Adult Education Keeps Your Mind Sharp in Senior Living Communities
Many independent living and assisted living communities for seniors offer a number of adult education classes or courses so you can learn a new skill, brush up on your favorite topics or just keep your mind sharp.
Here’s just a sampling of some of the things you can learn in an independent living or assisted living community.
Computer and Technology Classes – Whether you want to stay in touch with your grandkids through Skype, view their photos on Facebook, share old family recipes on Pinterest, or shop online, knowing your way around a computer is a crucial part of life today. Many senior communities offer everything from basic Windows or Web browsing classes to advanced classes to teach Microsoft Excel, Adobe PhotoShop, and other programs you may want to use as part of volunteer work or a hobby.
Similarly, with more and more seniors using smartphones, some communities offer classes to help you get the most out of your iPhone, Android, iPad, Kindle and other eReader or tablet.
Digital Photography Classes – You’re living in a beautiful senior living community, wouldn’t you like to capture it all on film, ummm… we mean memory card? If you haven’t picked up a camera since your own children were in school, you’ll find photography has changed. A course that walks you through today’s technology, from SD cards to camera settings to uploading photos to the Web, can be helpful.
Of course, the basics of photo composition and what makes a good picture hasn’t changed. You can brush up on — or learn — these skills and, combined with your new technological savvy, your snapshots will be picture perfect in no time.
Creative Writing or Memoir Writing – Has it been your lifelong dream to write a book? You’re never too old to write and maybe even publish a book, whether it’s the next bestselling novel or your own memoir. It can be tough to stay motivated to finish a writing project, though, which is where a writing course can help.
If your senior community doesn’t offer a writing class, you might even talk to someone about setting up a workshop. If there’s enough interest, a small group of residents can get together weekly and share their fiction or poetry, even without expert guidance.
Cooking Classes – Even with the wide array of restaurants available in today’s senior living communities, a home-cooked meal is still nice. Cooking classes let you hone your skills, taste different cuisines, and learn new recipes and techniques in a fun, supportive group setting.
When the semester is over, you can take your love for cooking outside the classroom and invite a few members of your class to a small dinner party in your apartment, or even host a pot luck where students prepare and bring one of the dishes you all learned how to make.
Music classes – If your senior living community offers the chance to participate in a choir, learn a new musical instrument, or even just take a music appreciation course, the opportunity may be too good to pass up.
Extensive studies show that students who participate in music classes do better in school; the positive effects of music on the brain doesn’t stop as we age. Additionally, seniors who participated in music classes were shown to have overall better health, less pain and better self-esteem.
These type of classes, and many more, are often offered right within the senior community, so you can stroll to class, while others might be offered in partnership with local universities or community colleges. Best of all, most times these classes are free of charge.
If your community doesn’t offer classes, look into inexpensive or free classes through the local public library or high school; your senior community may offer transportation.
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