Research shows that lifelong learning is crucial to maximizing brain functionality throughout aging. In fact, certain lifestyle factors, including maintaining an environment enriched with social, mental, and physical stimulation, are now known to enhance our brain’s natural resilience, and to allow us to tap into cognitive reserve (CR) – our brain’s ability to resist damage.
A recent study explored this further to determine if “…tertiary education later in life can reduce age-related cognitive decline, significantly delay the onset of dementia, or even help prevent it completely.”
And the results were astounding: a full 92.5% of participants achieved a significant increase in cognitive functioning following 12 months of education, while cognitive levels of participants who did not engage in this same type of learning remained the same.
In light of this, the upcoming back-to-school season is the perfect time to consider learning opportunities for older adults. Most local community colleges are now offering customized educational opportunities specific to seniors, and even providing financial assistance or discounted fees for classes.
A great place to start is with a heart-to-heart conversation with a senior in your life to uncover interests that may have fallen by the wayside over the years. Brainstorm creative ideas such as:
- Playing a musical instrument or singing
- Artistic endeavors such as painting, drawing, or photography
- Learning a new language specific to the person’s cultural background
- A vocational skill such as auto repair and restoration
- Wood carving
- Floral design
The ideas are truly limitless. Once a particular area of interest is sparked, it’s easy to explore either in-person or online classes to help the senior achieve a new goal – leading to a strengthened sense of purpose and self-worth.
The home care team at THE MEDICAL TEAM is always on hand to help older adults enhance socialization and provide a full range of customized in-home care services to improve wellbeing. Contact us to learn more about our New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, and metro DC senior home care services.