How Seniors can Benefit From U3A and Keeping an Active Mind
Keeping an active mind is essential throughout your life, especially in your senior years. According to the Victorian Government’s health website Better Health, a number of physiological changes that occur in the brain can leave seniors more susceptible to brain-related conditions such as memory loss, confusion and reduced alertness. Fortunately, many of these conditions are not an inevitable part of growing older. Studies have indicated that with the right activities and enough regular mental stimulation, it is possible to stay sharp and mentally active well into your senior years.
How does it work?
As you get older, certain changes take place throughout your body, including in your brain. Much as you can help stave off many age-related illnesses through maintaining a fit and healthy body, giving your mind a regular workout can help your brain adapt to the natural changes it faces. These changes include a decline in the speed with which messages are transmitted between neurones, and the build-up of fatty deposits and other accumulations in the brain, which can also slow things down.
How can I keep an active mind?
There are a number of different activities which may help your brain stay healthy as you get older. These can include regular time spent doing puzzles and crosswords, as well as learning new skills. The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a popular activity for many seniors, particularly those living in retirement villages who may have easy access to organised programs and others nearby to learn with.
What is the University of the Third Age (U3A)?
The University of the Third Age is a worldwide not-for-profit organisation that encourages retirees to keep their minds and bodies active by sharing their skills with others, and learning new skills themselves. This can be a great way for you to build networks, meet new people and stay mentally and physically active while you share your knowledge and learn from others in your community.
Unlike conventional universities, U3A does not have any formal courses of study or qualifications. There are many different courses available, from learning about science and history, to creative writing classes. A nominal fee applies, which is usually levied on an annual basis and covers as many courses as you like.
Where can I participate in U3A?
If you are fortunate enough to live in a retirement village like the Point Cook Retirement Village, you will be able to take advantage of U3A facilities on your doorstep. Point Cook, like many retirement villages, has a U3A group in the community that meets on a regular basis and plans activities together.
Alternatively you can search online to find a U3A group in your local area. There are even online U3A groups if there isn’t a local group nearby.
Keeping an active mind during your senior years means that you can better enjoy your retirement. Whether you choose structured activities like U3A, or you prefer to do the daily crossword or browse your local library, making time to exercise your brain can have many benefits for you now and into the future.