Fresh notebooks, sharpened pencils, shiny shoes…students across the country are gearing up for a studious year ahead, including seniors! According to a recent AARP study on lifelong learning, 55% of Americans aged 45 and older are actively studying new topics and things. Why such interest in continued education? Driven to seek personal growth, seniors are discovering that lifelong learning also offers health benefits.
Research indicates lifelong learning can improve memory, boost confidence and self-esteem, increase independence, improve dexterity, and offer more opportunities for positive engagement with others. When it comes down to it, a stimulated brain can lead to a healthier, happier life. So, where do we sign up?
There are plenty of fun classes available for seniors. The first step is to decide what type of class sounds the most interesting. We’ve outlined three categories to help you get started.
Is there a subject that has always fascinated you but you haven’t had a chance to learn more about it? Why not take an introductory course? Many community colleges offer adult learning programs, so you could contact your local school to see what options are easy and close to home. You could also try an online service such as Udemy or MasterClass, which offers a large selection of courses taught by professionals in almost every subject imaginable. Some classes include:
If you’re retired, you probably have more free time on your hands. Right now could be the best opportunity to unleash your creative side and discover a new hobby. Start by brainstorming activities that sound fun, skills you’d love to learn, or something you’ve always wanted to try but weren’t sure if you had the knack for it. Once you have your list, go for it! Search for online classes, call your community center, and research local art studios or museums to see what classes they have coming up.
Sometimes local bakeries or boutique kitchen stores will host cooking, baking, and cake decorating workshops. Williams Sonoma offers both virtual and in-person cooking classes that are fantastic. Craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s also offer courses from time to time. So, whether you’re interested in pottery, painting, or playing the piano, it can be relatively easy to get signed up somewhere and on your way to pure creative freedom. We can’t see what gifts you have to share with the world!
As you can imagine, taking an exercise class or engaging in physical activity can offer numerous health benefits. You can increase energy, strength, and overall quality of life by simply moving. In addition to being invigorating, exercising is extra fun in a classroom setting because you can make new friends along the way.
Local classes can be accessed at nearby gyms or yoga studios, and most will offer a variety of exercises like Zumba, spin, simple step aerobics, and various forms of yoga. If you prefer hitting the links, contact a local golf course or country club to schedule a weekly or monthly tee time, so it becomes a regularly scheduled event. You could do the same with tennis or walking. Round up a friend or two and block off dedicated time each week to exercise together - like a class!
If you need a little more help finding activities that interest you or how to find a specific type of class, another great resource could be your local senior center or AARP. Let them know your interests so they can point you in the right direction. There’s also a full calendar of activities at Resort Lifestyle Communities! As an independent living retirement community, all of our events are designed for seniors, and we always have plenty going on. Click here to see the calendar for one of our communities.
Want to sample one of our activities? You’re invited to take a complimentary class or experience one of our events! Find a Resort Lifestyle Community near you, and call the community manager to schedule your visit.
Whether it’s with us or in the wider community, taking a class is a great way to learn something new, spark a hobby, meet people with similar interests, and gain health benefits along the way. We hope you enjoy the search and have fun with your own back-to-school experience. Here’s to feeling like a kid again, this season and always!