“Retirement is the perfect time to learn something new,” says Peggy O’Neill, Director of Sales and Marketing at Lions Gate, a Life Plan Community in Voorhees, New Jersey. “Not only do retired seniors have much more time to give to a new study, but they no longer have the mental stimulation from a job. To keep the mind sharp, we must continue challenging ourselves to learn new things.
“At Lions Gate, we’ve dedicated an entire portion of our wellness efforts to Lions Gate University, a lifelong learning program in which residents can engage in a mentally stimulating environment. We’re committed to creating opportunities that lead to personal growth. Lifelong learning not only helps to keep the mind sharp and open to new ideas, but it also provides a way to connect with others and develop valuable new relationships.”
If you’re looking to fill your retirement with meaningful pursuits and new experiences, lifelong learning can meet your need for stimulating thought and conversations. Take the new year as an opportunity to commit to pursuing lifelong learning.
BENEFITS TO LIFELONG LEARNING FOR SENIORS
Seniors truly have some advantages when it comes to lifelong learning. Having completed formal schooling as well as a career, the possibilities and opportunities to learn are almost endless. The National Education Association describes some of the many benefits seniors experience when they pursue lifelong learning, including:
- Following your passion – Nothing is holding you back anymore from chasing after the things you’re interested in. You have the freedom to pursue subjects you’ve always been passionate about, or dive deeper into your curiosities about the world.
- Staying mentally sharp – Learning new things increases our cognitive health as we form stronger connections within the brain. Studies show that increased cognitive activity associated with learning (acquiring new knowledge, thinking critically, applying new information to life as we understand it) slows down the rate of cognitive decline. Seniors who actively engage in mental stimulation are almost three times less likely to develop dementia than those who do not.
- Keeping social connections – In retirement, we no longer see coworkers on a daily basis, and it can be easy to unintentionally isolate ourselves at home. Lifelong learning creates opportunities to go out and meet others. You may form new friendships with those taking a class with you, or you may meet experts in the field you’re studying. You could join a club dedicated to the subject you’ve learned about or get involved in meaningful ways throughout your community.
LIFELONG LEARNING AT LIONS GATE
Lions Gate offers a unique opportunity for seniors to engage in learning all year long. At Lions Gate University, seniors have access to lectures and seminars led by local experts, as well as all the resources available through a partnership with the Saltzman Foundation Life Long Learning Institute. Seniors can engage in intellectual discussions and activities revolving around cultural, historical, artistic and scientific topics.
Lions Gate University offers a year-long schedule of unique courses that residents can attend. Some past topics include Debating Today’s Ethical Dilemmas, Shakespeare’s Comedies, An Essential Guide to Italy, Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds & Scandals, A Smithsonian Tour through American History, and Life Lessons from the Great Myths, just to name a few!
This year, Lions Gate is excited to offer a variety of new courses, including:
- The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works: DVD Series
- Art Appreciation: Live Lecture Series with Professor Irene Sfakianos
- Sentimental Journey: Live Lecture Series with Jeff Dershin
- Broadway – Past, Present & Future: Live Lecture Series with Leila Joffe
Lions Gate University is always adding more courses to its offerings as the year goes on. Residents have the chance to jump into a series that interests them with no obligation or costs to worry about. The Lions Gate team works hard to plan exciting lifelong learning opportunities that pique residents’ interests and encourage a lifestyle of intellectual and mental well-being.
WHERE SENIORS NEVER STOP GROWING
“Lions Gate is dedicated to creating new opportunities for seniors to experience the greatest joys in life while taking proactive steps toward greater health and happiness,” shares Peggy. “Lifelong learning is just one of the many ways we promote the best senior lifestyles we can imagine for our residents.”
If you would like to learn more about opportunities for lifelong learning, contact the Lions Gate team, or reach out to local senior living agencies in your area to discover the possibilities available to you.