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 full of parents scrambling to check off all of the items on the kids’ back-to-school supply lists.
Although we may correlate the new school year with children, continuing education for older adults brings many benefits, including:
- Improved cognitive functioning. Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital just recently paired up to conduct research on the outcomes of intellectual stimulation throughout the lifetime of seniors, and discovered a noticeable decrease in memory problems such as those exhibited in Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to that, a different research study through the University of Texas at Dallas took it even further, discovering that older adults who participated in a new, mentally-stimulating hobby actually realized a long-term increase in their memory skills.
- Better physical and mental health. Continuing to learn is linked to a lowered rate of depression and anxiety, including a lowered rate of various chronic conditions including diabetes, stroke, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, ulcers, asthma, and more. And just reading for as little as six minutes helps minimize stress through lowering our heart rate and easing muscle tension, resulting in 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 predisposition for isolation. Taking classes allows for the experience of community and camaraderie that is so crucial to our general sense of wellbeing, along with the possibility to form enduring friendships with those who share similar interests.
In conjunction with onsite classes, there are endless opportunities to learn online, within the comfort of home. And in many instances, online classes are available free of charge, or at a reduced rate for older adults who are not looking to earn academic credits. Older adults can select from various topics of interest, and work at their own pace and in accordance with their particular schedule. AARP offers a listing of the top e-learning websites for seniors here, that range from cooking tips to learning new languages, computer programming, musical skills, and much more.
Live Free Home Health Care is committed to helping seniors age at home in Concord, NH and the surrounding areas, and we enjoy supplying the help essential to motivate lifelong learning. Our compassionate care team can help investigate courses of interest, set up online programs, provide transportation and accompaniment to onsite classes, and even take care of housework, meals, and laundry to permit older adults to focus on their newfound passion!