Dating Is Anybody’s Game – Love After 60

Dating After 60Dating After 60

If you think dating isn’t for the senior set, think again! Relationships and intimacy are an important part of life at any age and often contribute to happiness, health and well-being. As we enter our senior years we may find ourselves unattached and lonely due to the loss of a loved one. But our population is living longer, staying fitter and healthier into the golden years, and that means there are more seniors looking for companionship.

With so many people unattached later in life, it’s only natural to think about dipping your toes into the dating pool. Keep in mind that your ideas about an ideal partner may have changed over time and you may now have different needs, desires and expectations. Start by defining the kind of relationship you want – such as friendship, intimacy, love, companionship, a committed relationship or marriage –  and then rediscover the art of meeting new people!

Looking for Love in All the Right Places
It’s nice when family and friends introduce you to people, but for those who don’t want to go that route or don’t have that option, here are some other ways to meet senior singles:

  • Local Neighborhood Activities – Just like in the old days, neighborhoods are still prime spots to meet not only potential partners but also friends. Libraries, local groups or neighborhood gathering places provide a casual place to share hobbies and interests.
  • Senior Centers/Community Centers Pick up a calendar from your local community center and check out any events or outings. This is a great way to meet others with similar interests right in your neighborhood.
  • Senior Living Communities – Many people find companionship in senior living communities. Whether it’s a 55 and older community, independent living or assisted living, being in close proximity to others and sharing meals and activities together may result in companionship, friendship or even love.
  • The Internet and Online Dating – There’s one notable way in which the dating scene has changed since most seniors were last dating — the Internet. Online dating is not for everyone but if you like using a computer or a mobile phone it’s one more tool in the toolbox. There are several sites that are built specifically for older adults, among them ourtime.com or www.seniorfriendfinder.com and www.seniorpeoplemeet.com.

Be Realistic
While some things in the dating world have changed, some have stayed the same. Common sense still counts and it’s important to be yourself. There is no hurry, so take your time before entering the dating world again. Here are a few tips:

  • Stay flexible – know what appeals to you in a partner or friend, but try not to be too rigid. Sometimes the person you think won’t be a match will surprise you!
  • Age is secondary — once you get into your senior years, the actual number of your age becomes less and less significant. Your health and what you do at your age are far more important.
  • See beyond the surface — older adults are wise enough to know that looks have little to do with whether someone is going to be a kind, loving and caring companion. Being attractive is more a function of your personality.
  • Try a dinner date – more than any other activity, dinner is where older adults feel the isolation of being alone most strongly. Sharing a meal can be an important first step in gauging compatability.
  • Think companionship – Whether it’s a dinner date, traveling, playing bridge, engaging in a favorite activity or just relaxing together, many seniors are really look for a companion and nothing more.

Adults over 60 have experienced a lot and already have some ideas about what works in their lives. Let the maturity of your years guide you to be clearer about what you want in a relationship.

The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, info@wilfcampus.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.

Planning for Our Senior Years—It’s Never Too Soon!

planning senior years - the futureMaybe you’re looking to retire in the next few years. Or maybe you’re not sure you want to retire, but you want to be prepared for the unexpected, including age-related challenges. Studies show that today’s adults have done very little planning for their senior years—but giving it some thought now makes it more likely you’ll have the quality of life you want later.

Take Control
By the time you face the challenges of later life, chances are you’ve learned some essential planning skills that you might not even realize. You may have raised children, held several jobs or organized a community gathering or family reunion. In addition, you may have navigated medical and financial crises, times of emotional upheaval and family stress. Harness what you have learned from these life events to take control in planning for your future.

Be Flexible
It’s impossible to predict when challenges to health and well-being will arise, so planning for your senior years should be flexible. If you begin early, you have a good chance to put in place the outline of a life that has meaning for you, that allows you to pursue your interests and reflects your priorities.

Ask Yourself…
Where do I want to live? This could include geographic location, proximity to family, private home vs. condominium, accessibility of recreational activities such as gardening or exercise, and how adaptable the home environment would be to new life circumstances.

What do I want to do? Consider whether you want to work full-time or part-time or use these later years to pursue interests you’ve never had time to explore before. Maybe there are volunteer opportunities that would suit your schedule or ways in which you can help out with your family or in your community.

How do I envision the rest of my life? This is a tough question with no easy answer, but it’s important to look within and start thinking about it in your younger years. Maybe you want to live in one place forever or maybe you want to travel the world. Think about activities that are important to you now and those that could continue to be important as you get older. Consider family members and the care they may need and how that impacts your life.  You will also have to consider financial circumstances.

Bring Others Into the Planning Process
Answering these questions involves thought and it’s helpful to bring in the help of others involved. A spouse or significant other obviously needs to be part of the conversation, but it’s also good to let your adult children know what you’re thinking. Together you can make a plan. Be honest and realistic. Consider talking to a financial advisor or eldercare attorney for perspective on your financial resources and how they impact your choices.

There are many resources available to help including your local library, community workshops and the internet. By getting a jump start and doing some soul searching, you can get to the heart of what is most important to you and the quality of your life … for now and into the future.

The Wilf Campus for Senior Living can also help. Whether planning for yourself or a relative, the staff can help you learn about services for seniors, right in your own backyard. Call 732-568-1155 for more information.

The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, info@wilfcampus.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.

Occupational Therapy at Stein Assisted Living Helps Residents Maintain Independence

Julia and resident

Somerset, NJ, May 23, 2017 – With her warm demeanor and bright smile, Julia Jaman, MSOT, OTR/L, arrives each weekday at Stein Assisted Living to provide occupational therapy services to help residents live their lives to the fullest.

Occupational therapy derives its name from the idea of helping people with daily tasks that “occupy” their time and their lives. Whether working on upper body strengthening, balance exercises, fine motor skills such as managing buttons or opening bottles, or sharpening memory and cognitive skills, Ms. Jaman’s goal is to keep residents safe and maintain their independence in self-care.

Ms. Jaman especially loves working with seniors and has developed a rapport with many of the residents at Stein. “Sometimes a resident comes back to assisted living after a hospitalization and he or she is a little weaker,” she explains. “But I don’t give up on them – we work together to try and get them back to where they were, gaining a little more independence each day.”

Ms. Jaman comes to Stein Assisted Living through Fox Rehabilitation. Working in tandem with her colleagues from physical therapy, she makes the rounds at Stein to provide client-centered care to five or six residents each day who she visits two to three times a week. With repeat visits over time she has earned the trust of her clients. “What I especially love about working here are the bonds I have established,” she comments. “Those relationships give me purpose.”

For Stein residents, occupational therapy can be the key to helping them engage in activities safely. From the regular activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing, to the more extracurricular activities offered in the community, Ms. Jaman aims to help individuals do more on their own so they can be active participants in their valued occupations. She fondly recalls a 100-year-old resident who was not that open to occupational therapy at first. “We worked at it and, with time he was able to get a little stronger. We took small steps and made progress. Age is not going to stop us.”

For more information about occupational therapy services at Stein Assisted Living, email Michael D. Yannotta, Director of Nursing, at Stein Assisted Living, at myannotta@wilfcampus.org.

The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, info@wilfcampus.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.

National Older American’s Month

centenarians partying

What Could Be the Secret to a Long Life?
This month, in conjunction with National Older American’s Month, Stein Assisted Living will celebrate seven individuals who are all centenarians — individuals who have lived to at least 100 years old, more than 20 years longer than the average life span.

Words of Wisdom
With age comes insight. “To live to 100, live with a clear conscience and treat others as you would like to be treated,” says Stein resident Myrtle Levy, adding, “and don’t forget to exercise and have some chutzpah!” Mickie Mintz, another Stein centenarian at 101 years old, suggests that “someone up there is taking care of me!” and stresses the importance of having good relationships with family.

Family, friends and staff have learned life lessons from these older members of the community, and have learned how to best support them in return. Stein resident Roz Levy offers a piece advice to take to heart: “To live a long life, eat your fruits and vegetables. Try to get along with everyone. Stay around happy people and stay away from people and things that make you unhappy.” Bobby Rosenstrauss suggests, “Live a quiet life, and when something bad happens, try your best to smile.”

Celebrating Our Centenarians
At Stein Assisted Living, the goal is to help residents remain as independent as possible in this phase of life. Throughout our community we celebrate our centenarians and the life advice they share that can be inspiring for all ages. As Stein resident Faye Bradus so wisely counsels, “Make the most of each day. Enjoy the blessings of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren — they will sustain you.”

Please join in the celebration of centenarians and National Older American’s Month at Stein Assisted Living on Friday, May 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm. It is open to the public, family and friends, and will include remarks by New Jersey Assemblyman Joe Danielsen. In addition each centenarian will receive 100 or their favorite snacks or candy as well as a personalized singing telegram.The event will take place at Stein Assisted Living, 350 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ. For more information, email Jackie Kott, ADC/AL, Director of Recreation at Stein Assisted Living, at jkott@wilfcampus.org.

The Oscar and Ella Wilf Campus for Senior Living is comprised of Stein Assisted Living, Jaffa Gate Memory Care Neighborhood, Stein Hospice, Wilentz Senior Residence, Wilf Transport, and The Foundation at the Wilf Campus. For more information, contact us at (732) 568-1155, info@wilfcampus.org or visit us at www.wilfcampus.org.

Life Lessons Learned from Residents at Stein Assisted Living

My name is Brittney Vega and I am a senior at Rutgers University. For the past eight months I have been interning in Marketing at Wilf Campus as part of a new program, which gives me the opportunity to stay overnight a few nights a week and volunteer while going to school.

The entire Wilf Campus, staff, and residents have welcomed me with open arms! Each morning I am greeted by friendly faces and well-wishers. To me, the community at Stein Assisted Living is one big group of loving friends. Having breakfast and spending time with the people here has been a wonderful experience that has really taught me a lot about life. I am able to see the joyfulness of the residents as we reminisce and talk about our lives and families. Many of them are overjoyed to speak about the pride they have in the successes of their children and grandchildren. I am very grateful for all the advice I receive and have found the residents to be caring and sincere in wanting the best for me.

When I first considered this program, I was unsure if I would connect with the residents. At first I knew no one’s name and I remember wanting to be able to say hello to everyone personally as I saw others do as they walked through the building. It didn’t take long for this to change and it made me so happy! I have loved becoming closer with people and stopping to say good morning and ask how things are going in their lives. In truth I am a little shy, so getting to know everyone really made me step out of my shell. I worked on my communications skills, learned how to start conversations and feel comfortable engaging with others.

I believe one of the most important aspects of this experience is the heartwarming advice I have received regarding school, work, and relationships. Many are very interested in what I am currently doing and planning to do post-graduation. The genuine thoughtfulness of the residents is something I cherish.

I also hear many stories about personal lives and loved ones and the longevity of their relationships. I met two couples at Stein Assisted Living who were celebrating their 69th and 73rd wedding anniversaries! I have never met anyone before who has been together for such a long time! They smiled and blushed as they talked about one another. I discovered that no matter how far you are into a relationship or the obstacles and barriers over the years, being happy is possible if there is genuine love for each other.

The residents also have a lot of affection for their families and friends. They talk about how grateful they are to have such loving children, grandchildren, and family as well as friends they have known for many years who come to visit and take them out. You can see in their eyes how happy they are when they get a chance to talk about them, what they enjoy and when they will see each other again.

I strongly connected with two residents in particular, Ellie and Barbara, who have each taught me very different things. Ellie has taught me patience and positivity. Anyone who knows Ellie could easily tell you that she has such a sweet heart. She tells me when I talk about life to just let things happen and helps me to see the positive side of everything. Barbara is a very sweet well-spoken woman. She loves to make jokes and encourages me a lot. She always talks to me about school and makes sure I am doing well in my classes. She truly brightens my day.

Before spending time at Stein Assisted Living, I must admit I had some preconceived notions. I thought the days would be monotonous and that people would keep to themselves. In fact, the opposite is true! There is a lot of energy and the residents are happy, active and interacting with one another. By volunteering I have seen how much the residents love and appreciate the programs, trips, activities and staff. What it really comes down to is that the Wilf Campus is home.

Through my experience I have learned a lot that I can incorporate into my studies, such as how to create flyers, market an event or get to the core of what people look for when picking an assisted living facility. But volunteering has also brought me real happiness and I have learned a lot about life. It feels good to make people smile and laugh. Knowing that I have been able to bring joy to the residents at Stein Assisted Living feels really great.