5 Reasons Why Seniors Should Keep on Learning
Post by: Eastlands Estate, 28 Jan 2020
We’d like to start off our first newsletter of 2020 by wishing you all a very Happy New Year! We hope you and your loved ones had a very blessed holiday. The residents of Eastlands certainly had a very festive season! We had a fully booked restaurant on Christmas Day, and again for New Years’ Eve, when the Rio Carnival came to town! Residents, together with their friends and families, really got into the spirit of the theme and partied until the wee hours of the morning! The delicious, 3-course meal was a culinary triumph, and the excellent live band got everyone on the dance floor. The New Year (and new decade) was welcomed in with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. It really was a fun event, and one that started the new year off in style!
The Eastlands year-end celebrations were a great example of how, just because you get a little older, it doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a full, fun and happy life. The experts call this “Active Aging.”
The World Health Organisation defines “Active Aging” as “the process of optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.” The concept of lifelong learning is very much a part of this philosophy. It’s no longer the norm to stop your education after High School, or even College or University. It’s becoming increasingly common for older people to continue their education throughout their lives. More and more over 50s are enrolling in formal adult education classes or courses, or engaging in home learning or other forms of self-teaching.
Lifelong Learning is Good for Us!
The benefits of later-life learning are numerous and well-documented. The 1990s, generally regarded as THE decade of pioneering brain research, produced countless studies proving that when we stimulate our brains, we increase their health. This in turn helps keep us mentally more alert as we age.
Our brains – even aging ones - are literally built to respond to mental activities that challenge and stimulate us, growing new pathways and connections.
“Every time your heart beats, 25% of that blood goes right to the brain,” says Dr Paul Nussbaum, director of the Aging Research and Education Centre in Pittsburgh, USA. In the 21st century, education and information may become for the brain what exercise is for the heart.”
The Harvard Business Review agrees, citing research that proves learning how to speak a new language or play a new musical instrument, for example, can offset cognitive decline. Learning a new skill later in life also improves your memory. So if you think you’re too old to learn to crochet, weld or master the internet, think again!
It’s obvious that engaging in lifelong learning is good for our brain health, but there are other significant benefits too:
Joining a class to learn a new skill is a great way to meet new people and banish feelings of loneliness and isolation. Learning in a collaborative environment boosts self-esteem and encourages social interaction.
Many health conditions common as we age can affect our speech. Taking part in activities that increase verbal ability – such as crosswords, public speaking or even just chatting to new people - is an excellent way to strengthen communication skills.
Sense of Accomplishment
As we age, it’s easy to think we’ve already “peaked” and no longer have any significant achievements to look forward to. Mastering a new technique, concept or skill creates a sense of pride at any age, but it’s especially important for seniors, who frequently feel as though their most productive years are behind them. The sense of accomplishment that comes from learning something new is great for boosting self-esteem.
Slows Cognitive Decline
Memory loss, speech-related issues and general cognitive decline are real challenges many seniors have to face. But countless studies prove that learning new information can help prevent major memory loss as we age, and increases our ability to remember new things. Continuing to engage in new activities in later years is also effective at keeping Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia at bay.
Boosts Physical Health
It’s not only our brains that benefit from continued learning. Researchers have proven that even “everyday” activities such as reading can lower stress levels, slow heart rates and ease muscular tension. Reduced stress has many knock-on benefits such as lower blood pressure, increased immunity, lower levels of depression and better cardiovascular health.
At Eastlands, we have a wide range of highly sought- after active aging offerings, including:
- Indoor and outdoor pool
- Lap pool
- Bowling green
- Gym and health studio
- Carpentry and metalwork workshop facilities
- Chess and bridge amongst other games
- Vegetable allotments
Why not come and see for yourself all the reasons why Eastlands Mature Lifestyle Estate is one of the premier active aging residential estates in the country.
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