How Continuous Learning Helps Aging Seniors

continuous learning

Why are doctors and lawyers made to go out and get continuing education credits? It keeps them sharp, exposes them to new ideas, and keeps them growing and progressing in their fields.

This doesn’t only work for folks with jobs that need expensive degrees. Everyone benefits from continuing their education throughout their life.

Making education and mentally challenging activities a regular part of your routine significantly lowers your risk of dementia later in life.

Here we talk about how to incorporate more continuous learning into your everyday routine in an easy and manageable way.

Continuous Learning Outside of A Classroom: Get A Hobby

One of the easiest ways to continue stimulating your brain is learning new skills and starting new hobbies.

Scientists used to think that doing simple crossword puzzles or listening to classical music in the evening would greatly benefit the brain. New studies have been showing learning how to do something new is even better.

Now, your new hobby doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. It should challenge you though. 

Try something like counted cross-stitch which uses different parts of the brain at the same time. The fine needlework not only needs focused concentration but logical reasoning while you count, plus the beautiful results light up the brain’s pleasure centers.

Even something as simple as puzzle building can be complex enough to start encouraging cell growth.

Not good with your hands? Take up photography or start going to acting classes. The arts engage the whole brain, not only different levels memory but high-level cognitive centers, so they are the most beneficial.

Using the Latest Technology to Your Benefit: Learn How to Use a New Piece of Tech

Another amazing way to keep your neurons firing is learning new technology. While it can be scary to learn how to use something new, it’s super great for your brain. 

Technology doesn’t just give you a new learning challenge. Getting the newest smartphone or tablet gives you unlimited access and connection to your loved ones. 

Getting familiar with learning technology and being flexible not only helps your mind but gives you a direct connection to your entire family.

What If Dementia Has Already Begun?

Even if you or a loved one are in the beginning stages of dementia these strategies can still help.

Focusing on engaging activities for the brain is a great place to start for continuous learning.

Even cooking and basic household cleaning can help an aging brain. These activities require many levels of brain activity to be successful. Encourage whoever is suffering to do all they can.

If you find yourself struggling with taking care of someone who has dementia, or simply want some techniques to cope better with aging yourself, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional for help. A counselor specialized in aging and seniors consulting is even better!

Have your own techniques on how to keep your brain young? Found some things that have worked for someone you love? Comment below and tell us all about it, we would love to hear from you!

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M.,