Older adults and the elderly face this stigma and social myth that they do not have to learn new skills or experience new things in their lives once they are nearing retirement age or retired. Many elderly may feel that there is no use in their job or their lives even if they learn anything new. Some also faced difficulties in handling new technology or new skills in their lives.
There are many good reasons why the elderly should continue to learn new skills and knowledge.
learn new skills for experience
fight dementia with learning new skills
get to know other older adults
able to socialize with the younger adults
Longer lifespan, more time to explore
Learn new skills for experience
Learning new skills is a wonderful experience. Some may be worried about his ability to learn, but if you do not strive to be competitive, learning is a great pleasant and happy journey. You get to enjoy great joys when you learn a new skill and ability to use the skills for something new in your life.
For example, if an elderly can learn how to do a vlog (video blogging) with a simple mobile phone, he may enjoy broadcasting his life and conversing with his friends and fans, improving his social interaction and making other people as well as himself, happier.
Fight dementia with new learnings
We all know one of the scariest things of old age is the onset of dementia. It is the #1 fear for all family and loved ones when someone they treasured start losing memories and unable to recognize their own family.
Research shows that having fun helps in the active use of the brain. This helps to delay and fight the onset of dementia. Regular usage of brain allows the brain to continue rework neurons and like a muscle exercising, your brains will get fit and healthy.
What is the best way to exercise your brain? LEARNING! Choose something new, and learn new things.
This is especially if you manage to learn something new that can keep you occupied and able to spend time instead of being restless and bored during your free time.
For example, a mid-50s adult can start learning the saxophone. Not only will learning the saxophone allows him to train and uses his brains reading music scores and learning how to play each note when he learns basic recreational saxophone, but he can also play on his own to entertain himself daily! And best of all, he can play saxophone to entertain his family and friends.
Able to know and socialize with other elderly and older adults
Learning a skill allows you to interact with other course participants or motivates you to seek out other learners in the internet or community areas near you. All these people have the same common interest and will have common topics while learning new skills.
The extra socializing and common topic helps a lot in making new friends and starving loneliness. Most of us are very friendly and afraid of nothing when we were kids, we make friends easily in the teenage years and we can easily approach strangers to smile and laugh. Older adults may find it challenging. Hence many experts recommending older adults to learn new skills and hobbies to know more people and socialize more.
One of the best things to learn is to use the computer for basic internet usage. When they know how to use a computer, they can use these skills to know more people of similar hobbies, interests, and likes over the internet in forums, groups or discussion boards. There are many agencies that help elderly citizens learn computer skills.
And now, with everyone having a digital smartphone, it is even more essential to learn how to internet browsers and apps to do more.
Learning how to use digital banking apps
Modern society is pushing forward with banking and payment apps that avoid using physical cash. To do that, we must ask seniors to learn how to use their banking apps and yet guard against malicious characters who may be out to cheat them in scams and hoaxes.
Scams, hoaxes and fake news
One of the most worrisome trends is more and more elderly are getting cheated out of their hard earning savings when they are scammed. There are a lots of different types of scams, and scammers are innovative and smart in luring elderly to part with their money via bank transfers. We need our senior citizens to learn more on such digital bank transfers so that they can be wary of transferring sum of money or letting other people have access to their banking accounts.
Able to mix with younger adults
The age and generational gap between elderly and younger folks are real. Sometimes teenagers and young adults may have a perception that older adults are not friendly or boring. Learning new things can reach out to younger adults that are in the same interests and skills.
For example, an elderly may not be able to learn how to play basketball like a pro, but surely he is able to learn how to brew coffee like a professional barista? Along the way, he will surely astonish hipsters and teenagers in enjoying a nice warm cup of coffee with him.
Longer lifespan, more time to enjoy
Lastly, medical advances and better nutrient means the elderly are living longer and more fit lives. A longer lifespan means every one of us to have more time to enjoy society, nature and what technology able to offer us. Why not take this lifespan and learn new skills and new knowledge to enjoy more of what life has to offer? Every new skill learned is a bridge to somewhere. Every new hobby learned is a door to a whole new world.
Bigger Skillfuture due to Covid-19 virus
The economy has taken a big dive due to the Covid-19 virus and the Singapore government has topped up $500 to $1000 in Skillfuture for all Singaporeans to use and learn more while the economy is in recession. Do take a look to see what you can learn with your Skillfuture funds and learn something useful for yourself.
There are numerous portals online that teache 101 courses, such as Udemy, Coursa Online and Singapore Futureskills for Elderly Course Centre.
Go out there and explore! SeniorCare is proud of all our active and happy friends!
PS: other than working on it physically, take a look at how we can prevent dementia mentally