As we age, our challenges change. Many seniors face cognitive and physical decline if they don’t treat themselves properly. In this article, we show that lifelong learning is so important for seniors: it makes them happier, healthier, and more interested in the world around them.
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To top it off, with online learning, it has never been easier to learn something new – whether that is science, psychology, creative acts, criminal justice, music… the list of opportunities for seniors wanting to study from home is endless. You can learn from the best minds in the world from the comfort of home. Online degrees are the perfect way for a person to study a topic from the ground up and with 12 Month Programs available through several online colleges, it has never been easier to accomplish graduation
Established and reputable study programs from the best courses worldwide are now available on computer. For these reasons we recommend that now is the perfect time for seniors to go back to school and study something new.
Online learning is healthy
After 40, our brain’s weight decreases by 5% each decade. After the age of 70, that decrease is steeper. That certainly sounds scary. However, the good news is that biological ageing is not related to chronological ageing. There are protective factors such as a healthy diet and regular exercise that contribute to the fight against ageing. As a study in the BMJ concluded, “Genetics, neurotransmitters, hormones, and experience all have a part to play in brain ageing. But, it is not all negative, higher levels of education or occupational attainment may act as a protective factor.” (Peters, 2006)*
If we think about our brain as a muscle, we need to treat it just like other muscles – we need to exercise it to make it strong. Online learning improves memory and maintains proper communication between brain cells. The conclusion: learning can make you healthier and limit your cognitive decline.
When we were younger it was hard to find the time for higher education. Juggling work, family, exercise, and professional development is a huge task. It’s easier to neglect learning. However, once the children grow up and we work less hours we have more time to invest in ourselves.
Not only does learning keeps us healthy, it makes us more curious and passionate about the world. There are many topics to learn, sights to see, and adventures to explore.
Many accomplished people only ‘peaked’ later in life: Samuel Jackson only became an actor at 46, Darwin published “On the Origin Of Species” when he was 51. Even Harland Sanders, the famous founder of KFC, opened his first restaurant at the age of 62. The great painter, Anna Mary Robertson Moses (known as Grandma Moses) only started to paint at 78!
Therefore, we believe that you are always young enough to learn something new, especially when you have the time for it.
Meeting new people
Even though you take online classes from home, you aren’t alone in class. Learning is a dialectical process: you need to talk to other people and understand their struggles with the material to enhance your own understanding. It’s through conversations that you build foundations of knowledge.
Many people still have their college friends because it was the perfect time for them to meet people who share the same interests. Particular degrees and fields of study attract people with similar interests: you have to be a special person in order to study something like psychology, criminal justice or even a business-related degree. For sure, no matter what you choose to study, you will meet a range of interesting people who share your interest. What better way to expand your social circle?
Learning a new skill boosts self-esteem and gives you a stronger sense of independence. Acing a test or submitting a difficult project is an incredible challenge. Those who succeed in it should rightly feel proud of themselves. They have gone beyond what they think is possible for themselves.
The requirements of a degree forces people to think outside the box and find strength they didn’t know they have.
Doing this is a huge boost to emotional and mental health. It will also give you such a sense of purpose and drive to keep learning something new. Who knows where you could end up?
* Peters, R. (2006). Ageing and the brain. Postgraduate medical journal, 82(964), 84-88.
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