“Every time your heart beats, 25% of that blood goes right to the brain. But while exercise is critical, it may be education that is more important.” Paul Nussbaum, neuropsychologist

We have plenty of evidence-based research that has proven the importance of engaging every day in mental, spiritual, and physical activities. Experts often refer to this as a “balanced life plan.” Most senior living organizations do an excellent job at providing opportunities for physical exercise.

The question we should be asking is, “do we devote the same amount of time to our brain?” We know that the brain is the engine that powers everything else. While brain games may be enjoyable, (who doesn’t enjoy a word search or a crossword puzzle?) we also know they do not move the needle on improving our brain health.

Lifelong learning is a powerful force for educating and inspiring senior adults. It refers to the process of gaining knowledge and learning new things. We know that informal lifelong learning takes place regularly for all of us.

Structuring that learning to engage and interact with other people adds a significant new dimension to our quality of life. Research has shown that lifelong learning for older adults can result in less memory loss and fewer cognitive disorders. Other benefits of lifelong learning include renewed self-motivation, improved self-confidence, and increased satisfaction in feeling connected with the world.

Lifelong learning isn’t about committing new facts to memory or even recalling the tiniest details of a topic. It is about experiencing new topics, recognizing the impact historical events and people have had on our lives, and exploring new 21st Century ways of thinking. Lifelong learning can help your residents and staff achieve personal fulfillment and satisfaction; it can challenge that natural drive that we all have to explore, learn, and grow.

Learn more about the curriculum options offered to senior community centers by visiting Phoenix-based ALLE Learning™ at www.alle-learning.com, emailing us info@alle-learning.com, or calling us at (800) 990-9806. Learn about our related companies that focus on community-based memory care, EngAGE EnCOURAGE,™ or our home-based classes for caregivers, Engaging at Home.