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Benefits of Lifelong Learning for Seniors
Healthy Aging | 05/4/21
Like any muscle, the brain requires ongoing exercise to keep it sharp and strong. Continuing to flex that muscle by learning throughout your life is one way you can proactively work to reduce the natural cognitive decline that often accompanies aging. There are numerous examples of how lifelong learning improves cognitive health and enhances your overall well-being. You may be surprised to learn how lifelong learning improves mental health, too.
One of the greatest benefits of lifelong learning for seniors is the impact on your cognitive and memory functions. When you explore new subjects or master new skills, you’re stimulating your brain, which in turn improves your brain’s health. In fact, one study found that seniors who were involved in higher levels of cognitive stimulation throughout their lifetime had a significant delay in the onset of memory issues and Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Your brain’s efficiency improves with use, but lifestyle changes in your later years (such as retiring from a challenging and rewarding career) may mean you need to actively seek out ways to stimulate your brain. Some researchers recommend not just stimulating but actively challenging your brain. For example, taking up a musical instrument engages multiple senses and strengthens multiple areas of the brain at once.
A renewed perspective on your abilities is another benefit of lifelong learning for seniors. As you age, it can be frustrating to discover everyday activities that you struggle to do as well as you did in your youth. Through lifelong learning, you have the chance to develop new skills and uncover areas where you can shine in this season of life. The morale boost that comes with learning and accomplishing something new can go a long way toward improving your happiness and overall well-being.
Knowledge that you gain in your senior years can help you adapt to your changing surroundings and lifestyle. You may find that you need new information to accomplish your personal goals or protect your health. For example, you might realize the importance of lifelong learning when you need to navigate new technology to keep in touch with loved ones or understand how a specific nutrition plan can help you manage a medical condition.
While it certainly can include traditional education or training, lifelong learning doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the books. One great benefit of lifelong learning for seniors is the ability to apply years of wisdom in new and creative ways. It can open your mind to innovative ways to solve problems or inspire you to acquire a skill for no reason other than that it’s something you want to do.
In retirement, without a regular routine or specific goals to accomplish each day, it can be easy to fall into a rut. Helping you step out of that rut is an example of how lifelong learning improves mental health. Lifelong learning may help you discover an interest or skill that gives your days new purpose.
Often, lifelong learning opportunities are designed with personal interests in mind. That means participating in such programs puts you in contact with like-minded peers. Socialization plays an important role in your mental health as you age, and the interests you share with fellow participants can form the foundation of new friendships you’ll treasure.
At Winchester Gardens, we understand the importance of lifelong learning. That’s why we offer a wide range of educational opportunities, from our guest lecture series and events like trivia night, to amenities tailored to our residents’ lifelong learning interests.
Art Studio: An on-site studio gives aspiring and accomplished artists alike the opportunity to engage in numerous forms of creative expression while reaping the mental, cognitive, and fine motor skill benefits of art therapy.
Woodworking Shop: For residents who enjoy carving and creating, the well-equipped woodworking shop is a favorite retreat. The shop is the ideal place to build, repair, and hone new skills.
Library: Our well-appointed library offers residents access to reading material ranging from classic novels to contemporary magazines.
These and other amenities contribute to a sense of belonging and create a lifestyle that makes you feel right at home. Schedule a visit to begin imagining your future and discover all that’s waiting for you to learn at Winchester Gardens.