I am 50 yrs old and have 2 grown kids (27 and 24) and have been called when they are 10 and 13. God did His work on myself, my kids and family in the following years! I would have entered before now but waiting for my house to sell - getting near to selling it looks though now.
Even though I could not enter, I contacted orders in the past and up to now. Even the ones that give an age limit, often will consider older if you write and enquire. I have a cloistered vocation and I have always looked at Carmel and the Poor Clare Colettines and the Visitations.
I am going to visit the PCCs in Chicago (refounded by Mother Mary Francis (author of A Right to Be Merry) - chicagopoorclares.org/ - at the end of October and I am planning to visit the Carmelites of Armstrong, British Columbia - carmelspall.org/Home.htm - in Sept or Oct too - I am waiting until they settle into their new monastery.
I have visited the Cristo Rey Carmel in San Fran and the Philly Carmel but though they considered older, I wasn’t sure it was “home”. Also orders in the UK and Ireland are very open to older women. I have visited and loved the Carmel of Kirk Edge, Sheffield - kirkedge.org.uk/index.html - very strict 1990 and austere Carmel and I love it! I am just making sure I am not called in the US as it will be a big sacrifice to leave not just family but also country. But for God, I would only do it.
I considered overseas as I am a “traditional, full habit, orders following their foundress” type of vocation so though there are orders in the us - some Carmels and some Poor Clares - not PCCs - they are either modified habit or no habit and have other things that I am not attracted to.
As for the Visitiations, the Toledo Visitation - toledovisitation.org/ - and the Snellville GA - no website but see these articles: georgiabulletin.org/local/2008/06/05/superior/ - their Superior was married, had kids and grandkids as do many fo the sisters in their now (going to visit them early Oct), lovely slide show georgiabulletin.org/ss_09_vsisters/, article with the slide show georgiabulletin.org/local/2009/12/10/visitation_nuns/ and additional pictures photophilanthropy.org/slideshow/gallery_weichen.php.
Also the Children of Mary I have talked to and wanted me to come and visit but they are to “active” for myself: childrenofmary.net/.
As for active orders, I like the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne - hawthorne-dominicans.org/s200.htm - as I have a relative who was one of these sisters in the 50s and I am a nurse, but I am just not active vocation. Their limit is 50 but they may easily take a bit older if they felt the woman had a true vocation to them - same as the other orders. I’ve had orders tell me “yes, we’ll consider older, etc.” and then then a friend my age be told “no” - perhaps sensed she had no vocation to them.
There are MANY late vocations the past years I have seen and many orders tell me of the number of older woman with grown kids who contact them - some curious and others like myself who know they have a vocation and just searching for where God wants them.
So don’t fear, you are not alone! Also if not mentioned above in other posts, you would need an annulment if you were divorced (as I was) and, obviously, not needed if you are a widow.
Otherwise find what type of vocation you are - contemplative, active, semi-contemp or semi-active - and write those orders. Also even if you think you know you are one, do write the other types because you never know! I have heard and met many stories of nuns in cloisters who could have swore they were active and ended up not!