Though your formal education might have culminated with high school, college or graduate school, none of those marked the end of your learning. As you progressed through young adulthood and middle age, you continued to learn about people, places, current events and so much more.
In your senior years, ongoing learning remains as important as ever. As you take in new information, you can grow new brain cells and help maintain your memory and problem-solving skills. Continuous learning during active senior living can even help lessen your risk of developing dementia.
Are you (or a senior loved one) someone who likes to read, watch educational TV or attend lectures? At Country Meadows Retirement Communities, we know those activities are good for the aging brain, and we are dedicated to providing opportunities for lifelong learning. On any given day, our calendars may include an art class, an academic presentation, a music lesson and a current event discussion.
One of our residents shares, “Taking up residence in a retirement community is not an ending. In fact, to the contrary, it’s a beginning of all those things you didn’t have time for in the past.”
New learning can be one of “those things.”
Benefits of lifelong learning, whether at home or a retirement community
Mary Ann Bertucio, Country Meadows director of community life, sees how lifelong learning benefits seniors every day. “Our education shouldn’t stop when we reach a certain age. Ongoing learning keeps seniors physically active, mentally alert and socially involved.”
She reports that the Allentown campus this year hosted a four-part educational series on the 1950s, covering “Society in the ‘50s,” “Government and the Cold War,” “Science and Innovation in the Atomic Age” and “Entertainment ‘50s Style.” Each segment included a study of the period, an art study and art class and a culinary lesson.
An article in U.S. News & World Report points out four key advantages of learning during retirement:
- You have the time. Retirement allows more time to do what you enjoy.
- Learning keeps you sharp. It engages your mind and helps you think clearly.
- You get to pick the topics you want to explore. You choose what most appeals to you.
- Learning keeps you socially engaged. You make friends who share your interests.
Whether in your own home or at a retirement community, you have a wide variety of activities to choose from as you contemplate how to spend your time. At Country Meadows, groups of people meet regularly to learn a new skill or engage in a new hobby. Some groups meet on their own, while others are led in programs planned by staff at our retirement communities.
Groups meeting on our campuses pursue lifelong learning through shared interests including current events, trivia, art, flowers and plants, books, games (board, card, word) and poetry. Residents also bond over baking, music, karaoke, devotions, pets, puzzles, exercise, walking, bicycling, swimming, golf, dancing and yoga.
At Country Meadows, we see how lifelong learning can help connect seniors who pursue similar interests, resulting in increased socialization, but also better mental and physical health. Check out our tip sheet listing the social benefits of active retirement communities where educational and other activities are encouraged and available to all who can participate.
When choosing a retirement community and visiting the ones that most interest you, ask what activities they offer. We hope you will visit any of our PA retirement communities or our Frederick, Maryland campus. Please contact us to schedule a visit or request more information.