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Learning Opportunities For The Elderly
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Learning Opportunities For The Elderly

February 22, 2014

Seniors who stay socially and mentally engaged may have the added benefit of preventing health conditions such as depression or dementia, according Everyday Health. As such, it’s important for older adults to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and keep active, especially when in a retirement community or an assisted living center. 

Research even shows that seniors who engage in social activities have an estimated 70 percent lower rate of cognitive loss than their peers who socialized less, the source noted. While maintaining a social network isn’t as easy for older adults as it is for college kids, perhaps those in their golden years can take a few cues from the younger generation. 

Senior looking at social media with caregiver
College classes for fun
One constructive way seniors can keep themselves busy while also fueling a hobby or interest is by taking a course or two at a local college. Age cannot subside the urge to learn, and with classes seniors can both learn new skills and meet other like-minded individuals. The Centre Daily Times reported that one program, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Pennsylvania State, even takes out of the equation tests and degrees, providing a pressure-free learning environment for people of varying skill and education levels.

An 81-year old man named Tom Walsh has been taking OLLI courses for eight years now. He told the Centre Daily Times, “I want to keep my mind alert. I want to expand it, have a global understanding and learn with these young people.”

Walsh has taken courses ranging from contagious diseases to robotics just because he thought they sounded interesting and enjoys learning about topics in the forefront of today’s world.

Stay busy
Not only does taking a couple of college classes a week get you out of the house, but it presents opportunities to interact with a wide variety of people. Seniors can delve into interests they never had time for and experience new things. Even people who are restricted to their home can take courses over the Internet and use social media to stay connected with friends and family.

When you stay productive, you stay healthy. Utilize every chance you get to make use of your time in ways that will promote not just physical, but mental health as well.

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