COVID-19 Updates
September 1, 2020

7 Ways to Continue Learning After Retirement

Once we retire, we have an opportunity to live the life we’ve always wanted. We have the freedom to dive headfirst into new or old passions and continue to learn and grow. In fact, learning in your senior years supports healthy aging, allowing you to do the things you want longer.

So many possibilities and so much time! Wondering where to start? Below, BCSLA offers some fun and engaging hobbies, programs, and ideas to get you started.

Express Yourself Through Art

Creativity has always been a world-renowned value, but research has found that the process of creativity may be more valuable than the result. Canadian studies have shown that practicing art as you age can increase your overall cognitive and mental health, as well as be a way to express emotions and share your creativity with others.

Art is an excellent example of learning to communicate through visual means. The best part being it is up to you how and what you communicate. So, pick up a paintbrush, or whatever medium you prefer, and share your thoughts!

Enjoy the Written Word

Creativity does not only mean paintbrushes and sculptures. When reading, you are constantly using your imagination and increasing your intellectual capacity. Whether you use new vocabulary for creative writing, utilize the knowledge you absorb for discussing politics, or simply to entertain your mind, reading and writing has proven to bring a vast amount of benefits for aging adults.

Try expressing yourself through a poem or short story, or indulging in a new fiction novel with a book club. Whether reading or writing, you will challenge your imagination for healthy aging.

Discover New Technology

Technology is a never-ending innovation that forces us to keep up. There is no better way to challenge yourself during your retirement than staying current with the newest tech. Staying up to date with technology will keep your brain exercising, keep you in touch with your family and friends, and give you peace of mind at home.

Some great places to get started are digital technology classes, having a family member to tutor you, watching at-home workshops, or asking your local community’s recreation programmer about bringing in a tech guru.

Learn a Foreign Language

If you’re looking for a challenge, learn a language you’ve always been curious about. There is nothing more gratifying than speaking a foreign language fluently. Plus, the advantages to your health are outstanding! From decreasing your risk of developing dementia to making international travel less stressful, learning a new language might be your ticket to healthy aging and an adventurous retirement.

Volunteer Your Time

One of the best ways to learn is to teach others. Opportunities to socialize, meet people, gain confidence, and learn in the process are everywhere in British Columbia. With many international students, teaching a language might be the perfect thing.

If you’re seeking to meet more people your age, check out Third Age Learning at Kwantlen. This innovative institution is designed to make learning fun, with courses on wellness, philosophy, or culture. Sign up for classes or look into volunteering, you won’t regret it!

Express Yourself Through Music

Did you play an instrument as a child, or have you always wanted to learn the piano? What about learning how to sign or write music? Your retirement years are the perfect chance! Try joining a local choir, ask your grandson to teach you how to play the guitar, or join your church’s band.

Not only can music help you learn and grow, but it can also impact your overall well-being. One study found that “…while some participants strove to enhance memory or language, others used the musical activities as a context for reducing anxiety…,” and “…the option of listening back to recorded performance contributed to and sense of pride in the group identity, as well as boosting self-awareness and self-esteem (Using Music Technology Creatively to Enrich Later-Life: A Literature Review).”

Return to the Classroom

Nowadays, universities and colleges offer online classes or the option to take individual courses to encourage individuals to be lifelong learners. Great examples are Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, which offer degree completion courses and continuing studies that are flexible for your needs. Browse their options and see what appeals to you.

The mission of the British Columbia Seniors Living Association (BCSLA) is to promote healthy aging, active retirement living, and be an advocate for senior living providers throughout British Columbia.

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