Older Adults, Technology and Relationships

file0001580592238“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.”
~ Robert Browning

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for many older adults to celebrate their commitment to a loving relationship. According to Statistics Canada, approximately 72% of men age 65+ and 43% of women age 65+ lived as a couple in 2011. In contrast, approximately 33% of men age 90+ and 4% of women in the same age group lived as a couple.

For those older adults who are single and interested in pursuing a new relationship, technology may be the solution. Online dating has become a mainstream tool for young adults looking for a soul-mate and the industry is reaching out to older adults.

One example is Stitch, an online dating service with a twist. Created specifically for individuals age 50+, the service is not only for those looking for romance and marriage, but it also offers opportunities to find travel buddies, hiking partners and concert goers.

According to the 2013 Internet & American Life Project by the Pew Research Center, of older adults 65+:

  • 9% have searched online for information about a past relationship
  • 3% have used online dating sites or apps
  • 24% personally knew someone who had been in a long-term relationship or married someone they met through online dating (up from 13% in 2005)
  • 1% met their spouse/partner online

If you plan on looking for companionship online it is important to be wary of individuals asking for money or favours. An article titled 9 Tips to Keep you Safe From the Scammers on Online Dating Sites explains how unscrupulous individuals may take advantage of vulnerable older adults.

If you aren’t looking for romance but would like a great show to watch on Valentine’s featuring older adults in leading romantic roles check out Last Tango in Halifax. A British series where “childhood sweethearts Alan and Celia, both widowed and in their 70s, fall for each other all over again when they are reunited over the Internet after nearly 60 years”.


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