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In a lot of ways, Carmela DeVito has found that dating at 57 is similar to dating in her teens or 20s. But there's one notable way in which the dating scene has changed since DeVito's youth -- via the Internet.

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According to a study by the Pew Research Center11 percent of American adults -- and 38 percent of those who were single and looking for a partner -- said they used online dating sites or mobile dating apps, such as Match. While the study showed younger people were more likely to use the sites, those approaching their senior years are hardly strangers to the Web.

Researchers found that 6 percent of those 55 to 64, and 3 percent of those 65 and older, used online dating sites. There are even sites geared specifically to the over crowd, including OurTime.

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There's also a new site called Stitch. That's a concept many seniors can relate to, said Marcie Rogoco-founder of Stitch. Those 50 and older have typically had a long-term relationship in their life and, when it ends for one reason or another, they're not necessarily looking for a new mate -- but they do want someone to hang out with.

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Others are looking for a second chance at love, including DeVito, who is twice-widowed and has turned to sites such as OurTime and Match. She said such sites can be risky, as some people use them as way to meet and exploit vulnerable people.

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But DeVito said the risks are worth if it helps her find someone she can enjoy spending time with. There were more than 40 million Americans over 65 inaccording to the U. Administration on Agingan 18 percent increase from The administration also reported the of Americans age 45 to 64 rose by 33 percent between and A large of these Americans are single, with 55 percent of women and 28 percent men over 65 stating they were unmarried.

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With so many people unattached later in life, it's only natural that some of them would dip toes in the dating pool, said Dr. For those people, Schwartz said, Internet dating is an exciting new frontier, allowing them access to a wide array of potential partners from the privacy of their own homes. Or if they did date and find people, they didn't know what to do once they exhausted that pool of eligible people.

Now, there really are a lot of people in their 50s and 60s who want to find each other and quite a few in their 70s and a reasonable even in their 80s. Nora DuncanAARP state director, agreed that many older people are turning online to find love, but that carries certain risks.

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It may be happening in older people a little bit more, because I guess they're a little more trusting. To help provide a safe place for seniors to meet, the AARP started its own dating site in The goal of the site is to keep members from feeling isolated and encourage them to get out and into a social setting, said Nataki EdwardsAARP vice president of digital strategies and operations.

The site -- for which about 80, people have ed up since it launched -- not only allows members to connect with each other, but also suggests date ideas, such as a quick coffee or going to a museum. Not only is this low pressure; it's likely more in keeping with kind of relationships people tend to seek as they get older, Edwards said.

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Indeed, a AARP study of 1, people 50 and older showed not all older people who try online dating are looking to meet Mr. Though the survey said nearly half of those who used Internet dating sites were looking for a serious relationship, about a quarter were seeking friendship or companionship and 14 percent were interested in "casual dating. The growing site Stitch largely caters to this group, Rogo said, as it matches users based mainly on hobbies and interests, such as golf, reading or travel.

Stitch users range from 50 to their early 90s. The site expanded into New York at the beginning of the year and recently began seeking members in Fairfield County. About 30 to 40 people from the region have already ed the site, including a New Canaan woman who asked that her name not be used.

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The year-old widow said she found out about the site online and was intrigued by its unique approach. It's not based on what they look like.

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Though the woman said she is looking for a relationship, she said she knows that is not the case for everyone in her age bracket, and likes that the site is respectful of that. Senior sites Here are some key facts from an AARP survey of 1, adults over 50 -- some of whom used online dating sites and some of whom didn't. In-Depth Coverage. Jacobs: HS athletes need to listen to peers, get vaccinated.