September is National Self-Improvement Month, and for seniors living in assisted living communities, this is a good time to learn a new skill or discover a fun and interesting hobby. Learning a new skill helps older adults keep their minds sharp and may help improve cognitive function when the activity is mentally demanding, like photography. Consider the following five skills that are quick and easy to pick up.
To be a writer, you simply need to write. As a senior citizen with a wealth of experience, you probably have numerous stories you can share. Consider writing a novel or poetry for yourself. You can also choose to journal as a way of taking notes of your feelings and what's been happening in your life.
Easy access to cameras on smartphones makes photography an easy skill to learn. For seniors, learning how to edit pictures, organize them into folders and even sharing with family and friends helps keeps the mind mentally fit. Once you start snapping photographs, consider starting a social media page dedicated strictly to your artwork. Photography is an excellent anti-stress activity and is great for your self-esteem, knowing you can capture something beautiful and share it with others.
Painting is an excellent way to relax, ease anxiety and foster a strong sense of identity. Exploring different textures and methods and using many colors offers sensory stimulation. According to Today's Geriatric Medicine, art improves cognitive function by producing new neural pathways and creating strong and thicker dendrites. Painting and art also provide a sense of control, create a way to socialize with others and reduce boredom.
Autumn View Gardens has a bistro that offers cooking classes for its residents and a place to hold family gatherings. Whether you've never stepped foot in a kitchen or you are known for your cookie recipe, there's always more to learn in the kitchen. Cooking activates the senses, triggers a host of happy memories and encourages socializing with others and self-expression. Focus your efforts on learning a specific cuisine or how to make a special dish for family members during the holidays.
Social media is an excellent way for seniors to stay in touch with family and friends and to reconnect with past acquaintances. Seniors within the Autumn View Gardens community may take advantage of the computer center, which includes Wi-Fi internet for checking emails, creating social media accounts or simply researching favorite hobby. Online classes like Skillful Senior and the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium's basic computer classes make it easy to hone some basic skills.
Getting older doesn't mean you should stop learning new skills. With so many hobbies to choose from, there are plenty of activities to satisfy every interest. At Autumn View Gardens in Ellisville, MO, we encourage our seniors to get involved in the community. For more information, contact us to schedule a visit or to find out more about our amenities.
Bethesda Foundaion is not associated with the Bethesda Health Group of St. Louis, MO.