By now you’ve probably heard that there has been an increase in computer usage by senior citizens in recent years, an increase that has accelerated since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. But what you may not know is that more and more of the 55-year-old-plus set are using their PCs, Macs and iPads and dating apps to meet and set up dates online. “One survey shows that more than a third of single seniors are into online dating,” according to Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens, AMAC.
The independent insurance agency, Choice Mutual, conducted that study and CEO Anthony Martin told Forbes Magazine: “Senior citizens are actively playing the dating game, and in the last five years alone, 37 percent have dated. They’re using a lot of the same methods for meeting people as the younger generations, including going online to meet potential partners via dating apps and websites, and even social media.”
Charles King of Pund-IT, which publishes technology news, says dating apps are easier to use for seniors these days. He says they’ve become almost like familiar home appliances. In addition, he says, the prevalence of social media such as Facebook and Twitter have become easy ways to stay in touch with friends and family “so taking a step forward into dating apps is neither as difficult nor as unusual as it would have been a decade or more ago.”
Dr. Mayda Antun, Chief Medical Officer of Florida’s IMC Health Medical Centers, says that “Staying romantically and sexually active in your later years is now more common than ever. We can see that seniors are casually dating further into their later years than previous generations. This can be attributed to better health among seniors, longer lifespans, more divorces, more open attitudes toward sexuality and internet dating, and recognizing the importance and value of companionship.”
In an article published by Miami’s Community News recently, Dr. Antun offered advice for those who might be seeking to go on an Internet date.
To be on the safe side, she notes that it is important to use a safe dating site, perhaps one recommended by a friend or family member. She says:
“There are many online dating sites, even some catered specifically toward seniors, where seniors can meet others from the safety of their own home. However, seniors tend to be even more susceptible to catfishing, identity theft and money scams.
Speak through video call—or at least over the phone—before meeting in person.
Check your date on social media and other public websites.
Meet for the first time in a place you know, never at your home.
Share the location of the date, the person’s name and any other important information, with a trusted friend or family member.”
As for setting up a face to face meeting, she says:
“Seniors, especially, should also take health precautions in the time of COVID-19, due to their susceptibility to the virus.
Wear a mask—and possibly gloves.
Go to a location that is following COVID-19 safety guidelines or where it is easy to keep social distance, like a restaurant or park.
Wash your hands before touching your face and after hand holding. Avoid hugging and kissing, until you are sure your date is not sick!”
John Grimaldi contributes columns for the 2.4 million member Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) www.amac.us; a vibrant, vital senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. AMAC Action is a non-profit, non-partisan organization representing the membership in our nation’s capital and in local Congressional Districts throughout the country.