Guest post by Karen Weeks
Not sure about navigating computers? The professionals at Make Use Of reviewed several options designed to help you get comfortable. Whether learning as an individual or with a group of friends, these will help you on your way:
- Skillful Senior. This website offers interactive tutorials to teach basic navigation skills with the specific objective of seniors being able to access health information. For those who need help learning to use a mouse, touch typing, and the arrow keys on the keyboard, this site is tops! Tutorials are animated and also include voiceover instruction.
- BBC - Webwise. Webwise is designed to help beginners with both basic computer use and internet use. The site is interactive and oriented toward making learning fun.
- Meganga. For seniors who might prefer a blog-like learning experience, Meganga should be just the ticket. Opportunities are listed by categories and there are plenty of options for beginners.
The spice in life
Once you have a grasp of the basics, the possibilities are endless and the benefits abound. Experts at Science Daily explain that studies reveal engaging in mentally challenging activities helps keep the mind sharp. The internet offers a tremendous variety of choices, so pursue whatever interests you. Here are just a couple options:
The arts. Engaging in the arts is especially beneficial to seniors. Research reveals seniors who participate in arts-related activities boost their quality of life and maintain better health and well-being overall. Some scientific studies show:
- Singing is good for mental well-being and improves outlook.
- Dancing is good for cognitive ability and motor skills while reducing risk for dementia.
- Visual arts such as drawing and painting increase social interaction, improve self-perception and boost mental health.
- Playing a musical instrument offers a plethora of beneficial effects, including reducing risk of dementia.
Harvard Health further explains that musical engagement can function as exercise for the brain, helping to improve the efficiency with which information is processed. It allows you to express your feelings, communicate with others, can reduce depression and lowers stress levels.
With all that in mind, why not learn to play a musical instrument through online lessons? Enjoy learning an instrument such as a saxophone so you can play big band, jazz, classical or whatever strikes your fancy. For tips on choosing the perfect saxophone for you, explore an online saxophone buying guide.
Cars. Whether you love vehicles or are just interested in how they influence and shape our world, some experts suggest test driving Stanford University’s Youtube lectures on “Cars: Past, Present and Future.”
Science & Cooking. Harvard enlists famous chefs for this Youtube series of culinary education. They don’t stop with great cooking and recipes, but take the course to the next level and give scientific explanations for why cooking works.
Languages. Scientists believe that learning a new language is not any more difficult for seniors than it is for youth. Try taking French classes through Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative. It’s designed for beginners and is a highly interactive, video-based program that gets you learning right off the bat.
Learning at your fingertips
Learning new things is not only possible for seniors, but it’s healthy and easily accessible. Thanks to the internet, there is a virtually endless array of learning opportunities for individuals or for groups. Whatever direction you decide to pursue, dive in and have fun!
After retirement, Karen was bored and struggled to find a new sense of purpose. She decided to learn a new skill and took a computer course. She learned how to build her website, ElderWellness.net. Now, she tries new things all the time. She believes nothing is off limits to seniors.