In a three-part series called Young At Heart, The Early Show explores a new phenomenon: grown children playing cupid for their single moms and dads.
There are a few cultural influences contributing to this role reversal. The number of single senior citizens is up by more than 25 percent and most are no longer limiting their social lives to widows groups and church functions. And, says professional matchmaker Janis Spindel, children are the first ones to see their parents as vital, eligible and deserving of happiness.
While almost all parents appreciate the efforts of their offspring, Spindel says, most single seniors aren't comfortable with meeting a love coach, and some need help navigating the Internet.
"In the beginning, I say they're somewhat hesitant. But they don't want to be alone. Nobody wants to be single and alone out there. So they go for it. They say, 'What do I have to lose? I was in your life driving you crazy to get married. Now you're finally happy; now it's my turn,'" says Spindel.
Many Web sites, cruise lines, and dating services are launching single senior services in response to this fast-growing population of daters.
Spindel's business, Serious Matchmaking, Inc., includes one-on-one counseling, a Web site and small and large dinner parties to which she invites compatible guests.
"You have to go in with a full foot. You have to be pro-active or you're not going to meet somebody. And if you don't go in with a positive attitude, it's not going to work," says Spindel.
Spindel works with people of all ages. However, lately, she has been seeing more people who range in age from late 50s to early 70s - a season in life when people tend to carry more "baggage."
It's an anticipated problem.
"Everybody comes with baggage. You just have to make sure that it's carry-on, not a steam liner," Spindel says, noting every individual is different. The questions really are, do they look their age? Do they act their age? Are they physically fit? Do they have high energy? Do they work out? Do they take care of themselves?"
So is love possible?
"Absolutely," Spindel says.