As we develop we continually learn new things; either in a formal environment through studies, or in a less formal way, such as learning how to navigate the playground or the growth that happens when becoming a parent.
However, when we prepare to retire, the idea of education, training and continued learning can feel challenging; akin to the impossible task of teaching an old dog new tricks.
That someone over the age of sixty might be interested in learning a new language, taking up the cello or participating in a course in digital photography, is not always seen as age appropriate but as people we seek to be challenged and inspired well into our later years.
In fact, multiple recent studies show that a key to healthy ageing is a willingness to undertake new challenges, and learn new skills; to step out of our comfort zone.
The benefits to this are twofold. Firstly, research has found that learning complex new tasks in older age can have significant positive impacts on a person’s working and long term memory.
Secondly, the social engagement that comes from learning and practicing new skills, whether in an arranged classroom setting or a casual craft group, stands to greatly improve a person’s overall wellbeing.
The University of The Third Age (U3A) is testament to the many benefits of older adult learning, and boasts over 35,000 members in Victoria alone.
U3A was formed in France in the 1970s, and arrived in Australia in the 1980s. Providing social and intellectual stimulation for retired and semi-retired people aged 50 years and over, the organisation has 106 different ‘sites’ across Victoria, with Lendlease Retirement playing host to some.
One Lendlease senior living community part of the U3A network, Fiddlers Greenin Berwick, currently hosts over 20 classes, which are at capacity.
It’s a chance for residents to engage in rich courses and classes, and reap the many social and health benefits that come with this.
“U3A classes include current affairs, computer classes, painting, choirs, discussion groups – we have such an active calendar, we actually struggle to find room for new classes”, says John Grassa, General Manager Lendlease Retirement Living (VIC).
As a leading for-profit owner, operator and developer of senior living communities in Australia, Lendlease Retirement Living has over 70 retirement villages across Australia. Its Serviced Apartments offering present a viable alternative to aged care, enabling residents to acquire additional care services, such as cooked meals, cleaning services and laundry while providing the benefits of living within an active, lively community.
For more information on U3A, Lendlease articles and to find out more about Serviced Apartments, read the latest edition of the Lift Serviced Apartments newsletter here.
To explore retirement living options for different budgets and lifestyles in a LendLease Retirement Village visit their websiteor call 1800 550 550.