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Benefits of Learning New Skills for Older People

Once we retire and our adult children move away, we’re rewarded with a gift of something we never seemed to have enough of before: more free time. Retirement is the perfect opportunity to fill all this time by taking a course that interests you or picking up a hobby you’ve always dreamed of trying.

One of the best aspects of learning after retirement is that you do so entirely for pleasure. You no longer have to worry about deadlines, work schedules, or having your performance tested but can instead focus on fun completely on your terms. You’ll also help beat that old saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” In fact, nothing could be further from the truth!

Whether you take an online course or train in a formal classroom, learning brings older people several benefits that boost their mental, physical, and emotional well-being, such as:

It provides opportunities for socialization

These days, there are plenty of ways to learn new things. When you join a club, attend a lecture, and take formal in-class training, you’ll have wonderful opportunities to meet new people, expand your social network, and make friends who have the same interests as you.

For example, if you decide to learn a new language, you’ll know everyone in the class is interested in learning the same thing. It’s a built-in icebreaker and an opportunity to learn and practice this new skill together.

Getting to know new people helps prevent negative feelings that stem from social isolation. Older people who live alone or are shut-in are especially vulnerable to mental issues resulting from a lack of socialization, including depression.

Learning something new boosts your emotions

Promoting one’s emotional well-being is just as important as protecting their physical health. Learning something new or upgrading your skills is a great way to boost your self-esteem, keeping you healthy and happy. You’ll feel proud of yourself and more confident and gain a stronger sense of independence every time you learn, absorb, and master new skills.

Your emotional well-being is also supported by looking forward to the next practice session or lesson. Being a part of something helps give your life purpose and meaning.

Your brain stays active

Just like every other muscle in our body, the key to strengthening our brain is to exercise it regularly. As we age, it becomes critically important to keep our minds as active as possible. Taking up new skills or learning about new subjects is an optimal way to keep the brain alert.

Ongoing learning can also improve memory and cognitive function by giving your brain cells a good workout and keeping them communicating with one another. This can help slow memory loss, improve communication skills, and ward off early progressive cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Continued education keeps your skills up to date

The world keeps changing, and to stay updated with current trends, we need to keep upgrading our skills. This is especially true with technology, which has crept into our everyday lives and transformed how we work, learn, and play.

For example, writers need to embrace new means of writing, editing, and submitting work if they’re interested in being published online or in print. Photographers can also enhance their images with modern software that can make their pictures look better than ever.

Embracing new ways of doing things we love helps us keep up with the world, eliminating feelings of being “left behind.” This boost to our confidence and self-esteem helps improve cognitive functions, keeps us happy, and encourages us to keep moving forward instead of giving up.

How to get started with classes for older people

In Toronto, there are many courses available for older adults at the Toronto Public Library and Toronto Metropolitan University. You can also find useful resources on the City of Toronto website and at Toronto Healthline Etobicoke.

If your loved one needs homemaking support while learning new things, transportation to and from classes, or casual companionship to share their new skills with, CareHop is just a phone call away.

Quality in-home elder care services in Etobicoke, Mississauga, and Brampton

CareHop specializes in providing quality eldercare services, including safe, professional Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care that helps your elderly loved one live at home independently and with optimal health.

Our services are designed to positively impact your loved one’s quality of life, bringing your family peace of mind that your older relative is always in good hands.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation discussion to discover how we can help you.

About the Author

Michael Lu is the founder of CareHop. He started the business inspired by his Grandmother to look at ageing as a happy experience to bring sunshine into the homes of others.

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