Lifelong learning helps retirees learn everything from Facebook to politics
Have you always wished you had the chance to learn something, but work and family issues got in the way? It appears that many older Americans feel the same, and there are new lifelong learning programs springing up across the country to help more mature students go back to the classroom to expand their knowledge.
Shepherd University in Virginia is one of the most recent institutions to offer this opportunity to older adults. Lynn Widmyer recently wrote in West Virginia's The Observer about how much she is looking forward to participating in the classes. The last time she was in a classroom was 1973.
"I am embarrassed by how little I know about the history of places other than Europe," she writes. "I can name all the wives of Henry VIII in chronological order, but can’t begin to name key historical figures in the Middle East. The Lifelong Learning program could help me be a better citizen of the world."
Additionally, there are courses about designing a website or participating in blogs and social networks like Facebook that Widmyer also wants to take.
Del Webb retirement communities have adapted to a new demand from retiring boomers who also want to hit the books. For example, Del Webb Woodbridge is partnered with California State University Sanislaus and offers access to The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of the Pacific.
Through the use of these facilities, you can learn about a diverse array of subjects, whether you want to learn a new language, learn about economics or choose to take computer classes to stay on top of the latest technology trends.
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In years past, it may have seemed unusual to see scores of older adults heading back to the classroom, but that is no longer the case. Many retirees make lifelong learning a priority once they leave the workforce, and few people are more emblematic of this growing trend than 92-year-old Ruth Elliott.
After retiring, adults have many decisions to make. Do they want to embark on an encore career? Travel? Perhaps they want to volunteer. But one of the most popular options for boomers is heading back to the classroom.
The baby boomer generation has been shaping travel trends for decades, and now as millions of its members are heading toward retirement, it is doing the same thing once again.
Heading back to the classroom has become a popular retirement activity for older adults.