The Benefits of Lifelong Learning

image of resident using computer

image of resident using computerAs the kids go back to school, there are plenty of great reasons for seniors and their caregivers to go “back to school,” too. Lifelong learning – the process of continuing to learn new skills and concepts throughout one’s life – brings many benefits to everyone, especially seniors and their caregivers.

Whether it’s learning a craft, learning to cook a different type of food, or learning how to best support a loved one during a new phase of life, seniors and their caregivers see real health benefits, both from the information they learn and the process of learning itself.

Best of all, lifelong learning programs can be adapted to any situation and age. And, as many seniors have learned more about using technology over the past few years, online programs are even more accessible.

What is Lifelong Learning?

Lifelong learning is any process of seeking out new information after formal schooling has ended. At different times in life, you might be motivated to learn something new to advance your career, to develop spiritually or personally, to support a loved one, or simply to have fun!

Learning can take the form of a structured course online or in-person, or it can be an individual process of gathering information. Fortunately, it is the process of learning that brings most of the benefits, whether that is learning a new skill, hobby, or language.

The Benefits of Lifelong Learning for Seniors and Caregivers

Lifelong learning is both an action and a mindset. Lifelong learners stay curious about the world throughout their lives. That curiosity keeps them motivated and engaged, and helps bring meaning and purpose to life.

The process of learning itself especially benefits seniors. When engaged in learning programs, seniors report increased self-esteem and demonstrate greater cognitive fitness. Studies have shown that when compared with non-learners, senior learners have:

  • Less evidence of depression
  • Improvements in memory
  • Increased activity overall
  • Better emotional balance

Learning something new is also a great stress reliever, especially for those involved in the day-to-day care of a loved one. Learning programs provide structure, a positive area of focus, and a feeling of satisfaction and achievement.

How Do I Find Lifelong Learning Programs?

Make the most of your time online! Is there something you or your loved one always found interesting, but never quite had the time to try? A simple search can lead to tutorials, apps, and online courses – perfect whether you have five minutes, a whole evening, or are looking for a long-term project.

If you’re undecided about a topic, begin by browsing programs at local libraries and universities. Many libraries offer short courses for adults, and many universities have entire departments offering non-credit classes for adult learners. Topics can range from the arts to history, science, religion, and technology.

You may find that many local organizations are also sponsoring events online, especially now. Look to community organizations like senior centers and non-profits that interest you.

Some of the more popular online learning options include:

Local online options:

There is a terrific list of online learning programs here, sorted by interest area and organization. (Many are free.)

Lifelong Learning at Sunnyside Manor

Here at Sunnyside Manor, there are always opportunities to learn something new. Most recently, we added “One Day University” to our programming. One Day University is a membership-based platform that offers live talks from some of the country’s best and most engaging professors. Each week, Sunnyside Manor residents have the opportunity to sit in on one of these classes to learn more about a particular topic: anything from “What Can Downton Abbey Teach Us About History?” to “The Last Days of the Dinosaurs.”

Learn More About Why Families Rely On Sunnyside Manor

Sunnyside Manor offers assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Learn more about Sunnyside Manor’s resources for caregivers. Whether you’re looking for short-term support or a longer-term plan, we are here to help. Begin with our “Getting Started” guide. Times have changed, and so have our admissions protocols. Please call us at 888-696-2052 to speak with a senior living expert.

Sunnyside Manor, located in Wall NJ, is the area’s premier senior living community. It features three distinctive neighborhoods: Independence ‘Plus’ Assisted Living, Recollections Memory Care and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.

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