Lifelong learning has many benefits, especially in your senior years. Learning a new skill of any kind is a great way to keep the mind and body active and can help you stay engaged, happy and healthy.
According to research, it doesn’t matter if the learning is in a formal setting or if you learn something new from a friend as any form of learning offers a range of benefits.
Learning new skills and about new subject areas can help keep your mind sharp. Continued learning can help improve memory in general by maintaining brain cells and connections between them.
Seasons Redbank Plains residents are embracing technology by learning to use the camera function on their phones. A volunteer sits with residents one on one to help them with their individual phones, giving them the skills to snap, view and share their photos.
Learning something new helps you feel proud of yourself and increases confidence. There is also evidence that believing you are competent, smart and have important skills can help prevent memory loss. Learning also provides a sense of independence which can promote feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Seasons Waterford West started a Ukelele Group, with residents aged between 81 and 91 all getting together to practice on a weekly basis. As the group has grown in confidence they now perform regularly in front of their fellow residents and are continuing to add new songs to their repertoire.
Taking on a new challenge can help you meet and socialise with like-minded people. Seasons Redbank Plains holds a Chair Zumba class each week and residents have reported that aside from all the new moves they’re learning, which is helping keep them healthy and active, they also love socialising with their fellow group members.
“People who don’t speak during the day get together at night and have fun and a laugh and it’s great. We’re exhausted, but it’s nice exhaustion,” says group member Glenda.
In your post-retirement years, you have more time to explore those skills that you may not have had the time for when you were working. This is especially true of creative skills such as writing, painting and crafting.
At Seasons Mango Hill, a group of residents get together fortnightly for creative writing. Lifestyle coordinator Judy has also introduced different forms of craft classes to introduce residents to new skills.
Seasons Waterford West resident Bert teaches a painting class to a small group of residents each Saturday morning. These residents have grown in confidence and have even displayed their works at their own art night.