By Marlo Sollitto
You're never too old to fall in love. People in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond have not lost their lust for life or their desire to be loved. And sometimes, that love is right next door. Senior retirement communities and assisted living homes are filled with stories of residents who've met and fallen in love.
As Valentine's Day approaches, just take it from these couples who met -- and found love -- later in life while they were living in a senior retirement home.
Finding Love in Assisted Living
After an illness, Ben moved into the skilled nursing wing the Emeritus Senior Living residence facility in Northridge, California. While there, he met another of the skilled nursing residents: Julia. The two became very good friends. As Ben began recuperating from his illness, he became more independent and moved into the assisted living portion of the community.
However, he didn't forget the woman who had caught his eye during his time in skilled nursing. Ben continued to visit Julia – an easy trip, since the assisted living and skilled nursing residences are right down the hall from each other. As their friendship grew, the couple fell in love. They now have plans to marry. They will be living together in a suite at the assisted living community. And the wedding ceremony? It's being held at the senior community where they met.
Love When You Least Expect It
John was married to the love of his life for 52 years. When she died five years ago, the 75-year-old never thought he'd marry again. A year after his wife's passing, John bought a home in Del Webb's Solera at Diamond Valley in Southern California, because John wanted to remain active and take advantage of the social programs and activities the retirement community offers. One day he decided to go on a community day-trip to a nearby casino. "I looked across the aisle on the bus and said to my friend, ‘isn't that a good looking woman.'" But he was too shy to approach her. He and a friend devised a plan for John to meet the woman.
"She was on her way to water aerobics and I was there at the billiards table. I got so nervous I walked the other way," he said. Finally, he mustered the courage to ask her for her telephone number. "I told her I was nervous and didn't know what to do when it comes to dating. Then the woman (Kathy, a 66-year-old widow) said, ‘neither of us knows what we're doing.'" John and Kathy are getting married after a two-year courtship.