Learning a New Skill is Good for Seniors’ Health

Learning a New Skill is Good for Seniors’ Health

Maybe you couldn’t squeeze electives including home economics, choir, band or shop class into your school schedule. Then your later-life calendar was packed with work, child-care and other responsibilities that demand your effort and energy, leaving little time for hobbies.

But, as a senior, you may have more say over how you spend your days, thus opening the door to a multitude of possibilities and passions you’ve been dreaming of for years. Indeed, now might be the opportune time to learn new skills with a group of like-minded friends or pursue individual interests through the wealth of online avenues available today. Here are just a few ideas to help inspire your exploration.


Make Music

An expanding body of research shows singing in a choir or playing a musical instrument as an adult can boost emotional well-being, brain health, cognition and hearing function, according to MarketWatch. What’s more, educational opportunities and performance groups are emerging to give older adults the chance to learn how to play an instrument and show off their newly acquired skills publically if they’ve got the gumption.

And, for seniors starting from scratch, the internet offers a wealth of resources including everything from a detailed clarinet buying guide to online lessons for those who want to learn to play at their own pace, to offer just a few specific examples. Indeed, there are tech tools and sites to help novices shop for and learn just about any instrument out there. So, maybe you can get together with a few musically minded friends to form a quartet. Who knows? You may become so well-versed that you decide to take the show on the road after all.


Make Crafts

If you’ve always wanted to learn to sew, knit, or quilt, why not connect with a few friends to take some classes at a local craft shop or community college? Given the benefits of such activities, they’ll probably be glad you “needled” them to join. Indeed, experts say crafting can help people cope with anxiety, depression and chronic pain. It may also ease stress, increase happiness, and protect the brain from damage caused by aging.

Crafting could be a particularly beneficial weapon against the effects of aging because it engages so many different parts of your brain. Many crafting activities test memory and attention span while engaging your visuospatial processing, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. Crafting can also have some of the same benefits as meditation, some experts contend, because it puts practitioners into a state of “flow,” according to CNN. Like meditation, crafting can put people so completely into their creative moment that they temporarily forget outside concerns, which can reduce stress and inflammation.


Make a Difference

For an even more hands-on hobby, you might consider taking home improvement courses at your local community college or construction materials superstore. There are classes and workshops focusing on everything from DIY drywall to installing floors and backsplashes, to name a few.

You can you hone your newly acquired skills in your own home. And you might even want to recruit a construction crew of retirees to help make repairs and build homes for charitable organizations. For example, nonprofits such Habitat for Humanity offer a variety of volunteer opportunities, including some for people who want to work on local projects or travel to build sites around the U.S.

No matter what piques your curiosity, there are plenty of healthy hobbies out there to explore in person or online. And, for seniors who aren’t as tethered to work and school school schedules as they may have been in the past, there’s no time like the present to learn something new.


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Thank You to Our Guest Blog Writer:

Karen Weeks


Image via Pixabay

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When the time comes to find Senior Housing for yourself or a loved one, turn to Alternatives for Seniors. We offer FREE personalized assistance in finding the best senior housing option for you or your loved one. A place that matches your interests, needs and offers the amenties that best suit you –– one that is conveniently located near your loved ones.


Call our Senior Advisors at (888) WE-ASSIST (888-932-7747).


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