Step into virtually any store at this time of the year and you will be bombarded with displays of sale-priced backpacks, pens, notebooks, and lunchboxes – and aisles packed with parents rushing to check off all of the items from the kids’ back-to-school supply lists.
And though we might associate the new school year with children, it is imperative to change our mindset to include older adults, who can benefit in various ways from lifelong learning for seniors, including:
- Improved cognitive functioning. Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital just recently paired up to facilitate a study on the effect of intellectual stimulation throughout the lifetime of older adults, and found a marked reduction of memory problems like those displayed in Alzheimer’s disease. Not just that, but a different study through the University of Texas at Dallas took it even further, finding that seniors who participated in a new, mentally-stimulating hobby actually realized a lasting boost in their memory skills.
- Improved physical and mental health. Extending our learning is linked to a diminished rate of depression and anxiety, as well as a lowered rate of various chronic health conditions, for example, diabetes, stroke, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, ulcers, asthma, and more. And simply reading for as little as 6 minutes helps minimize stress through lowering our heart rate and reducing muscle tension, bringing about lower blood pressure levels, improved cardiovascular health, and a more robust and efficient immune system.
- Increased socialization. Of specific concern in older adults is the propensity for isolation. Taking classes allows for the experience of community and camaraderie that is so critical to our general feeling of wellbeing, together with the opportunity to form lasting friendships with others who share similar interests.
In addition to onsite courses, there are endless opportunities to learn online, in the comfort of home. And in many instances, classes on the web are offered at no cost, or at a decreased rate for seniors who aren’t wanting to earn academic credits. Seniors can choose from a number of topics of interest, and work at their own individual pace and according to their own schedule. AARP provides a list of e-learning websites for seniors here, ranging from cooking tips to learning new languages, computer programming, musical skills, and a lot more.
Home With You Senior Care, the memory care Baltimore families trust, is dedicated to ensuring senior loved ones optimize quality of life on a daily basis, and we take pleasure in providing the help needed to encourage lifelong learning. Our professional care staff can help research courses 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!
Reach out to us any time at 410-756-0959 to learn more about our Baltimore area home care, services and help a senior loved one in your life take the first step towards a richer and healthier lifestyle.