Continuing education comes with countless benefits, both physical and mental. It is related to a reduced risk of depression and anxiety, as well as a lower rate of diabetes, stroke, emphysema, cardiovascular disease, ulcers, asthma, and other chronic illnesses.
It can also lead to increased socialization. Taking classes, attending seminars, or joining a group of people interested in continuing their education and learning new things can help older adults avoid isolation by creating meaningful connections.
Lifelong learning also benefits older adults’ cognitive health and well-being by staving off the risk of dementia and improving overall cognitive function.
A study by the Mather Institute tested a group of eighteen older adults, all given a similar course load to the average college student, including practical classes like Spanish, iPad classes, and art with the optional addition of music composition or photography. For 12 weeks, the class met once a week for two hours, with 8 to 10 hours of homework per week. The group had already shown improved working memory, cognitive control, and episodic memory by the halfway mark.
A small and relatively short study like this one holds promising results for seniors in long-term learning.
How to Continue Learning
Although returning to the classroom can benefit older adults in many ways, doing so after many years can be intimidating to some seniors. Luckily, continuing education does not look the same for everyone.
It may not seem like it, but you learn new things every day. You educate yourself on a topic every time you open a book, watch a quick video, or hear a friend tell you a fun fact they learned.
Here are some different ways to continue education and keep learning:
1. Online/in-person classes
2. Join local or online groups dedicated to continued learning
3. Learn one new fact every day
4. Read about topics that interest you
5. Remain curious about things
Wellzesta Life offers residents space to continue their learning anywhere, anytime. Wellzesta’s daily wellness content encourages intellectual well-being and provides many resources for older adults to explore topics of interest.
Residents can join groups and activities that challenge them both intellectually and socially, allowing them to stay healthy and active.
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