We all know the saying, ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, so can seniors learn new skills? Well, fortunately that saying just isn’t true. Seniors can learn new skills, and with the numerous benefits that stem from it, they definitely should.
As we age, there is still so much room for learning. Aging minds can benefit from learning due to the ways that new tasks work different parts of the brain. This added brain stimulation is one of the many ways seniors can keep their minds sharp and even help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Now more than ever, there are a number of learning resources available online, making it easier and more convenient. Keep reading for a few suggestions!
Learn how to play a new instrument or song.
For a loved one who enjoys music and using their hands, learning a new instrument would be a great new skill for them to try. Several free tutorials are available on Youtube, and even for those who already know the instrument, but would like to pick it back up and learn a new tune.
Piano, guitar, ukulele, or even a harmonica, whatever they find the most capable to use or interesting, can be found online. A lot of these tutorials offer different ways of learning, and if one style of teaching is hard to follow, simply try another video.
Drawing and sketching.
We’ve all made attempts at drawing something. Many will be quick to say that the only way anyone can become good at drawing or sketching would be out of sheer talent, but there are methodical ways to go about sketching that many don’t realize.
Online courses are available here for free use. Just be sure you’ve got your paper and pencil ready.
Pick up the art of knitting.
Knitting can be a very calming and relaxing way to pass the time. While it may seem daunting to pick up at first, there are plenty of online resources that highlight the various techniques and knots that are necessary for completing different projects. Not only does the person learning receive the ability to have a new and fun way to be creative, but they can share their skills through the gifts they can make for friends and family.
Get into yoga or tai chi.
Yoga is one of the easiest exercises that can be replicated right at home. Tai chi is also one of the best-known forms of exercise that seniors can safely enjoy. Both yoga and tai chi have not just the ability to boost balance and physical strength, but also promote stress relief and reduced anxiety. Youtube is one of the many outlets on which several instructors have posted routines, or you can join a live virtual session with a coach.
Teach the dog a new trick. Whether it’s to break an old habit, or learn a fun trick, a beloved companion will benefit from learning something new just as much as the senior will. Several websites and helpful video tutorials are available on the internet for all types of training scenarios, for dogs big and small. If the dog already knows sit, stay, and other basic commands, they can be used as a foundation to build upon for more complex skills.
Learn another language. Around the world, some students learn English or another non-native language at a very young age. As we age, we can certainly still learn just as well. Fortunately, the means of finding a program for courses is as easy as a few clicks. Some programs can be a bit on the expensive side, and offer a comprehensive approach with many additional resources such as one on one coaching, along with the reading and writing material.
Duolingo offers a paid online service, but also has a free version that can fit easily around other activities – sessions can be as little as 5 to 15 minutes a day!
Seniors and the Online Advantage
As many institutions have switched from classrooms to online learning, it presents the ability for students to learn from anywhere. The same advantage applies to seniors. For seniors who have a harder time being able to leave their home, these online resources are a great way to provide them with enriching hobbies and activities right from home, and promote further learning.
At The Kensington Falls Church, our life enrichment programs offer classes, workshops, and art therapies to improve wellbeing and bring our residents enjoyment to each day. If you have questions about our beautiful community, call us today to start the conversation. We would love to hear from you!