You may think of education as something that takes place in your youth, but continuing to learn over the entire course of your life is important. Older adults can benefit significantly from taking on new tasks, learning new skills, or participating in fresh hobbies.
Read on to find out more about 4 of the biggest benefits of lifelong learning for seniors.
Improves Cognitive Health
Many older individuals struggle with a decline in overall cognitive health. This can lead to difficulty understanding common concepts and topics. Ongoing learning helps sharpen cognitive health and slow the progression of decline. When seniors are consistently taught new skills or ideas their cognitive abilities can remain strong.
Lifelong learning can also help strengthen memory and recall skills for aging men and women. Older adults often suffer from memory loss and issues with recall, making it difficult to retain pieces of information. Continually learning new concepts, like technology or a new language, can keep memory and recall skills intact longer.
Increases Positive Emotions
Older adults may find themselves struggling with feelings of sadness or depression. Lifelong learning might boost overall mood in these individuals by helping them focus on new skills or hobbies.
Seniors and the elderly can also experience a boost in self-esteem when they have new tasks to complete. Such tasks could include things like maintaining a garden or making small household repairs.
The ability to learn new information and perform a new skill helps increase overall morale in adults who may feel like they’re unable to take on additional physical or mental capabilities.
Helps Promote Social Connection
One of the biggest benefits of lifelong learning for seniors is that it promotes interactions with others. Many older adults struggle to connect with others and find themselves feeling isolated. Learning new skills or hobbies can help these individuals engage with others and make new friends with shared interests.
This is especially true for older adults who live in assisted living facilities or retirement communities. Enjoyable activities like painting, sewing, or cooking can all increase engagement with others. Taking on a new task or learning a new hobby introduces them to neighbors and fellow residents, helping them to create a rewarding social circle.
Keeps Activity Levels Up
The importance of lifelong learning relates to more than just emotional well-being. Continued learning can actually improve physical health in older adults. Some seniors can succumb to a sedentary lifestyle as they continue to age. And a measurable lack of activity could have serious consequences on both mental and physical health.
New activities to participate in or hobbies to enjoy give seniors a way to fill up their time and stay active. Things like yoga, bocce ball, or dancing can help seniors avoid a sedentary lifestyle and engage in more physical activity that improves their health.
How to Provide Lifelong Learning for Seniors
While it’s clear that lifelong learning is essential for older adults, many may wonder how to facilitate it. The following are some simple ways to introduce seniors to new skills or hobbies they may enjoy:
- Teaching a painting class
- Cooking new recipes
- Planting a garden
- Practicing dance moves
- Making minor home repairs
- Engaging with new technology
- Performing yoga or meditation
The best way to incorporate learning and education into the lives of a senior you care about is through personal engagement. Whether it’s with a family member, friend, or caregiver, trying new skills and hobbies together will help the older adult in your life experience the benefits of lifelong learning. The rewards are well worth the effort.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.