Nursing Home Offers Dating Service For Senior Citizens, Plus 3 More Ways For Seniors To Find Love
A mega-complex nursing home in Riverdale, New York boasting 850 residents, Hebrew Home, recently launched a dating service for its elderly inhabitants. While the facility has always encouraged and protected the rights of its residents to form relationships with each other, the new program offers social worker-curated matches, based on dating questionnaires the residents fill out. (On paper. With pens. Like, what?)
The team of social workers assigned to this particular task force assign matches based on clients' interests and what they're looking for in a relationship. Then, they keep tabs on how the connection is blossoming, and assign new matches if things don't work out. Essentially, it's these social workers' jobs to be the nursing home romantic snoops, which is the most enviable nursing home job I can think of.
The Wall Street Journal spoke to Daniel Reingold, CEO of the parent organization that runs Hebrew Home, who touted the benefits of advanced age dating:
"People need connection and affirmation, regardless of age, says Mr. Reingold, and possibly more so with age. Studies show that older adults who have strong social networks and high levels of social activity show less cognitive decline. We also need to have something to look forward to and get excited about, says Mr. Reingold."
Predictably, women are the much more enthusiastic members of the dating program: of the dozen-ish enlisters, only three were men, one of whom died before he got matched. So the odds are rough.
Other options for seniors seeking companionship? Assuming your grandma can't hack Tinder...
1. Senior Dating Sites
There's a reason millennials shy away from big sites like Match.com and eHarmony: because it's better suited for old folks. But there are also special sites just for seniors, like Stitch.net and the HowAboutWe-powered AARP Dating. Both are specially designed with easy senior navigation in mind, and feature lots of senior-geared lifestyle content to keep them ~informed~ while they browse.
2. Senior Citizen Speed Dating
There's a whole documentary on elderly speed dating entitled The Age of Love (which its director chose to tour around nursing homes instead of on a widespread festival circuit or with theater distribution). Stitch hosts speed dating events for members only, but a quick Google search can reveal prolific local results for senior speed dating companies and events near you.
3. Senior Meetups
For seniors who are especially gifted at the art of picking up strangers in friendly settings, a senior meet-up can be a more natural place to get their flirt on. It eliminates some of the pressure and/or anxiety that can be associated with explicitly targeted dating sites (though, let's be honest, most of those seniors seem pretty chill). Community centers, senior centers, and activity groups targeted by hobby can all be great places to get involved and meet new people. Or, for the web/social networking-savvy, Seniors Meetups is a great place to join online communities and plan outings.