Mar 29, 2021 by Danielle Andersen
Our ability to learn, discover and explore is what helps us find meaning and purpose in life. For example, mastering a new recipe can help you feel accomplished and appreciated when you make it for your family. Or, reading something new offers insights you can share in your next book club meeting. Lifelong learning is beneficial at every stage of life, including your golden years.
Contrary to previously held beliefs, cognitive abilities don’t necessarily decline with age. Lifelong learning offers many benefits for senior well-being and can enhance your mental and intellectual wellness.
Ongoing exploration into aging has found that older adults have resilient cognitive ability. In a study published by Scientific Reports, researchers tested verbal working memory of older adults (average age 66) compared to younger adults (average age 22) by having them determine if pronouns in sentences were used accurately.
The study showed that older adults oftentimes outperformed younger adults in the task and responded just as quickly. There was also evidence that older adults use additional brain regions with cognitive activities, suggesting buoyant mental capacity.
Other research has found that continuing education may add to this cognitive resiliency. In a study published in The Journals of Gerontology, researchers found that older adults (average age 69) who participated in courses like Spanish and music composition showed improvements in working memory and episodic memory.
What this research suggests is that your intellectual aptitude doesn’t necessarily decline as you age, offering a much more positive mindset on aging. Studies like these also support just how important lifelong learning is for your mental health and wellness.
Cognitively stimulating activities like reading, watching documentaries and getting out to explore the world around you offers the following cognitive health benefits:
Your golden years are the best time to explore your interests and continue learning. And, senior living communities like Knute Nelson can help you say goodbye to time-consuming home maintenance and enjoy more lifelong learning!
Knute Nelson offers independent and assisted living communities where residents experience experience housekeeping, home maintenance, wellness programming, restaurant-style dining and many more amenities and conveniences. Whether you like to quietly read to yourself or participate in resident-run organizations and clubs, there are countless cognitively stimulating activities at Knute Nelson to enhance your intellectual and mental well-being.