Have you always wanted to learn Spanish? Take a pottery class? Archery, anyone? There is never an expiration date on opportunities to learn something new. In fact, you likely have a little extra time in the day after retirement. Why not fill your time with engaging and enriching learning opportunities?
Why is Life-Long Learning Important for Aging Adults?
Everyone's reason for staying active and curious is slightly different, just as everyone’s interests and talents differ. Luckily, there are a multitude of ways to stay engaged. Life-long learning for seniors and aging adults provides numerous benefits, no matter what activities one chooses choose.
Top 5 Benefits of Life-Long Learning For Seniors and Aging Adults
1. Cognitive and memory boost
We all experience loss of brain mass and memory decline as we move through adulthood. Life-long learning, especially learning that causes you to think in new ways and solve new problems, protects against some forms of memory loss.
2. Social and community connection
Life-long learning bonds people through shared interests. Meeting other people with similar life experiences and having mutual interests may help spark meaningful, stimulating conversations! Many friendships are forged during our social and recreational activities.
3. Structure and schedule
Committing to classes, lessons, meetings, or anything that meets regularly can give you something to look forward to and help structure your sense of time passing. It is easy to lose track of the days if you never have to know what day it is. If you always go bowling on Wednesday nights, you have an incentive to be anchored to a weekly rhythm.
4. Improved self-esteem and sense of well-being
Many studies link life-long learning to reduced depression and anxiety and increased positive sense of self and well-being. Again, the activity matters much less than the time you spend engaged learning about it.
5. New skills and curiosity make life richer.
The world is full of things to learn and experiences to collect. It’s exhilarating to know you haven’t even scratched the surface in your lifetime of learning. Pick something you always wanted to learn, or take on something completely new and contemporary, like coding.
Opportunities to Continue with your Education
What colleges offer free classes to seniors?
Did you know you can continue your formal education at a fraction of the usual cost? Many colleges and universities offer free or significantly reduced tuition for seniors. While some programs offer audit only, others offer a set number of credits per term or grant up to one degree. A quick internet search is your best bet if you’re interested in free college courses for seniors near you.
The following colleges in Washington and the Seattle area are favorites for many seniors seeking college classes. Click the links to learn more about each school’s program for seniors in our area. Each school has different rules and processes for seniors to qualify and get started.
- Seattle Central College
- Seattle Pacific
- University of Washington
- Western Washinton University
- South Seattle
- North Seattle
Online Classes for Seniors
If you don’t have a class available in your area, don’t give up on your interest! Many online classes teach fascinating classes online.
Exercise Classes for Seniors
Any exercise routine is a good exercise routine if it keeps you moving. If you’re a life-long athlete, there’s no reason to slow down as you age. If you have a strenuous routine, keep it up as long as it feels good. If you’re looking to build a healthy senior exercise routine, start with something more gentle. Consider a class to keep you accountable for your commitment. Most experts recommend low-impact standbys for older adults. These include:
Computer Classes for Seniors
It’s never too late to get comfortable online. This is a smart move for anyone hoping to pay bills and make appointments in this increasingly digital world. Use resources like Techboomers for tutorials for all sorts of popular online platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Learn the basics of the Microsoft Suite, Google, Quickbooks, and more in a senior-friendly format at Teach an Old Dog New Tricks.
Creative Activities for Seniors
Spark your creative side. Try writing, dance, drawing, coloring, painting, singing, or pottery. Pick something brand new, or revisit an old passion. Pick a buddy and explore together! The options for creative expression for seniors are endless. Take a class or practice in the privacy of your own space.
Let us Fill Your Dance Card
Let us do the planning for you. Take advantage of our enticing calendar of events at Village Green Retirement. Let us bring in the guest lecturers and clean up after decoupage day. We cannot wait to welcome you home to our thriving Federal Way, Washington community! Reach out today to find out more about our availability and offerings.