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6 Important Dos & Don’ts for Dating in the Golden Years

Dating is a fun-filled adventure, but it can be challenging for seniors. The aging process changes self-perception, desires, and expectations. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Temple families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Impaired body image, reduced cognitive function, and lower ratios of men to women may also lessen the chances of dating in the golden years. Aging adults have different expectations regarding intimacy, and they often seek companionship more than romance and marriage. The priority is having a close friend with whom they can share favorite activities.

Young people focus on age differences, whereas numbers are less important to seniors. Elders also look for personality traits, such as whether a potential mate is kind, caring, trustworthy, genuine, and responsible. Seniors often prefer meeting in-person over messaging, which makes communication easier. Aging adults tend to be more tolerant of personal differences than their younger counterparts.

Dating has changed dramatically over the years. Here are a few key dos and don’ts of dating in the senior years.

1. Do: Research Reputable Senior Dating Sites

In 2016, Pew Research Center reported 12 percent of people aged 55 to 64 use online dating sites. Senior-specific platforms address the concerns, values, and preferences of mature adults. Several reviewing authorities regard the following sites as creditable and successful at matching seniors:

  • eHarmony

  • Elite Singles

  • HowAboutWe

  • Match

  • OkCupid

  • OurTime

  • SeniorPeopleMeet

Help your senior loved one set up an online profile if he or she isn’t comfortable with computers. Read questionnaires aloud and record your loved one’s answers. Show him or her how to find matches and make connections.

The AARP suggests being flexible when stating preferences. Being too rigid reduces possibilities. Your loved one should only list serious deal breakers such as not wanting to date someone who smokes.

2. Do: Visit Places Popular Among Seniors

DatingAdvice.com suggests community events as ideal senior gatherings. Libraries have a year-round schedule of offerings like discussion groups, book clubs, art classes, and technology training. Senior centers also host games, crafts, cooking classes, parties, meals, concerts, and day trips.

Volunteering is a good way to meet like-minded people. Facilities that welcome senior assistance include hospitals, churches, thrift stores, museums, and animal shelters.

A part-time job is another way to meet single seniors. The AARP recommends seeking work as a library assistant, veterinary receptionist, medical secretary, teacher’s aide, handyman, or bakery assistant.

3. Do: Consider Getting a Makeover

A simple makeover can boost self-esteem. Seniors might want to get their hair dyed or get fresh haircuts. They can also ask for skin care tips at the salon or search the internet for cosmetology consultants that specialize in senior styling. If your loved one’s wardrobe is outdated, go shopping with him or her and offer objective guidance.

4. Don’t: Think It’s Too Late to Date

Seniors are never too old to make new friends. They can try to focus on companionship and think of the dating process as expanding a social circle.

Coach your loved one through anxiety. An enhanced appearance can boost your loved one’s confidence.

5. Don’t: Jeopardize Safety When Using Online Dating Services

Your loved one should never disclose financial data to strangers or respond to requests for money. Seniors are susceptible to scams. Encourage your loved one to avoid revealing personal information before establishing trust. He or she should take time getting to know a person.

Initially, your loved one shouldn’t talk on the telephone via a landline because it may be traceable to his or her address. Using a mobile device is a better option.

Also, your loved one shouldn’t allow someone to drive or escort him or her alone until certain it’s safe to do so. Encourage your loved one to meet his or her date in a public place. Another option is double-dating with another couple. Before leaving for a date, seniors should tell a friend or family member where they are going and when they expect to return.

Consider hiring a reliable caregiver to provide transportation for your loved one when he or she goes on a date. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs 24-hour home care, Temple, Texas, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home.

6. Don’t: Bring Up Alienating Topics for Discussion

Match.com specifies certain subjects as being taboo on initial dates. Seniors should avoid probing their dates on their religion, political beliefs, and financial situation. These topics may lead to heated debates.

SeniorDatingSites advises that dwelling on misfortune is unappealing. When first meeting someone, woe doesn’t evoke empathy. Obsessing about a deceased or divorced spouse gives the impression a senior is not ready to move forward. Your loved one should approach a future partner with a fresh outlook.

Though it’s natural to talk about poor health in the senior years, this topic is undesirable since it sets a depressing tone. If disability is something your loved one can’t avoid mentioning, he or she should only give a brief explanation. Above all, seniors shouldn’t reveal a wish to marry until they sense a strong connection. For the first few dates, Dating for Seniors suggests discussing hobbies, favorite foods, movies, children, and grandchildren.

Aging adults can stave off boredom by attending events, joining a book club, or enjoying a meal with a new companion. Creating new relationships also helps seniors prevent cognitive health conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of senior home care in Temple. Alzheimer’s care is one of our main specialties. Our caregivers can help seniors with Alzheimer’s manage their condition while performing daily tasks like exercise, bathing, and cooking, and we also provide a wide array of mentally stimulating activities. Call 254-856-0600 today to learn more about our services and how they can benefit your loved one.