How Lifelong Learning Promotes Healthy Aging
The school year is on fast approach, and although it may look a little different now, it’s still a time when adults and kids alike feel the change in the air. For kids and college students, this is the chance to return to learning, see their friends and fill their brains with knowledge. For seniors, it’s the perfect time to restart their own learning as well – by embracing the concept of lifelong learning.
“Gathering knowledge and learning new things isn’t something that has to go away after you’ve left the classroom,” says Allison Yancey, Executive Director of Residences at Wellpoint, an Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Huntsville, Alabama. “In fact, lifelong learning is one of the best things seniors can do to stay healthy and active throughout their golden years. Now that your time is yours, you can learn the things you want to learn – not have to learn. Many seniors are taking this time to embark on new careers, pick up new hobbies, go back to school – whatever strikes their fancy and piques their interest, they’re doing it.”
How Lifelong Learning Promotes Healthy Aging
For life-long learning and healthy aging, think again before you approach learning with the mindset of “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” People never get too old to stop learning, and in fact, research shows that those who remain curious and seek knowledge are happier, healthier, more active and more fulfilled than their less learned counterparts. Here’s how lifelong learning improves your physical, emotional and mental health.
It increases your mental resilience. Just like exercising your muscles builds strength and tone, exercising your brain through learning tones and strengthens your brain – literally and figuratively. Exercising your little gray cells helps you stay mentally sharp and also makes you better able to cope with changes and challenges.
It lowers the risk of cognitive decline. Many studies are showing that an active brain is more resilient to age-related brain changes and can also reduce the risk of developing a disease like dementia. Even individuals who have dementia or another form of cognitive decline can reduce their symptoms or help stave off further decline, for a time, by staying mentally engaged and learning new things.
It increases your social circle. Being social is an important part of healthy aging. Having friends and acquaintances makes you more active, lowers your risk of depression and anxiety and makes you laugh and smile more. Humans are naturally social creatures, and being among people we like and have fun with makes life that much more meaningful.
It lowers your stress. Stress causes a whole slew of health problems – hypertension, obesity, depression and even, potentially, dementia. And while learning something new isn’t always stress-free, there are plenty of learning opportunities – such as watching a documentary or reading a book – that slow the heart rate, ease tension in the muscles and put you in a calmer, less-stressed state of mind.
It increases fulfillment and sense of self-worth. Ultimately, lifelong learning helps seniors see the world through new eyes and find fulfillment by trying and doing new things. This increases satisfaction of life and improves overall well-being, making life enjoyable and exciting – no matter how old or young you are.
Ideas to Start Your Lifelong Learning Journey
- Try something you’ve always wanted to do, like learning to paint or studying a new language.
- Pick up an old hobby you may have put to the side.
- Take a class at a local community college, or look into your community’s parks and recreation department to see if there are courses or activities being offered.
- Volunteer for a cause you love, whether that’s caring for animals or teaching schoolchildren to read – or anything else you enjoy.
- Start or join a book club.
- Move to a multigenerational community like Residences at Wellpoint.
“Seniors living at Residences at Wellpoint have opportunities every day to learn, think, do and enjoy new and exciting experiences,” says Allison. “Each day, residents can continue their healthy aging journey through lifelong learning, wellness approaches and so much more, allowing them to live their best lives while receiving the vibrant, maintenance-free lifestyle they want.”
As an Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care community, Allison says that seniors can continue learning throughout their lives because they’re able to age in place, no matter what their care needs are. “That means our residents can continue to explore the world and love their lifestyle no matter how their health needs may change,” she says.
WHERE IT ALL COMES TOGETHER
At Residences at Wellpoint, we provide an exceptional experience for those who desire Independent Living, Assisted Living or Memory Care in the Huntsville area. As part of the broader Wellpoint Community “campus,” we cultivate an engaged, intergenerational community unlike any other. Here, we celebrate well-being with an array of social programs, innovative on-site medical technology, a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle and so much more.
Here, our residents enjoy complete freedom of choice as well as the ability to plan their days however they choose. This is because we take the tedious routines of everyday life off your hands so that you can enjoy your life any way you wish. Go on an outing, enjoy the community, get fit in the Via Center, enjoy our dining bistro, shoot a game of pool in the sports/billiards bar. It’s all waiting for you.
No matter what your needs are, we can meet them. Our lifestyle philosophy supports every need along your journey, whether you desire Independent Living, need the assistance of our Assisted Living program or Memory Care. However your needs may change, we offer on-site medical assistance and supportive services so you can continue enjoying the engaging lifestyle you love. Contact us to learn more!
Call us at 256.274.5312 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.