Senior Romance: You’re Never Too Old for Love—By Michael Vilder, Senior Social Work Intern
Love is a many-splendored thing at any stage of life, but as the average human lifespan continues to grow, many older adults are finding themselves in a position to pursue romance even after many years of coupledom. Whether one is divorced, widowed, or never married, it’s common for one to experience the desire to share one’s later life with someone else. For those who have lost a partner, especially after a long and meaningful couplehood experience, the desire to pursue a new romantic endeavor may be hindered by emotions such as guilt, sadness, and regret. However, even those who are not hindered by such emotions may find it difficult to pursue a new partner due to a lack of confidence or lack of knowledge regarding social resources.
The internet has become a popular platform for single people of all ages to look for love. A number of dating websites tailored specifically to older adults exist. The use of such websites may be appealing to individuals who lack the time for more traditional courtship but possess even basic computer knowledge. However, for those who feel intimidated by the prospect of dating in cyberspace, plenty of other, more traditional dating outlets are around. Singles mixers for older adults do exist, though they may be easier to discover using the internet. Clubs or classes may provide comparatively low-pressure environments to meet other like-minded individuals who may also be open to something more. Even if one isn’t comfortable pursuing romance in casual settings like these, interacting with others in low-key environments may provide a confidence and social skills boost, allowing one to work his or her way up to a renewed pursuit of romance.
Whether it be to hone one’s social skills or to meet new friends, the Niles Senior Center provides a variety of casual classes, clubs, and activities one can utilize. Located just above the senior center, Niles Family Services provides counseling services that can aid individuals who may be struggling to get back into the dating game for any reason, whether it be due to emotional challenges or a lack of confidence or resources. If you or someone you know may be interested in these services, please feel free to contact the Niles Family Services Senior Social Work Department at 847-588-8460.
Senior Social Services
In addition to counseling and case management services, our Senior Social Work Department offers the following support groups (there is no cost to attend groups but registration is required, please call 847-588-8460):In addition to counseling and case management services, our Senior Social Work Department offers the following support groups (there is no cost to attend groups but registration is required, please call 847-588-8460):
This monthly group offers support to family and friends caring for loved ones. The group is a source of emotional help and practical guidance that provides an opportunity to relieve stress and interact with other caregivers.
A support group that is available for senior parents coping with the demands of caring for medically, emotionally or financially dependent adult children.
In addition, we also offer the following service:
Niles Helping Elders through Referral and Outreach (HERO) is a community-based system for identifying and helping older adults at-risk physically, emotionally, socially or financially. If you are concerned about a senior who you feel may benefit from social work outreach, you can make a confidential referral by calling and saying, "I want to make a HERO referral."
For information, please contact Angelika Danek, Senior Social Work Coordinator at (847) 588-8460
GRAND-Parenting Group –
Niles Family Services and Niles Community Church are offering a support group for grandparents who are primary caregivers or who co-parent young family members and who want to connect with others like themselves. A new topic is discussed each month. To register or for more information, contact Niles Family Services, 847-588-8460, or Niles Community Church to register and to request childcare for ages toddler to 9, 847-967-6921. When: The first Wednesday of every month from 10:0 am to 11:30 am. Where: Niles Community Church 7401 W. Oakton, Niles IL 60714.