Many individuals include lifelong learning as a means for creating a fulfilling lifestyle. For seniors, the pursuit of learning can become an even greater endeavor. While the pleasure and knowledge that comes from continued learning certainly results in fulfillment, engaging the mind in learning can be extra beneficial for seniors’ health.
“Senior health and wellness involves a connection between physical, intellectual and spiritual health,” says Michael Rambarose, President and CEO of Whitney Center, a Life Care community in Hamden, CT. “Older adults require much more than good physical well-being to experience a healthy lifestyle. They also need to engage the mind and feel spiritually fulfilled. For many, lifelong learning can help them meet their needs for a healthy lifestyle.”
Benefits of Lifelong Learning
According to Nancy Merz Nordstrom, Med, Director of Elderhostel Institute Network, stimulating the mind through learning and education is extremely important for brain health as we age. The stimulation that occurs in the mind as we learn new things and think deeply about them promotes mental alertness in older adults. Studies show that aging brains continue to grow and form new connections and pathways when they are stimulated by learning.
Brain health is vital to healthy aging, considering the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Keeping the mind stimulated and strong has been shown to help prevent the onset of memory loss and significantly lower seniors’ risk for the disease.
Aside from the physical benefits of a healthy brain, lifelong learning also promotes a well-rounded, emotionally healthy lifestyle. Many seniors report the reason for continuing to learn as their way of keeping up in a changing world. Others note the importance of personal growth. Whatever the reason for learning, the rewards are worth the effort.
Three Approaches to Learning During Retirement
Nordstrom, Med, suggests three ways in which seniors can pursue lifelong learning throughout their retirement years. These include both formal and informal styles of learning. Informal learning happens every day as we read the newspaper or a good book, chat with a friend or make a new discovery about our surroundings. Formal learning is more intentional, involving classes or lectures, programs or discussion groups. Both styles of learning are beneficial for seniors.
If you’re not sure where to begin your pursuit of learning at this time in your life, consider these three approaches to learning that promote health and wellness in other areas:
- Learning Through Physical Activity – Seniors have plenty of opportunities to learn something new while also keeping up with their physical health. Discover new species of birds while going for a nature walk. Learn how to salsa dance or try a new yoga pose. Additionally, you can learn more about senior nutrition, engaging the mind and feeding your health by cooking up fun recipes or learning how to keep your body healthy as you age.
- Learning for Social Benefits – An added benefit of lifelong learning is that it often connects you with other people. In fact, many of us participate in organizations or programs for the social interaction without considering the great intellectual impact. To continue learning and stay socially connected, you can seek out book clubs, noncredit courses at a local college, art classes, events with guest speakers or even start up a group of your own to study a topic you’re passionate about. Pursing learning is bound to connect you to like-minded people to share the joys of knowledge.
- Learning Through Community Service – There’s a lot to learn from giving back. Not only does community service work offer a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment in life, but it can also help you continue to grow personally. As you give back, you often view the world from various perspectives, which encourages you to think differently and deeply about certain issues. You can also use what you’ve learned throughout your life to teach others.
Pursuing Learning at Whitney Center
“Whitney Center is designed to help seniors create their ideal retirement lifestyle,” says Rambarose. “For many, lifelong learning is a priority. Our community offers endless opportunities for residents to continue to learn and pursue the areas that interest them, whether it’s something brandnew or a continuation of their life’s work.”
Whitney Center proudly helps seniors pursue lifelong learning through exceptional opportunities on campus and throughout the New Haven area. We’re connected to dozens of organizations in the region, such as performing groups, nonprofits, learning centers and more, in which residents can be active members. On site, we regularly host lectures and discussions and learning series chosen according to residents’ interests. The options for learning are only limited by the imagination!
If you would like to know more about lifelong learning and how it can benefit your retirement, reach out to the team at Whitney Center. We’d be happy to share information about our sophisticated learning opportunities at our community, as well as help you find resources and information about living a healthy senior lifestyle. Call us today!
Discover Excellence in Senior Living.
At Whitney Center, you’ll find a distinguished senior living community where residents do what they love. Located in Hamden, Connecticut, Whitney Center combines all the cultural, educational and historical charms of the Greater New Haven area with the intricate details of daily life for active seniors. Whitney Center is a Life Care community, offering not just an unparalleled independent living lifestyle, but a full continuum of care services as well, including assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing care and memory care. Whitney Center even offers a home-based long-term care program, Thrive at Home, which connects seniors to the services they need to live well in their own home.
Choice. Freedom. Opportunity.
We believe that remaining engaged and striving for excellence builds a more meaningful life. That’s why residents experience a host of services and amenities, events and cultural opportunities and wellness programs designed to foster endless growth and personalized living. Backed by our first-rate hospitality and philosophy of continuous improvement, our residents are free to travel, learn, volunteer, set new goals and create the life they want to live.
Come Here to Thrive.
At Whitney Center, residents live in the midst of cultural arts and education and dignified connections to the greater community. Seniors thrive in pursuit of what brings them joy, with unlimited opportunities to create and contribute. And, with the confidence in quality care services available on site if health needs ever change, Whitney Center makes it possible for seniors to continue enjoying the freedom to embrace life at its fullest.