Is It Ever Too Late to Start Learning?


Image via Unsplash


When was the last time you set out to learn something new? Some of us are only too happy to leave our studying days behind. We ditch the revision and plunge into the realities of working life without a backwards glance. But is that approach the right one?

Lifelong learning, and continuing to learn in later life has a whole host of benefits. It can bring great happiness, connection to a community, a sense of wellbeing and increase independence. In older citizens, the beneficial feeling of purpose can provide a counterbalance to the frustration of limited mobility or the emotional emptiness many often find in old age. And the benefits stretch beyond the mental realm into physical health, top. Research from the Alzheimer’s Society showed learning could delay the onset of the disease and reduce the dependency on support from others and even medication.

If you have elderly relatives or older friends, you may see the positives of convincing them to learn something new – but convincing them can be a problem. Going back to learning can seem intimidating, especially with the barrier of lots of new technology to find your way around – elder people will have been used to learning without tablets, computers or the Internet. Whether a person is retired or still working, learning can have a huge impact. And whether it’s attending an informal study group or going the whole way and bringing their skills to a formal degree like an online bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. There are so many pathways and channels to keep learning going. You can choose a little or a lot – whatever your goals are there is a mode of study to suit. Even gaining the skills to start your own business as a senior can be a great incentive to keep learning.


Improving Brain Functions


The act of learning is pretty much a self-fulfilling prophecy – the more that you learn, the easier it becomes, as neural pathways in the brain become more active. Your cognitive abilities actually improve the more that you use them. Especially in older people, learning becomes an inspiring cycle, and one that has the power to improve overall mental health and slash the odds of developing brain-related illnesses such as dementia. Just as physical exercise keeps your body stronger and more supple, so mental exercise does the same for your brain, which is especially beneficial for older people.


Keeping Pace With Technology


These days, knowledge has become more democratised than ever, thanks to the power of the Internet. Accessing learning is now quite simple, and online learning is especially suited to seniors, as it can take place at home, the learner can work at their own pace and help is easily accessible. Technology that is easy and intuitive to use – like tablets which can be swiped and pressed – are a boon to those who may have fine motor skills setbacks. Taking an introductory silver surfers course can be hugely beneficial to our elder citizens, teaching them valuable new skills which can really improve their lives, such as allowing them to order shopping online or Skyping relatives who don’t live nearby. There are technology solutions specifically tailored to seniors as well, or younger family members can often be really helpful.









About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

Catch me on G+.


  1. I think it is never too late to start learning. We can learn at any stage.

Speak Your Mind