5 Occupational Skills for Seniors


John Salinas, aged 91, (above) says weekly ICT classes have given him a new lease of life, allowing him to benefit from community opportunities (https://www.theguardian.com/adult-learning/lifelong-learning-key-to-happiness)

Lеаrnіng bесоmеѕ more dіffісult the lеѕѕ you dо іt.

Whеn уоu аrе young уоu hаvе tо lеаrn соntіnuоuѕlу juѕt tо get bу аnd соре wіth thе сhаllengеѕ you face еасh dау.  Thе рlаѕtісіtу оf thе humаn brаіn rеѕроndѕ tо thе dеmаndѕ рut оn іt. If you keep trying tо learn nеw things thе рlаѕtісіtу wіll rеmаіn mоѕtlу unaffected as уоu age. So, learn mоrе, tо bе аblе tо learn mоrе easily.  It therefore isn’t true that learning becomes more difficult as you age but like a lot of things:  Use it or lose it!

Keeping аn асtіvе mental ѕtаtе оn all lеvеlѕ іѕ grеаt fоr bоth mеntаl аnd рhуѕісаl hеаlth аѕ уоu age.

After a career where you may believe that you have learned everything that is to be learned relative to the job, retirees may seek to relax rather than initiating learning and continuously developing new skills.

Owing to their lifespans, people perceive there is no longer any need to learn. Yet ongoing learning will enable seniors to attain economic, intellectual, social and emotional benefits through the processes of obtaining skills on a continual basis.

Here are 5 Ways for Seniors to Learn New Skills

1.  Begin a Work From Home Business

Being senior doesn’t mean that you must give up working. There are many ways to continue to utilize the skills that you have developed within the workforce and enhance your mental well-being.

Taking on an online business that can satisfy your interests and can be completed at your own pace is an effective way to maintain continuous learning.  This could be based on a hobby or pastime, or may even be an extension of your former career.

Exploring and discovering jobs such as writing an ebook, creating and selling goods online or affiliate marketing are all ventures that can be fulfilling as well as potentially providing you with a source of income directly or via a company that you may establish.

2.  Volunteer Work

You may wish to support the community without any monetary incentive through volunteering. With every task or problem that you will confront from your volunteering experience you will be developing new skills and learning opportunities on an ongoing basis.  Volunteering opportunities can include working for charities, gardening, childcare, creating art, food preparation and music entertainment.

3.  Take a course

If you are considering taking on a business, volunteering or other opportunities that require specific skills and qualifications, taking courses will allow you to develop the capabilities that you need.  Taking short courses through Udemy or other online training programs geared to the niche in which you choose to work is an easy and cost effective way to attain qualifications and knowledge, at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home.

Or you may be able to find a mentor or someone who holds experience in a skill you wish to acquire.  This is a great way to develop new skills. The personal interaction between an experienced individual will allow an easier communication process and will help you to be more confident in raising any issues or difficulties that you may come across.

4.  Teach

An effective way of retaining information and exercise skills is by teaching what you have learned. Look for opportunities to teach and explain a skill to friends or within your local community. Set up your course on Udemy, Skillshare or Teachable.  If you don’t know how to do that refer to point 3, above and especially that relating to Udemy.

This allows you to have a full understanding of the skill as you are required to present well and answer questions that may arise. Not only does teaching assist your own development of skills, but also aids others as they gain valuable information and insights from your abilities.

5. Travel

If finances and fitness allow, travel is a way to enjoy yourself while learning and developing new skills.. Not only will this be a guaranteed enjoyable experience but it will also act as a learning opportunity in itself. You will be able to develop and enhance practical skills, cultural awareness, as well as learning new languages and technologies to simplify your travelling journey.  Again point 3, above is pertinent.

Travel preparation will also give you the opportunity to learn how to effectively use smartphones and other electronic media where travel applications will assist you to find hotels, restaurants and events that are suitable for your needs.

The Benefits of Learning for Seniors

Evidence of the benefits of learning  and undertaking a new skill during the latter stages of life is overwhelming say the Alzheimer’s Society in United Kingdom, whose research has shown that it can delay the onset of the disease, thereby reducing dependency on welfare support.  “It [learning] has significant benefits in terms of improving people’s mental health and reducing their reliance on medication” says Fiona Aldridge, National Institute of Adult Continuing Education programme director and author of a recent report into lifelong learning.

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