Four New Skills to Keep Seniors’ Minds Sharp
By Julie Morris
With more than 41 million people over the age of 65 living in the United States, there is more of a focus than ever on the quality of life of our nation’s senior population. This is increasingly perceived as significant. One important aspect of ensuring quality of life is keeping the mind sharp. That can be achieved through developing new skills. Whether it’s learning a new language or even training your dog, seniors are still able to find a new focus in life.
After becoming a professional coach you will find there is a greater interest than ever for coaching during the transition to retirement. Following are options to explore with your clients.
Go Back to School
We are continually learning and, oftentimes, it is when we leave the workforce that we can truly give our interests the focus we want to, and this is even more fun with a group of friends. Whether it is a new skill or studying another language, get a few pals and take the plunge together. If you prefer to study in the comfort of your own home, take a look at community college and university websites, which may offer online courses in your preferred subject for free or with a senior discount.
Become Tech Savvy
Computing and getting online can be one of the most beneficial new skills to pursue. There’s a wealth of knowledge online, and it’s a fantastic way to communicate with loved ones, make new friends, or connect with the world by getting involved in communities that share your passions. It has been promoted as a great way to challenge the symptoms of loneliness and depression and really energize the mind. Importantly, it’s something that you and your friends can do together to encourage each other and have fun learning. To start, consider your Area Agency on Aging, which may have details on classes and workshops. Your local senior center, college, library, or even a computer store may be able to provide additional support and advice.
If you’re looking for a fun activity to do with friends while nurturing your creativity, consider crafting and arts. They can offer the ideal balance between being active, learning a new skill (or rediscovering and refining preexisting ones), and giving yourself some productive relaxation. As with learning new technology, there are plenty of avenues to pursue a craft. Whatever your creative interest is, whether it’s jewelry, quilting, or even metal work, it has the potential to become a really meaningful passion for you and your pals. You can even offer your creations as a vendor at craft shows and art fairs. It’s a nice way to socialize, both with your buddies and with customers and fellow crafters alike.
Train a Dog
Dogs are wonderful companions, providing their humans with love and devotion however the day has been. Sometimes as we age, our mobility gets a little more limited than we want. Together with other issues we face as we mature, that can cause more than a few challenges when it comes to training a dog. With that in mind, using hand signals as a way to teach your canine commands can be a surprisingly valuable approach both for you and your furry friend. With dog treats and affection at the ready, you can associate specific gestures with a desired action to make it easier for you and your pet. Verbal commands are sometimes easier for us to remember. Useful in so many situations, “sit” is often the first command dogs learn. In fact, most dogs “sit” on their own, so all you have to do is connect the command to the behavior. Whatever your approach, there are plenty of tips and instructions available online, including some from Rover.com.
There are more options than ever available to pursue passions and various endeavors in our golden years, even more so thanks to the growing availability of the internet. Whether you’re interested in becoming a student, tech savvy, a crafter, or training a dog, it is easier than ever to reach your ambitions and even include your friends along the way. Remember, this is your time to truly thrive.
After completing your coaching certification and identifying your niche, it is fun to continue learning more yourself so that you are ready to brainstorm ideas and help clients find resources. The tips shared here are great for trained coaches working with seniors. Have fun!