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Friday, November 6, 2009

Seniors, Relationships, and Dating

As human beings we are social by nature right through the senior years. The instinctive need for interaction and togetherness, fellowship, and being close to others remains throughout life. The desire for dating, courtship, and relationships can go on though the elder years. With chronic health conditions, or more serious health conditions, and the financial woes of seniors, this can make having relationships complicated but not impossible.

Compatibility and agreement are important for the sake of harmony, especially as seniors need to avoid stress that could impact health issues.

During my time in nursing training we were prepared for working in a skilled nursing facility. Part of the training involved understanding that even in a semi-acute hospital setting, one that included people who had dementia and alzheimers, romances between people may start up and that this is natural as we are social creatures. A hand to hold, someone to hug, someone to talk to and share meals with can make the day for those who are lonely.

We all know people in their 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond who have once again met someone and bonded. Previous divorces, widowhood, declining health, financial issues, and health insurance problems can be part of those years, posing issues that need to be coped with.

But the human characteristic of social behavior is a strong drive and a natural one. Just because the hair has turned grey and the skin has some wrinkles does not mean the human yearning for others to share life's experiences has gone.

I've known many widowed seniors who have found a new life partner, even married again, and who were happier for it.

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