Love is in bloom at one of Atlanta’s newest senior living facilities.
Experienced community liaison Jodi Firestone wanted the residents of Somerby to spice things up a bit, so she sponsored a speed-dating event in the Sandy Springs location.
“We recognize that socialization is so important among seniors. We actually invited folks from outside Somerby to participate too. We promoted through social media, which meant that the adult children of seniors provided the connection,” Firestone said. “Basically, we set up 10 men and 10 women (all 70 years old and up), who got four face-to-face minutes each before having to move to the next round. That event resulted in two matches.”
Sometimes romance is spontaneous.
Phil Cohen from Skokie, Ill., who produced a show called “Artist 2 Artist,” spotted stylish Atlanta native Carole Goldberg coming off the elevator. Each had been at Somerby only a few days.
Carole, who was in the first graduating class of the Westminster Schools, said, “We liked each other immediately and are comfortable together.”
They both enjoy theater and music. Phil, who was a trombone player, uses Uber so the couple can head out to dinner and other outside activities. Carole said Le Petite Maison, Brooklyn Cafe and Goldberg’s are her favs. Phil joked, “Carole’s real favorite is going to the hairdresser.”
Other times Somerby provides a bus for group activities.
“We keep super busy here. Today we have an expert lecturer on humor,” Phil said.
Carole added: “We also do exercise classes, yoga, graceful aging seminars and tai chi. We do it together.”
A little more in-depth probing:
- Do you have any plans to make your romance official?
“Nope, we’re content just being SOs,” or significant others, Carole said.
- What advice would you offer to seniors about dating in the later years?
Carole: “When you get older, your priorities change. I’m simply enjoying today.”
Phil: “You can’t meet anyone while sitting home alone. Break the glass; start talking!”
You mean “break the ice”?
“No,” Carole said, “he is specific about that expression.”
Firestone wants the Jewish residents (approximately 45 percent) to feel at home at Somerby. On most Fridays, a rabbinical team comes to conduct Shabbat services. Phil and Carole make it a point to go with about 20 others.
“We go out of our way to welcome new people and make everyone feel included, but folks know that we are indeed a couple,” Carole said.
Love “is as perennial as the grass,” as Max Ehrmann wrote in “Desiderata.”