One resident of a community that uses ALLE Learning™ had this to say: "We chose this community because when we came for a tour, the first thing we were handed was a catalog of the lifelong learning program. We immediately got to see this community's commitment to our cognitive health. We haven't been disappointed, and as new residents move in, we hear the same thing from them. We all feel encouraged and connected—it is a pretty amazing feeling, one we never expected."
Over the past 20 years, an enormous amount of research has been conducted to help define a healthy lifestyle for older adults. We've learned that cognitive stimulation is as important as fitness, wellness, and a healthy diet for active seniors. The concept of lifelong learning is not new. The term and programs have been around for decades. What is new is that senior living communities are paying more attention to providing more than a once-a-month lecture and instead focus on daily cognitive stimulation.
ALLE Learning™ is a program that makes it easy for staff to share the bright light of learning. Remember, it is not about the presenter, the content, or knowledge retention—it is all about the "experience of learning" and how people feel as they leave class. And it's not just for those attending: staff and residents learn together, leading to mutual support and respect.
ALLE Learning™ promotes these positive, enriching feelings in several ways. First, we provide a monthly theme with three lifelong learning classes and suggestions for enriching or extending the topic. Second, learners aren't just sitting passively; they're participants—they ask questions, participate in discussions, and share life experiences.
Third, our programs are age-appropriate, so there's an emotional connection to the topic. Whether studying the history of Jazz or how so much plastic ended up in the ocean, we make sure the material is engaging, with both live and video components to capture and keep people's attention.
When people are involved in the learning experience, it has many valuable benefits. Research suggests that continuing to learn new things helps the brain generate new neurons and create new neuron connections, contributing to healthier brains as we age and a reduced risk of dementia. Also, people meet others who are learning and exploring together and develop bonds. Social connections are key to mental and physical health.
Finally, lifelong learning can lead to priceless feelings of empowerment and self-esteem from learning new information. We pat ourselves on the back when we feel we're keeping up with what's happening in the world, digesting new information, and experiencing personal growth. Not to mention, it's fun!
Learn more about curriculum options by visiting Phoenix-based ALLE Learning™ at www.alle-learning.com, emailing us email@example.com, or calling us at (602) 418-5196. Learn about our related program that supports community-based memory care, EngAGE EnCOURAGE ™, or our home-based program for persons living with dementia and their care partners, Engaging at Home™.