DEAR ABBY: I am 23 and single. I am always hearing about women suffering from midlife crises, but have you ever heard of a mid-20s one? My single friends and I all seem to have the same problem. We are out of college and beyond our days of "flings." So why is it that while we are ready to settle down and meet someone, the men our age act like they are still in college? Is there anywhere I can meet someone mature AND my age? Should I go to church to find someone, like my mom says? Look to older men? Or am I doomed 'til I'm over 30? -- RORY IN CAMBRIDGE, MASS.
DEAR RORY: In the 1950s, "success" for girls was defined as marrying early and having children. Since then, however, more women have jobs and careers, and it is not unusual for men and women to get graduate degrees before thinking about marriage. Couple that with the fact that an adolescent mentality seems to have stretched beyond the teens into the mid-to-late 20s, and it's not surprising that many young men do not feel ready to commit.
You may have to expand your horizons a bit in the age department if you want to settle down now. Consider someone in his late 20s. Then go where like-minded people gather: graduate school, special-interest clubs, volunteer organizations, square or line dancing, church or a political-action group.
Remember that it's important to take the time to really get to know someone before you give your heart -- or anything else.
DEAR ABBY: This is an update on Project Lifesaver, a new nonprofit police organization that locates wandering victims of Alzheimer's disease and special-needs kids using electronic tracking. Your columns devoted to dementia prompted me to write, since our service allows seniors to remain at home longer and gives much-needed stress reduction to their caregivers.
To date, Project Lifesaver has located 878 people in an average rescue time of 19 to 20 minutes. There have been no deaths or injuries, and everyone reported missing has been located. According to the National Alzheimer's Association, an average of 32,000 people wander away from homes and nursing homes each year.
Those at risk of wandering wear a 1-ounce wrist transmitter that emits a radio tracking signal 24/7. When caregivers discover their loved one is missing, they call 911, and Project Lifesaver-trained police officers respond to locate the person quickly.
The system works day or night, inside or outside. The price for the service through the police department ranges from free to $35 per month, depending on financial need. Project Lifesaver is currently in about 200 police departments.
Caregivers interested in Project Lifesaver for their community should contact their local police or sheriff's department and ask them to contact me at the Chesapeake, Va., Sheriff's SAR Unit at (757) 546-5502. Thank you. -- CHIEF GENE SAUNDERS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PROJECT LIFESAVER
DEAR CHIEF SAUNDERS: Be careful what you wish for. Project Lifesaver sounds like a terrific public service to me. I'm pleased to make my readers aware of it. Get ready for the onslaught!
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