Learning a New Skill as a Senior

You may have heard the phrase you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, which means when someone ages their ability to learn something new is not there. However, this is not true, and more so it is almost more capable for a senior to be able to learn something new.

As you grow up, you go to grade school, and then to college, army, trade school, etc. and you keep learning. You learn new things as you age which keeps your brain active, which in turn makes your brain more capable to learn. To put it simply, the more you learn to more you are capable to learn.

A senior has been learning for a long time, so they are very capable to learn a new skill, which has a ton of benefits. Learning a new skill can increase happiness, which decreases boredom, and mental health issues like depression, and stress. It can also help with coping with the death of a loved one. Art skills, like drawing or painting, are shown to help most with this because of the ability to display your feelings without words.

Another benefit is the connection to your brain strengthens which greater diminishes the risk of dementia. Learning anything helps keep your brain active and stimulated which decreases risk of any mental related diseases or conditions. New skills help push people out of their comfort zones, in which many seniors are set in, and helps them realize they can overcome new challenges and makes them more confident in themselves. As a senior, new challenges are a very real possibility because their lives start to change and instead of being fearful of this is would help them to feel more secure in their ability to face these changes.

Other Benefits to Learning a New Skill as a Senior

Socializing is another benefit to learning a new skill as a senior. You do not always have the ability to socialize as a senior because you cannot get around as much by yourself and unfortunately sometimes you do not have anyone to talk to. And because of this your risk of anxiety, depression, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s disease can increase. A way to socialize is to join a class of some sort or an organization, or club.

You want to make sure to keep your brain stimulated as you age, so learning a new skill is the perfect way to do that. If you are worried about if just remember that there are some skills that as a senior you are better at then you were at a young age: basic math, verbal abilities, inductive reasoning, being content, and being more positive. All these skills get better with age.

Here are some great new skills to learn as a senior:

  • Learn to play an instrument
  • Learn a new language
  • Take a cooking class
  • Learn how to draw or paint
  • Creative writing
  • Learn how to play bridge or a new game
  • Learn to play a new sport like golf
  • Photography
  • Gardening
  • Learn to do different arts and crafts
  • If you have a pet, teach them a new trick
  • Learn how to meditate
  • Learn how to knit or sew
  • Start a new business
  • Take a pottery class
  • Learn how to dance or sing

Before we wrap this up let’s talk specifically about learning to play a new instrument. Right down the road from At Home Senior Services is Catherine Cocco’s house where she teaches piano, along with other instruments taught by her or her other teachers. She is the CEO of the Allegheny Music Academy which is run out of her house in Coraopolis or in their other locations in Sewickley and Mt. Lebanon. However, you do not need to live in these locations to go there! She advertises for the greater Pittsburgh area and she also has some online teachers you could learn from as well. Catherine offers private lessons—$35/ half hour lessons—and semi-private lessons—$24/ half-hour lessons.  She also offers group lessons that are $20/ 45 minute lessons. Catherine also hosts a music camp for kids and music for homeschoolers! You can learn to play piano, flute, drums, saxophone, trumpet, viola, violin, cello, and even how to sing at Allegheny Music Academy. Check out her website to learn more: www.alleghenymusicacademy.com. You can also call her at 267-393-1987 or email her at cgrace@cgracesoprano.com.

All these skills are great for stimulating brain activity, socializing, reducing boredom, increasing happiness, and everything else mentioned above. So, if there is something you’ve always wanted to do, but never had a chance, now is the time. There is no time like the present. Don’t wait to do or learn something you’ve always wanted to do.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss home health care, please check out our website www.athomeseniorservices.com or call us at 412.604.0410!

Article by Rebekah Weyand