Interesting research from Texas University in Dallas reported in the Journal of Psychological Science, supports the view that older people should continue to challenge themselves and learn new skills. They found that in a group of 60-90 year olds, those that developed new skills had better memories than those engaging more passive home-based activities like crosswords or listening to music.
(See the results of our GrumbleSmiles survey by clicking on “CAFE PROJECT” in the TAG CLOUD and scroll down until you find the graph on New Skills).
It is not just about new skills, it is also about getting out and engaging with other people.
At ExtraCare Charitable Trust, opportunities for activity and interaction was our raison d’être. There were over 80 different activities that were made available to people. Among the most popular new skills were:-
Singing in a choir —- there are at least 15 different choirs who perform in their own schemes and also in the community, as well as an annual Christmas concert at that spectacular venue Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
Computer Skills —- all the retirement villages have computer suites. Many of them also have tutors who can improve your computer skills.
Art Classes —- an opportunity to learn a new skill. Most of these are taught by residents who are already accomplished artists.
Woodcraft —- bird tables and wheel-barrows for plants seem to be popular lines, but it is also somewhere that you can get help with a broken chair or table.
Ceramics —- the perfect place to make your own unique Christmas presents.
Dancing —- the most informal way of keeping fit and the Tower Ballroom at Blackpool is only a quick, quick, slow step away.