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Marriage Later In LifeMarriage Later in Life| Village to Village| Clubs

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Marriage Later in Life| Village to Village| Clubs

MARRIAGE LATER IN LIFE

True love knows no age! Nowadays, more people are getting married later in life. Older newlyweds might have more baggage to sort through, but that doesn’t mean they can’t live happily ever after. Suzanne chats with Marlene and Carlyle Westlund, a couple who got married and found lasting love in their seventies.

Marlene and Carlyle were married twice before they met each other. So, why did they start dating again in their seventies? Marlene and Carlyle agree that they didn’t enjoy being single and decided to get back into the dating pool. The pair met in the most modern of ways on Match.com, an internet dating site. They explain to Suzanne that using the internet made dating much easier at their age; they could learn a lot about each other before meeting. As a senior, it’s much harder to meet new people in places that you once might’ve, like a bar. The internet makes connecting to others very simple. 

Marlene and Carlyle didn’t wait around long to get engaged; they made the decision only three months after meeting! The couple officially tied the knot seven months after their engagement. Although Marlene and Carlyle opted to get married privately by a judge, they had a small celebration one month later. As most newlyweds do, they planned a honeymoon to their destination of choice: New Mexico. After they got married, Marlene moved out of her house and into Carlyle’s. Some couples that elope later in life encounter disagreements with their children, but Marlene and Carlyle tell Suzanne that their families have been understanding and supportive of their decision. The two share a lot in common, particularly hobbies like gardening and dancing. Marlene and Carlyle feel that having a companion to spend time with is their favorite part of being married. Marrying later in life may seem silly, but Marlene and Carlyle are proof that a happy marriage is possible at any age. 

VILLAGE TO VILLAGE

It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child, but older people can also benefit from this mentality. The village concept links neighbors together to help them remain in their own homes longer as they age. Suzanne learns about the personal experiences of village members who are enjoying the benefits of this movement.

Charlie Day, a member of East Falls Village, tells Suzanne that a village is not a piece of real estate or development, but a network that makes it possible for seniors to continue living in their own homes and neighborhoods longer. The Village to Village network consists of about 150 villages from all over the country, with many more on the way. Charlie is very involved with the volunteer-driven East Falls Village network in Philadelphia. East Falls Village is made up of over 100 members that pay an annual fee to be part of the network. Joan McIlhenny of East Falls Village works as a volunteer on the membership committee and answers their network’s phone every few months. Joan joined East Falls Village due to complications with her eyesight, which has affected her ability to drive. One day, while reading the newspaper, she saw that East Falls Village provides transportation to important places like the doctor or grocery store. Joan decided it would be a great idea to join the village to fulfill her transportation needs. Villages can cost anywhere from $125 a year to $600 per year, depending on the services offered. Transportation is typically the most necessary service for village members. Access to trustworthy professional service providers is also available through village networks. 

Many members believe that the most valuable village services are the friendly check-ins and phone calls. Suzanne learns that villages offer many organized social activities like luncheons, walks, cultural events, wine tastings and more. The connections members can make through their village are endless from social to cultural. Being part of a village offers members the opportunity to stay active and independent while growing old happily. 

CLUBS

As seniors age, many of their social circles can dissipate, or vanish altogether. Finding ways to stay connected to the outside world can be a challenge. Today, Suzanne talks with three women who’ve kept their social, mental, and even physical skills on point by joining various clubs.

For Grey, poker has become not just a way to keep her mind sharp, but to maintain a relationship with a theatrical community she’s long been active a part of. She and other folks affiliated with the Hedgerow Theater meet every week to catch up, laugh, and take a little bit of each other’s money at the poker table. Perhaps the biggest gift this activity affords Grey is the time it allows her to spend with her mom, another associate of the theater. 

Janet and her husband moved to Philadelphia, uprooting themselves from their long-established social circles. But Janet has found an entirely new group of friends at her bridge club. The game has connected her to an existing circle of like-minded folks, and she credits it with keeping her mind sharp.

Sue Pritchard is a very active member of the community, but on the pickle ball court “active” takes on a whole new meaning. Thankful for being in solid physical shape, Sue keeps fit by working up a good sweat during her matches, and she finds the social interaction on the bench between games equally rewarding.

Whether it’s physical fitness or mental stimulation an activity club provides, all of today’s guests agree that keeping them connected to the outside world is the greatest value a club can offer.

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