool keeps growing larger and larger as people live longer, healthier lives – but it’s still fairly limited.

If you go onto a dating site with very specific requirements (i.e. has a good pension, owns a home, and still has all his own hair), you may end up sorely disappointed.

Of course, you want to be attracted to the person you end up dating. But keep in mind, if you are dating someone in your own age range, there is likely to be evidence of that age. Don’t let a few (or a lot) of gray hairs turn you off!

Start a Conversation
Some people have a hard time starting a conversation in real life. The internet can be even worse – especially for a generation that didn’t grow up around technology.

Take the time to read other people’s profiles and pick up on their interests and desires. Likewise, make sure your bio has enough information about you to prompt others to ask questions or start a conversation.

Once you get the ball rolling, keep the message exchange moving until you can have a real, honest-to-goodness conversation.

Set a Date
Of course, the ultimate end goal of online dating is usually to meet someone in real life.

Once you’ve exchanged several emails or phone call and have determined that you find someone interesting, it’s time to grab a coffee.

Experts recommend having your first face-to-face in a neutral, public place. Tell a relative or friend where you are going to be and who you are meeting and choose a casual activity like breakfast or lunch.

After the date, make sure to follow up (email or text is fine) and don’t be worried if you didn’t feel any chemistry – there are other fish in the sea!

Keep browsing, make more connections, and enjoy the ride!

Posted in: Aging

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Dating In Your Sixties (And Beyond)

Monday , February 10 , 2020

Dating In Your Sixties (And Beyond)

St. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and love is in the air.

If you’re a single senior who’d like to jump back into the dating pool, you’ve come to the right place! This week’s blog is all about romance and relationships . . . after the age of 65.

Dating in Your Sixties (and Beyond)

Some seniors are looking for love after losing a spouse. Some are divorced. And some – lifelong singles – have decided that they’re ready to settle down.

No matter the circumstances, dating as an older adult can provide some unique hurdles.

For one, there really is no precedent for dating later in life. Past generations simply didn’t live as long, “gray divorce” wasn’t really a thing, and widowers didn’t typically jump back into the dating scene.

Today, people are living much longer. If a spouse passes away at 70, their partner may feasibly live for another 10 to 20 years (or more). Many individuals don’t want to be without romantic love for that long.

The result? Many older adults are trying to navigate a world of romance that is VASTLY different than it was 50 or 60 years ago (we’re looking at you, online dating sites).

In addition, they may have to work around health problems, mobility issues, lack of transportation, a limited budget, and more.

What’s a single senior to do? Try out these easy ideas.

How do Older Singles Find Love?

Just like singles of any age, seniors can meet in a variety of ways.

One of the easiest is to be “set up” through friends or family who may know a suitable match. It’s likely that your senior friends know plenty of other people in the same age range – many of them widowed or divorced and looking for love.

If you’re not into the idea of blind dates, though, there are plenty of other ways. Here are some of our favorites:

• Hire a matchmaker: While this may seem old-fashioned and “out of date,” hiring a professional can take a lot of the headaches out of meeting someone new. They know you, they know what you’re looking for (and what you’re not), and they may know EXACTLY who to introduce you to.
• Check out the community center: Signing up for activities at the local community or senior center provide a low-key way to get to know other people. Worst case scenario? You make some new friends. Best case? You bond over your love of parcheesi and meet your next great love!
• Don’t be afraid to say “hi”: Next time you’re at the coffee shop or library, strike up a conversation with someone of interest! Even if they’re not single, it’s a fun way to meet new people and create connection.
• Try your senior living community: Do you live in an independent living or assisted living community? Chances are, many of your neighbors are single – and living nearby makes it much easier to get together without relying on others for rides.
• Enlist your children: Do you have adult children? Chances are they want to see mom or dad happy and would gladly act as wingman. Find out if they have any friends with single parents or if they know anyone through work or other activities!
• Go online!: All the kids are doing it. Why can’t you? Today, there are dozens of websites (like OurTime or Silver Singles) aimed solely at helping older adults meet. Not sure how to navigate the online world? Ask a younger adult for help!

Be Patient

Dating in your golden years isn’t quite as easy as it is in your twenties. For one, the dating pool just isn’t as large. For another, you’re likely to be FAR pickier at 65 than you were at 25 (and good for you – you should be!).

Finding the right match might take a while. And that’s ok!

Looking for “the one” can be fun. Get out, try new things, have fun, and meet lots of people.

And remember – even if you’re lonely, it doesn’t mean that you’re alone. Friends, family, and acquaintances can provide companionship and keep your days busy and full!

Posted in: Aging

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How Senior Citizens Can Prepare for a Trip to the ER

Monday , January 20 , 2020

How Senior Citizens Can Prepare for a Trip to the ER

For many older adults, the emergency room can be difficult to navigate – and unfortunately, these visits can happen all too often.

Many seniors are chronically ill and frail, resulting in regular trips to the ER. Whether it’s for an unavoidable accident, a serious health complication, or something else, the best thing you can do for your loved one is to help them be prepared.

Knowing what to expect in advance – and having everything you need ready to go – can make the process a lot less stressful.

Here are some important steps you can take to make sure your older adult gets the care they need and deserve (and they get home as quickly as possible):

  1. Keep a Current List of Medications and Medical Conditions

It is very important that the doctors and nurses caring for your loved one know what medications they are taking and what health issues they have. To help them provide the correct treatment and prescribe the right medications, you should be able to provide:

  • A list of current medications
  • The actual pill bottles, if possible
  • A list of health conditions your loved one is currently being treated for
  • Bring a copy of recent blood work, x-rays, MRIs, and other lab tests if they may be relevant
  1. Know Your Loved One’s Allergies

Just as important as knowing which medications your loved one is taking is knowing which medications they are allergic to. You should be able to tell hospital staff which medicines they have a reaction to, how they react (rash, breathing problems, etc.), and how it is usually treated.

  1. Have a List of Doctors and Specialists

In today’s world, it is highly unlikely that you will be seen by your primary care physician when you visit a hospital or urgent care. Because the emergency room staff will be unaware of your loved one’s medical history, they will likely want to talk to their regular doctor. Having a list of all of your older adult’s doctors and specialists, and their phone numbers, will make it easier for the ER staff to contact them if necessary.

  1. Keep Insurance Cards Handy 

If you show up at the hospital without an insurance card, it’s not the end of the world. You will still receive treatment and you typically don’t have to pay up front – but correcting the error down the road can be a giant headache. Make sure you keep your loved one’s insurance cards in an easy-to-find location so you can quickly grab them when needed.

Note: Most hospitals also require a photo id (driver’s license, passport, etc.), so make sure to bring that along!

  1. Advance Directives and POLST/MOST Forms

Although no one likes to think about a worst-case scenario, it’s best to be prepared. The fact is, many of the conditions that cause seniors to visit the ER (heart attack, stroke, pneumonia, etc.) can be deadly.

If your loved one has an end-of-life plan or healthcare wishes, you need to advocate for them if they are unable to advocate for themselves. That means being prepared with an advance care directive which describes the medical treatments they might want and appointing an appropriate representative (if it’s going to be someone other than yourself).

  1. Have a “Go Bag” Ready

In the event of an emergency, you’ll want to get out the door as quickly as possible. Many people find it helpful to have an emergency bag packed and waiting.

Unfortunately, ER trips can be very time-consuming. Even if your older loved one doesn’t get admitted, they may spend hours in the emergency room waiting to be seen. They may even have to sit in a room overnight while awaiting test results.

Having certain “comfort” items with them can help make the whole ordeal less trying. Things you should pack include:

  • Toiletry kit (toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm, brush/comb, etc.)
  • Glasses, hearing aids, dentures, and other necessary items
  • “Comfort” items, such as pajamas, slippers, cozy socks, and a favorite blanket
  • Phone charger
  • Books, crosswords, puzzles, or some other form of entertainment

Tip: Ask to stay with your loved one. Due to crowding issues, Emergency Departments often limit how many people can stay with a patient (if any). However, older adults often have extenuating circumstances such as dementia or confusion and can benefit from the company of a friend or loved one.

Final Thoughts

While this list contains many necessary items, it doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. It is important to be aware of your older loved one’s particular situation so you can pack what is essential to them. Remember to keep everything together in one convenient location (such as a closet by the front door) so you know where it is when you need it!

Posted in: Health

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