Speed dating: Senior edition

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Staying social throughout your life benefits both your mental and physical health.

To help build new relationships, a local retirement community is holding an event to make meeting new people easier.

“When was the last time I was on a date? Well… it’s been, it’s been some years,” Charlotte Cooper-Tracy said.

But now, just days away from her 83rd birthday, Cooper-Tracy is looking forward to Touchmark retirement community’s first ever speed dating for seniors — except she’s not looking for her Valentine.

“I’ve been married twice and I’m not looking for a third marriage,” Cooper-Tracy said.

Ellen Kelly, one of the organizers for the event, says it’s not just for finding a significant other.

“This is not just for dating. This is also to make connections of all kinds. Friends, somebody that you just go to dinner with now and then,” Kelly said.

Participants will kick off the event watching a documentary about companionship for seniors, and end it by filling out a scorecard saying whether they’d like to meet with someone again.

After participants turn their score card in they’ll be given the contact information to those they matched with, to further the relationship on their own.

Kelly says having friendships as we age is important for overall health, which is one of the reasons Touchmark decided to host the event.

“This really is a need for seniors. Isolation and loneliness really can wreak havoc on your emotional well-being and your mental well-being, and in turn that can affect your physical well-being,” Kelly said.

While Cooper-Tracy is comfortable living alone, she says meeting new people and building new friendships is what makes life fun.

Sophie Heinemann: What do you want to take away from this?
Charlotte Cooper-Tracy: Some new friendships, some stories to tell.

Kelly says Touchmark is considering hosting an event like this again in the future.

For more information on events at Touchmark, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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