Ideas and learning new thingsNo matter whom we are or what our stage in life might be we can all benefit from adopting a growth mindset. But what is it and how can it help us achieve a higher quality-of-life later in life?

The lifelong learning growth mindset begins with curiosity and moves down a path of wanting to know more. All our lives, we never stop learning. Once a person is out of the work force it is generally up to the individual to continue to participate in learning opportunities. Some experts say that this is really where the journey of learning begins. There are no more forced tests, projects or term papers. The learner becomes happy, encouraged and determined to continue to move forward on their journey. Consider how powerful this attitude is if it is a part of everyday life for every resident in a senior living community.

Every senior adult living community should offer an intellectual journey for all of their residents. It should be part of the daily programming. Why? Lifelong learning helps residents feel happy, encouraged and determined to know even more. The journey becomes a cycle of positive outcomes; residents engage and participate not just for their own success but also for that of their peers or fellow residents.

Other benefits of intellectual programming include:

Engage and connect. Learning about past and present “real world” experiences provides the opportunity for recall and the validation of a life well-lived.

Promote holistic health. A healthy mind/body/spirit leads to a willingness and openness to learn: improved alertness and concentration, quicker cognitive processing, higher energy levels, and an overall happier community.

Expectations rise. When staff and volunteers begin to use the language of learning the entire culture changes; participants become curious and want to know more. Staff becomes empowered to lead and programming becomes meaningful.

A healthy positive lifelong learning “growth mindset” is the one of the greatest gifts we can share with others.