Learning doesn’t stop when you earn a degree, or even when you exit the workforce. At least it shouldn’t. The benefits of lifelong learning for seniors are far-reaching, from boosting your confidence and mastering useful new skills to challenging your brain to keep it sharp.
You may have heard cognitive decline is an inevitable part of growing older, but that’s not necessarily true. Lifestyle plays a major role in your aging process, and your cognitive health is no exception. In fact, studies have shown that those who regularly participate in intellectually stimulating activities have higher cognitive function than those who don’t.
That’s why helping you stay mentally active is one of the ways we focus on whole-person wellness at Springpoint. Each of our Life Plan Communities, (also known as continuing care retirement communities) offers lifelong learning for seniors so you can experience firsthand how lifelong learning keeps you sharp.
Even if hitting the books wasn’t your cup of tea in your younger years, take heart in knowing there are many ways you can engage your mind and reap the benefits of lifelong learning. Whether you’re learning something practical or useful, or simply learning for the joy of mastering something new, there are many advantages beyond the cognitive benefits of continued learning. Depending on where you focus your attention, you may also discover the social, emotional, and physical benefits of learning for seniors.
As you move into your retirement years, you’ve likely begun to notice you can’t always do certain things with the gusto and finesse of your youth. Although very normal, those realizations can give your ego a bit of a beating. One of the benefits of continued learning is the opportunity to focus on exploring new things you can do and do well. It might be a hobby like painting or woodworking, or maybe it’s taking up a game you always wanted to learn, like chess or backgammon.
When you attend a class or sit in on a lecture about a topic that fascinates you, you’re sure to find like-minded peers who share your interests. That’s a wonderful foundation for a new friendship and an especially important benefit of lifelong learning for seniors who may find their social connections fading over time.
Your brain is your body’s most important muscle, and just like any other muscle, it requires flexing to keep it toned and moving like it should. Research continually demonstrates the cognitive benefits of lifelong learning for seniors, including delays in memory loss and the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms. While many forms of lifelong learning engage your brain for a healthy workout, you can also participate in exercises specifically designed for seniors that challenge your memory or put your critical thinking skills to work.
In your retirement years, you may find it necessary to learn new things or to adapt what you know to your current lifestyle. For example, you may find you need to learn new cooking techniques to prepare heart-friendly foods or to accommodate a diabetic diet. Learning to use new kinds of technology may make it easier to keep in touch with your kids and grandkids. If you’ve moved to a senior living community and miss your garden, you might enjoy learning how to adapt your green thumb for a patio garden. What’s more, studies have shown learning a new skill, even something relatively uncomplicated like quilting, can have a measurable impact on improving your memory.
From well-stocked libraries to performance halls and learning centers, our Springpoint communities offer a multitude of amenities designed to encourage and facilitate lifelong learning for seniors. These life-enriching opportunities ensure you’re able to continue growing and thriving while you discover all that retirement living has to offer. Contact us to schedule a tour, and start learning something new today.