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Continuing Education for Seniors: What You Need to Know

seniors learning

Retirement is the perfect time to recognize your natural drive to explore, learn, and grow by taking advantage of the many benefits of continuing education for seniors.

Whether you’re interested in taking a college credit class, learning a new skill or taking a deeper dive into your current interests, see how lifelong learning can add more fulfillment to your life.

What Does Continuing Education for Seniors Look Like?

Continuing education for seniors can come in many forms. It can include college courses, certification programs or personal enrichment. Whether you want to pursue your passions or learn a new skill, continuing education can help you achieve self-fulfillment during retirement.

Here are great examples of continuing education for seniors:

  • Enroll in a cooking class or culinary program.
  • Enhance your computer skills.
  • Earn a floral design certificate.
  • Join a book club or writing group.
  • Learn how to paint portraits.
  • Learn sign language.
  • Take a class on film or theater.

At Laurel Circle, we offer a variety of continuing education and lifelong learning courses to our residents like computer and iPad lessons, music history, lectures with unique topics, book clubs, creative writing workshops, jewelry making, and more!

Learning a New Skill Keeps Your Brain Sharp

Learning a new skill or starting a new hobby can help you prevent memory loss. An article published in the journal of Psychological Science shows older adults who took on a new and challenging subject, like digital photography or Photoshop, found significant improvement in their memory. That’s because challenging activities strengthen the connections between different areas of your entire brain.

If you’re not keen on computer programs, don’t worry. Research has also shown learning quilting, taking part in language courses, playing a new card game, or exploring new ways to improve your exercise routine are also great ways to boost your brain power.

Continuing Education Provides You with Renewed Self-Confidence

Engaging in continuing education courses can provide a huge lift in your self-esteem and propel you to take on retirement with a fresh perspective. In fact, studies have shown that continuing your education also improves your sense of purpose.

These are just a few ways learning something new or improving your current skills can have a positive impact on your self-confidence:

Communication. Whether you’re passionately discussing the latest bestseller in a book club or actively listening on how to use smart technology, education requires a fair amount of communication skills. And because you’re building on these skills in a supportive environment, you might feel more confident voicing your opinions or sharing your thoughts in areas outside of continuing education.

Decision-making. When you take continuing education courses for seniors on topics like finance, health and wellness, or take time to thoroughly understand a subject area, you’re in the best position for confident decision-making on future retirement milestones.

Flexibility. Dedicating your time to continuing education courses while also maintaining other areas of your life can be hard work, but as you learn to fit in assignments, classes and lectures around other commitments, sudden challenges can seem much easier to manage. Transferable skills like organization, time management, and problem-solving allow you to be much more flexible and manage tough situations successfully.

Learning Is an Activity for Everyone

A study published by Cambridge University found older adults of all ages, physical abilities, skill sets and education levels could enhance their well-being with continuing education courses. This is especially true for older adults who pursued continuous education on the same subject.

Look at how continuing education for seniors can boost your well-being:

Social. Participating in education courses that address the same subject builds and maintains a social network filled with people who have similar interests, which is helpful for older adults who struggle with loneliness and isolation.

Mental health. Along with elevating your self-confidence, continuing education has been associated with decreased feelings of depression and anxiety and lower levels of stress.

Improved cognitive function. People who take part in learning activities throughout their lives can decrease their risk of age-related dementia. This is also true for seniors who act as educators, which means you can receive this benefit by sharing your knowledge with others.

Enjoyment. Learning something new or improving your current skills is fun and fulfilling, and whatever brings you joy is always good for your health and happiness.

Self-motivation. Figuring out what inspires you and reigniting your passion makes life more interesting and reduces boredom. This is a reminder that you can do anything in life you want to do, and motivates you to pursue future opportunities to continue your education.

Learning Is Part of Our Lifestyle at Laurel Circle

When you move to our senior independent living community in Bridgewater, NJ, you’ll find abundant opportunities to meet new people and pursue your passions, all while taking advantage of the many programs, services, and amenities designed to make your life easier and more fulfilling. Contact our residency counselors to schedule an in-person visit or RSVP for  one of our community events to discover how you can thrive at Laurel Circle.