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Dating and older adults Special To The Star-news | Sat, Jun 02 2012 12:00 PM

Dear Jenny,

My mother recently moved into an Assisted Living community, but I was surprised and a little bit upset when I learned that for quite a while she has been having a “romantic” relationship with another resident.  How common is this?

Just like all of us, seniors seek love and companionship. If they are without a partner then they will consider various routes to meet new people.  Sometimes this involves dating and looking to find a romantic interest. If a single adult wants to date then it is their right to do so. And age should not be and isn’t a limiting factor.  The death of a spouse or a divorce is reality for seniors. Obviously, there are some seniors who seek companionship or new relationships and this will mean entering the dating world.  The only time there is any resistance is when the children of a senior seeking a new relationship gets uncomfortable or doesn’t approve of mom or dad looking for a partner.
The need for intimacy and companionship is not age dependent.  If there is a willing partner, a new relationship should not only be accepted it should be encouraged.  Some people feel that romantic relationships should not be pursued by seniors because they have a shorter time left and they are not physically capable of sexual contact, both of these reasons are irrelevant. Actually, relationships, or lack of it, have been shown to be factors in depression in the elderly and it can even affect the lifespan.
At a time in life where the number of one’s social contacts often decrease, it is nice to know that it is never too late to meet people and start new relationships, intimate or not!

If you have questions about senior care or helping an elderly loved one, contact Jenny Wallis, community marketing director at Villa Bonita Senior Living at 619-739-4400 or by email at villabonitamkg2@islllc.com. Villa Bonita Senior Living is an assisted living community licensed by the California Department of Social Services, located at 3434 Bonita Road, Chula Vista.  You can also visit Villa Bonita online at www.villabonitaseniorliving.com

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