Most people assume that seniors have a hard time learning a new skill. Well, having so much time on their hands, this is the right time to learn new skills. If you are taking care of your elderly loved one, you should encourage them to learn these skills to improve their quality of life in their old age.
This article is part of my “Importance of Elders” series that features 50+ articles on keeping seniors and the elderly happy and healthy so that we can have them in our lives longer. See the entire series here.
7 Important Skills For Seniors and the Elderly
Here are some of the most important skills that seniors should learn immediately.
1. Learn A New Language
If your elderly loved ones have never had time to learn a new language, this is the time to do it. They don’t necessarily have to learn the whole language, simply a few phrases. Even better, they can learn how to say hello in different languages. This is definitely a good conversation starter, especially for interracial families. It would be easier for parents to communicate with their children or grandchildren. Also, your senior loved ones can also find people who speak the new language and talk to them.
2. Learn How To Cook A New Dish
Regardless of whether your loved one is a new cook or an expert, there is always something new they can learn. With there being so many new recipes online and TV shows, it’s easy to learn a new cooking trick. Learning how to cook makes life interesting for anyone at any age.
Even better, you can encourage your elderly parent or grandparent to learn how to cook so you can spend some time together. However, if they have limited mobility, you should be careful to avoid any accidents in the kitchen. It’s a great way to bond and they should be able to enjoy amazing food right in their own home.
3. Develop Basic Digital Literacy Skills
In today’s society, it is impossible to do much that doesn’t require the use of some sort of technology or technological device. So, it is imperative that seniors develop at least a cursory understanding of technology, computers and mobiles devices. Digital literacy is important for so many reasons.
While they are lots of ways to develop tech skills, a great place to start is by taking classes or hiring a computer tutor. Another great source? Have the grandkids show you what you need to know!
4. Teach Pets A New Trick
In their old age, most people prefer adopting a pet for companionship. Well, those walks in the park don’t have to be boring for your elderly loved one, especially if they teach their pet a new trick. It’s a great way for pets to bond with their pet owners. Also, your elderly loved ones will appreciate teaching their pets something new.
5. Creating Art
With so much time on their hands, older adults can always learn how to make art. They don’t necessarily have to become experts like Bob Ross but they can always start somewhere. With a good painting starter kit, it’s easy enough to get started. Even better, painting or making art has a lot of benefits, especially for senior citizens. Even coloring in adult coloring books can help.
For instance, finishing a piece of art can boost confidence. Also, focusing on the canvas can reduce stress and anxiety. Painting forces your elderly loved one to use both sides of their brains, the creative and logical side. It improves cognitive brain functions thereby helping a lot of seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s or dementia.
6. Playing The Piano
Most people assume that playing the piano is a skill that should be done when someone is younger. However, for elderly people who have a lot of time on their hands, learning the piano at their age can be very fulfilling. Of course, they don’t have to master the piano like the pros but playing some simple music is a great way to get started.
Music can be quite therapeutic, especially for elderly loved ones who are often overcome with loneliness. It can heal the soul and make your elderly loved ones feel less stressed or anxious. Even better, you can play the piano with your senior loved ones when you visit to make it a great bonding exercise.
7. Performing Magic Tricks
Have you ever heard the genuine laugh of a small child as they are awed by a magic trick? Well, your elderly loved ones can always learn new magic tricks to bond with the young grandchildren whenever they visit. It’s a great way to learn new tricks and keep the mind focused. Of course, they don’t have to perform outstanding tricks like the greatest magicians known but a simple card or coin trick will make everyone happy and excited.
It’s never too late to learn something new. Some of the skills mentioned above will help your loved ones remain busy even in their old age. These skills are perfect for engaging the minds of senior citizens since they have a lot of time in their hands.