“Many people don’t understand just how much being a lifelong learner impacts your wellbeing,” says Matthew Jackson, General Manager at The Waterford Seniors Community in Tsawwassen.
“Obviously, learning is good for your brain health,” notes Matt. “But it can also boost your self-esteem, give you a sense of purpose, and connect you to other people. It checks a lot of boxes on the wellness wheel.”
Here are five free/low-cost learning opportunities older adults:
Academic Earth — Digital Resource
The most renowned universities in North America offer a huge selection of courses and lectures that you can engage in at your leisure for free. Choose from topics like Aerodynamics at MIT, Shakespeare from Harvard, Introduction to Earthquakes at the University of California, Berkley and many more!
Local Universities — Live & Digital Resources
Your local college or university very likely offers discounts and possibly free tuition for some of their classes. In addition, they may offer courses specifically for 50+ learners. For example Kwantlen University in Metro Vancouver provides a creative and stimulating Third Age Learning program loaded with educational opportunities for only $10.
Duolingo — Digital Resource
Learning a new language is simple, fun and free using Duolingo. With a tablet or smartphone, you can use this app to try your hand at Italian, Japanese, or whatever language you’re interested in. Flashcards, games and multiple-choice questions will have your brain breaking a sweat in a fun way.
Gluu Society — Digital & Print Resources
Keeping up with technology can be challenging. The Gluu Society’s goal is to assist seniors in being digitally successful. They provide classes, help desk support and printed guides that will give you confidence in navigating the digital world. Canadian seniors get a free lifetime membership!
Your Local Library — Live, Print & Digital Resources
Your humble local library is more than just books. At Fraser Valley Library locations, you can learn to play Mah Jong, take a Laughter Yoga class or experiment with virtual reality goggles. Free resources are what your local library is all about!
Opportunities for new learning are always available to Bria Communities residents. “This week our residents have the chance to visit the Planetarium in Vancouver, watch a docuseries about Amelia Earhart, and experience a Chai Tea talk & tasting session,” says Matt. “It’s all part of creating a healthy and vibrant lifestyle for the seniors who choose to live with us.”