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New Things to Learn As You Age

Posted by Betsy Fradd on Oct 20, 2016 7:53:00 AM
Betsy Fradd

Helpful-Apps-for-Caregivers_.jpgScientists believe the key to memory retention is to learn new and challenging activities as you age. These ideas will help you get started.

One of the things many seniors worry about is memory loss. Thankfully, science is making inroads into the elderly mind and the way it works, and the answers they’re finding may surprise you. According to the Association for Psychological Science, there’s a key to keeping sharp: learning new and mentally challenging things. That’s right; it’s not enough to do a complicated puzzle every day. You have to seek out the unfamiliar, get out of your comfort zone, and challenge your brain to keep on learning in order to gain the optimum brain health and memory retention.

How does that translate in everyday life?

Look for new activities that make you think. The computer is a perfect example, because no matter how much or little computing knowledge you have there is always something new being developed. If you don’t know how to turn one on, take a basic class. If you’re pretty computer savvy, take a class on digital photography, learning to code, or social media. You can even learn to research your family history, and trace your grandparents and their ancestors!

If you don’t know the first thing about how food is grown, take a gardening class and start your own vegetable patch. If you like to walk, start identifying birds, trees, and plants as you stroll. Go to a nearby arboretum and learn about the different types of plants they nurture there.

Look for outside activities that teach. Visit an art gallery and learn about a famous painter, or tour a museum and sit in on a lecture about history. Travel to nearby locations and explore a place you’ve never seen. Take a tour, trip, or cruise and learn about a different culture!

The same holds true for inside activities. If you’ve always wanted to learn to paint, pick up a brush and take a basic class. Learn a new language, learn to sew, knit, or crotchet…you get the picture: if it sounds different and interesting, give it a try!

If you have talents like these that you’ve been doing for decades, turn the table on the whole idea: offer to teach a class, tutor a child or adult, or start a craft or travel group. The key thing to keep in mind is to make it challenging, and stimulate your brain with new, interesting, and complicated things to learn each day. These activities will help keep your brain in top condition, and should help keep it sharp for many years to come!

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