Walk into practically any store at this time of year and you will be bombarded with displays of sale-priced backpacks, pens, notebooks, and lunchboxes – and aisles packed with parents rushing to check off all of the items on the kids’ back-to-school supply lists.
And although we may correlate the new school year with children, it’s imperative to change our mindset to include the elderly, and the many advantages of lifelong learning, such as:
- Elevated cognitive functioning. Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital recently paired up to facilitate a study on the effect of intellectual stimulation throughout the lifetime of older adults, and found a pronounced decrease in memory issues such as those exhibited in Alzheimer’s disease. Besides that, a separate research study through the University of Texas at Dallas took it a step further, finding that older adults who engaged in a new, mentally-stimulating hobby actually achieved a long-term boost in their memory skills.
- Increased physical and mental health. Higher education is linked to a diminished rate of depression and anxiety, in addition to a lowered rate of numerous chronic health conditions like diabetes, stroke, emphysema, heart problems, ulcers, asthma, and more. And just reading for as little as six minutes helps decrease stress through lowering our heart rate and reducing muscle tension, bringing about lower blood pressure levels, improved cardiovascular health, and a more robust and efficient immune system.
- Enhanced socialization. Of particular concern in the elderly is the predisposition for isolation. Taking classes allows for the experience of community and camaraderie that is so crucial to our general feeling of wellbeing, in addition to the chance to form lasting friendships with people who share similar interests.
In conjunction with onsite classes, there are countless opportunities to learn online, within the comfort of home. And in many instances, classes online are available free of charge, or at a decreased rate for older adults who aren’t seeking to earn academic credits. Older adults can choose from various topics of interest, and work at their own pace and in accordance with their particular schedule. AARP offers a listing of the top e-learning websites for seniors here, ranging from cooking tips to learning new languages, computer programming, musical skills, and more.
Inspired Home Care, the in home care Naperville experts, is devoted to ensuring seniors enhance quality of life every day, and we love providing the help needed to motivate lifelong learning. Our highly-trained caregivers are able to help research courses of interest, set up online programs, provide transportation and accompaniment to onsite classes, and even take care of housework, meals, and laundry to enable seniors to concentrate on their newfound passion!
Reach out to us any time at 847-787-7572 to learn more about our services in home care in Naperville, and help a senior in your life take the first step towards a richer and healthier lifestyle.