Molly Forrest, CEO-President of the Jewish Home, says romance is one of the keys to living longer. "Many seniors have lost spouses. Without someone to love, aging can be more challenging and lonely," she said. "Despite the fact many think those over 70 are ‘too old to fall in love and marry,' that's ridiculous! I am delighted to say the opposite is true among the couples I know here at the Jewish Home. They have proven to be as romantically involved as couples I know in their 30s and 40s."
Jerri, 88, and Ray, 93, found each other at the Home. Jerri arrived in 2008. Ray moved into residential care at Eisenberg Village in early 2013. He'd been living in one of the Jewish Home's Neighborhood Homes (independent living) prior to that. His table in the dining room is across from Jerri's, and this is where they met. They've been roomies for several months now. (View Jerri and Ray's fun and loving courtship here.)
Jeanette, 85, and Ira, 83, met as residents at the Home's Eisenberg Village. She moved in several years ago after losing her husband. One day, a new resident was seated at her dining table. Jeanette noticed a sparkle in Ira's eye even though he didn't say much. Jeanette and Ira discovered how much they had in common including a love of watching basketball, and before they knew it, were spending nearly every moment together. Jeanette says, "Our children are so happy we're here. They don't have to worry about us now."
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Tess, 86, and Arthur, 85, also met and fell in love at the Jewish Home. "She stirred something in me," he says. Tess, who was widowed for more than 40 years, says that she met many men over the years, but there was always something missing...until Arthur came along. Arthur was single for 20 years. He said that he wasn't looking for love when he came here, and then, "I saw Tess."
Seniors tend to shy away from new romances because of a spouse's death or divorce. Statistics show, however, that single people tend to die earlier than those who are married or have a significant other. "Our motto here at the Jewish Home is ‘follow your heart,' Forrest said. "With all their experience, seniors are probably better at finding the right person than the young."
About the Los Angeles Jewish Home
Founded in 1912, the non-profit Los Angeles Jewish Home is among the largest providers of senior healthcare services in Los Angeles. Each year, more than 4,300 seniors benefit from the Home's community-based and in-residence programs. Community-based programs include the Brandman Centers for Senior Care (BCSC), a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), Jewish Home Care Services, Skirball Hospice, Jewish Home Center for Palliative Medicine, the Ida Kayne Transitional Care Unit, the Auerbach Geriatric Psychiatry Unit and community clinics. Two village campuses in Reseda serve seniors with independent living accommodations, residential care, skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitative care, and Alzheimer's disease and dementia care. The Home recently announced plans to build the Gonda Healthy Aging Westside Campus in Playa Vista, CA. Further information regarding the Jewish Home can be found online at www.jha.org or by calling (818) 757-4407.
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