Learning: a lifelong quest that’s really good for you
Learning is good for us. Research has shown that taking part in learning boosts our sense of well-being. The practice of learning helps us adapt to change (important in our fast changing world!), and is great for our social and community lives. Continuing learning into later years, means harnessing that feeling of empowerment beyond paid employment.
Age is no barrier to learning
Our Australian seniors, have lower levels of post school qualifications than the rest of the population. This is because there was a time when learning opportunities simply weren't as accessible as today. Lifelong learning is about keeping your mind active, through each of the stages of your life in a way that works for you. As we continue to mature, our longevity and well-being is closely linked to our physical and mental health. Keeping our minds and bodies active, can make for fulfilling and productive senior years.
The many benefits of learning
The experience, wisdom and intellectual capital of our senior Australians is an undervalued asset. One of the key benefits to Australia of having our seniors participate in, and continue their learning, is the transfer of this knowledge, life lessons and experience to others.
Participating in learning has been strongly linked to economic, social, financial and health benefits. Here are just some of the positives to be gained. Actively taking part in learning:
- Keeps you mentally active and alert
- Adds to your sense of purpose
- Unlocks your potential, increasing your feeling of well-being and empowerment
- Adds to your sense of community
- Increases your ability to absorb more complex information like financial and health literacy
- Stimulates discussion
- Brings people together
- Empowers you to keep learning and inspire others to do the same!
Learning comes in many forms
Taking part in learning and gaining the benefits we've written about, isn't limited to formal academic qualifications and courses – although these are options too! Here are some examples of informal learning activities that could work for you:
- Researching your family history or genealogy
- Trying out a new recipe, craft or sport
- Online research
- Joining a fitness group
- Joining a book club
- Teaching someone a skill you have, and they don’t
- Joining a walking tour, or a guided day tour.
Opportunities to learn are more flexible than ever
With Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) rolling out, improving our online speed, data and overall experience along with mobile technologies, the opportunities for study and learning are incredibly flexible. Whether you prefer to learn from the comfort of home, face to face or a healthy combination of both, there is a learning option available to suit most people’s needs.
The great thing about retirement, is that its very definition is entirely up to you. For many people their senior years are all about new beginnings, or catching up on what you were too busy to do before. If you feel you missed out on learning opportunities in your youth, right now is as good a time as ever to look into your options.
Embark on learning something new. It’s never too late.
For more information:
Open Universities Australia - http://www.open.edu.au Learn Local – http://learnlocal.org.au Adult Learning Australia – http://ala.asn.au/ Genealogy - http://www.ancestry.com.au/; http://trove.nla.gov.au/ Centre for Adult Education (CAE) - http://www.cae.edu.au/web/ Classes and workshops to improve research skills - State Library of Victoria U3A - http://www.u3aonline.org.au/
Retirement Communities Australia (RCA) is committed to an Active Health philosophy, and each of our retirement villages is set up to nurture this lifestyle – making for positive, healthy retirement communities.