Walk into just about any store at this time of the year and you will be inundated with displays of sale-priced backpacks, pencils, notebooks, folder and lunchboxes – and aisles full of parents rushing to check off all of the items found on the kids’ back-to-school supply lists.
Even though we might correlate the brand new school year with children, classes for older adults provide many lifelong learning benefits such as:
- Elevated cognitive functioning. Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital recently paired up to carry out a study on the impact of intellectual stimulation through the entire lifetime of older adults, and observed a noticeable reduction of memory problems such as those displayed in Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to that, a different research study through the University of Texas at Dallas took it even further, learning that seniors who participated in a new, mentally-stimulating hobby actually attained a lasting increase in their memory skills.
- Improved physical and mental health. Extended learning is linked to a lower rate of depression and anxiety, along with a lower rate of multiple chronic conditions including diabetes, stroke, emphysema, heart problems, ulcers, asthma, and more. And just reading for as little as 6 minutes helps reduce stress through lowering our heart rate and reducing muscle tension, bringing about reduced blood pressure, increased cardiovascular health, and a more robust and efficient immune system.
- Enhanced socialization. Of specific concern in senior loved ones is the propensity for isolation. Taking lifelong learning classes allows for the sense of community and camaraderie that is so important for our all-around sense of wellbeing, along with the opportunity to form lasting friendships with people who share similar interests.
Along with onsite classes, there are unlimited opportunities to learn online, in the comfort of home. And in many instances, classes on the web may be offered at no charge, or at a decreased rate for older adults who are not seeking to earn academic credits. Older adults can select from various topics of interest, and work at their own individual pace and in accordance with their particular schedule. AARP offers a directory of some of the top e-learning websites for seniors here, ranging from cooking tips to learning new languages, computer programming, musical skills, and much more.
Grace Home Care, the memory care Topeka, KS experts, is committed to ensuring senior loved ones maximize quality of life every single day, and we enjoy providing the assistance needed to promote lifelong learning. Our compassionate care team is able to help research classes of interest, set up online programs, provide transportation and accompaniment to onsite classes, and even take care of housework, meals, and laundry to allow older adults to focus on their newfound passion!