It says older couples rate their relationship as one of the most important things in their life, second only to good health. They also rate it higher than financial security or relationships with their children.
Relate says that people may look after their health and save for retirement but don’t think about their relationship.
There has been an increase in couples over 60 divorcing – 50% up from ten years ago. This trend for “silver separation” has potentially dire consequences. Older married or co-habiting couples are more likely to be satisfied with life than those who are separated, divorced or single. And people living alone are more likely to suffer poorer health and have shorter life expectancy
People in this age group separate for a variety of reasons. For some just the thought of growing old together is too much to contemplate as life expectancy increases. For some it happens once the children have left home or got married. For others it’s just the thought of being alone together, even on a holiday, after being used to spending time apart when still working. And because you are getting older doesn’t mean you are past it.
The Chief Executive of Relate, Ruth Sunderland, said; “retirement is a good time to think about your relationship: is it ready for the changes later life can bring?”
Relate has joined forces with Gransnet to encourage older couples to assess their relationships with the help of an online tool called Relationship Checker which can be found at retirementtogether.org.uk
Based on article in The Times “Over-60s need to work at creating silver lining” 22 March 2013