All Woman

She's in her 50s, single, and 'doing just fine'

BY DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE All Woman writer husseyd@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, July 09, 2012    

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THEY insist that they are 'fit and kicking', doing OK financially, and still have a chance of finding Mr Right, even though they are over 50.

Indeed, not one in a group of seniors All Woman interviewed believe they have to spend the rest of their lives alone, nor that their financial status in life has much to do with the lack of a partner.

"Ageing without a partner does not make you poorer, because the poor get married and the rich get married," 57-year-old Yvonne Weathers said, commenting on a study published in the April issue of the journal The Gerontologist, which showed that the single elderly in the US generally have poorer health and less money than their married counterparts.

The research, which examined US national data, found that the number of unmarried aged has increased by more than 50 per cent since 1980, with many having "difficult lives".

"[But] when you're ageing your health is not something you have control over. I know a number of single persons who are going up in age and their health is quite OK. And I am sure you have couples who are married and their health is not good too," Weathers said.

Despite never being married and nearing her 60s, she said healthwise, she is doing just fine, and like others, still believes there's a chance of finding Mr Right and not having to spend the rest of her life alone.

'Miss Daisy' who is in her late 50s, said she has good health and is "fit and kicking", and while she is not rich, does not see this as the result of her still being single.

She also looks forward to walking down the aisle someday, and takes comfort in the story of Una Dillon who was recently featured in All Woman after falling in love and walking down the aisle for the first time at 60-something.

"It's never too late for a shower of rain," Miss Daisy said. "It was when Sarah was old that she conceived and had her son, so it is never too late for a shower of rain."

The biblical matriarch Sarah was the wife of Abraham and became the mother of Isaac at 90.

Like Miss Daisy, Weathers said she still thinks there is hope of her tying the knot in the future, though she does not feel she is presently missing out on anything.

Sixty-eight-year-old Beverly Clarke said she is OK facing old age on her own, after trying and failing at "the marriage thing" in her 20s.

"Life is what you make it, single or married," she said. "If you save and invest and if you have a close network of supportive family and friends, you can face old age with hope. It's only those who are naturally dependent on others who believe success as an older person hinges on the involvement of a partner in your life."

It's this involvement 70-year-old Pansy Allen explained is important for some.

She said for some, being married while ageing adds to their peace of mind and makes them feel more appreciated.

She also said when "two can put together", the financial situation is usually better, but not always.

"Once you have your partner, you have someone to share with, someone to talk to, and at my age, that is important," she said.

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