Studies have shown that seniors who spend time on educational activities have better cognitive function and retain their memories longer than seniors who do not. Additionally, attending educational programs give seniors the opportunity to interact with others of their age group and with younger people as well. This helps alleviate the isolation and depression that many seniors develop.
Seniors living in retirement communities will find no lack of educational opportunities. These communities offer courses on everything from foreign languages to ballroom dancing. There are myriad clubs and organizations available to residents. Outside lecturers and performers are often brought in for extra entertainment. But how can seniors living on their own, outside a retirement community, find appropriate educational programs?
The first place to look for such programs is at the local level. Most communities have a governmental department dedicated to serving seniors in the community. They often publish a list of activities available to area seniors and frequently are able to provide transportation to and from activities. In addition to meal programs and social gatherings, these departments often offer educational courses in many different subjects.
Local public schools are also a good source of interesting courses and opportunities. Many school systems publish a continuing education guide that lists the content, times and prices of classes that are held in the evening or on weekends at public schools. These courses range from academic enrichment like English as a Second Language, to arts and crafts and exercise classes. These courses are open to the community and typically consist of a wide range of people of all ages.
Community colleges also offer a wide range of continuing education experiences. Continuing education courses are taught on a non-credit basis and cost far less than for-credit courses. However, if a senior has the time and inclination community colleges are more than happy to enroll seniors in their degree programs. Seniors may be eligible for a tuition discount, depending on their age. Although some seniors may be intimidated by attending classes with much younger students, the experience can be extremely gratifying. Younger students often appreciate having seniors share their courses and instructors enjoy teaching seniors who are often more disciplined and interested than their younger counterparts.
Finally, the community library often offers activities specifically tailored to seniors like book clubs, discussion groups and the like. Libraries also offer computer literacy courses and courses on how to use the Internet, sometimes tailored specifically to seniors.
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Education , Society , and Computers