By Christy Strawser, CBS Detroit

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Speed isn’t something one usually associates with the elderly — nor is dating — which is why this event at Waltonwoods in Rochester Hills is so notable. It brings the two together.

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The senior living center is hosting a speed dating event 5-7 p.m. Thursday for anyone age 70 or older at 3250 Walton Boulevard, in Rochester Hills.

Registration is required. So far, 18 women and 15 men have confirmed their attendance.

Demand for the event is so high that in the way these things tend to go, lots of women of a certain age are in the cold because there aren’t enough men to go around.

“We had 30 women try to register, but we have to keep it even,” said Jeff Madak, executive director at Waltonwoods.

Don’t worry, more such events are planned. And why not, Madak says, because in his experience residents at senior facilities enjoy finding new love.

“We’re having fun,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to start socializing and you could kind of say it (speed dating) de-stresses the event. You can just find a companion to talk to, it takes the fear and stress out of it and gives them a time to just socialize and have fun.”

The ladies and gents will be divided into tables and they’ll spend five minutes asking each other questions and having conversation. The seniors will have scorecards where they can take notes about compatibility

“They turn all of their cards in at the end of the night, and then at that point, I go through and actually tally it up on a spreadsheet,” Madak said.

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Matches will be notified.

And that’s when they’ll get to spend more time with people they’re attracted to and see where it goes. Madak said dating among the senior set is much more common than people may realize.

“We have people in my independent living that just started dating, and that’s where all of this is coming from,” he said. “It’s a cool thing that happened, they started talking to each other and now they’re dating. I have a number of individuals here who are dating.”

The average age is 87 in the independent living facility, he added.

“That’s who we cater to, it’s 100 percent seniors, they have fun,” Madak said.

And when they get together they love to go to restaurants, theaters, play board games and Bingo. “They love concerts, singing, lately it’s been some of our exercise classes,” Madak said.

The senior living community hosted its first dating event last February, which Madak said was a huge hit and led to some lasting connections.

Call 248-331-9990 to register for the event.


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