[Updated: October 28, 2020 | Published: October 28, 2020]
At Friendship Village of Dublin, Columbus seniors explore new ideas, build skills, and enrich their lifestyle through Lifelong Learning programs.
A healthy connection of mind, body and spirit is key to thriving at any age. As we grow older, strengthening this connection becomes even more important.
“Keeping your brain active and engaged is especially important in the current climate, when we all need to practice social distancing to remain safe,” said Executive Director Rita Doherty. “Now is a perfect time to try out a new language, brush up on an old hobby, or explore something entirely new!”
What is Lifelong Learning?
At a basic level, Lifelong Learning includes all knowledge and skills gained after leaving formal education.
Humans are active learners by nature. Our brains take in information, analyze the data, and use it to change or enhance what we already know.
Continuous learners build on the brain’s natural abilities. Learning becomes an adventure that continues throughout life.
The Ohio Department of Higher Education describes Lifelong Learning as, “the continuing pursuit of knowledge to build skills, explore new ideas, enhance understanding, and enrich life.”
At Friendship Village of Dublin, we help Residents thrive by providing extensive opportunities to explore their interests, hobbies, and passions.
Supporting Intellectual Wellness
Lifelong learning is a key component of intellectual wellness, one of the 9 dimensions of wellness we call The Village Way!
Intellectual wellness supports healthy brain functioning: our ability to think, reason, and judge.
Compare your brain to a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets. In fact, studies have shown that active learning programs can protect against cognitive decline and mood disorders like depression as we grow older. One Mayo Clinic study published in JAMA Neurology concluded that lifetime intellectual enrichment may even delay onset of dementia.
Twice a month, Friendship Village Residents challenge their memory, senses, and creativity through our Brain Fitness class. Grounded in science, this unique experience sharpens cognitive skills.
We’re happy to count professors from a variety of colleges and universities among our Residents. These learned peers share their knowledge via in-person and video presentations.
During this year’s Active Aging Week, Dr. George Barlow, professor emeritus, Heidelberg University, presented a fascinating video about Ice Age Legacies in Ohio.
At Friendship Village of Dublin, you don’t have to be a professor to share your knowledge and skills! Residents give formal presentations and informal instruction in many topics of interest – from meditation to gardening, watercolors to woodworking.
College and University Courses
Through a partnership with Otterbein University in nearby Westerville, our Residents are part of a vibrant community of lifelong learners age 55 and older.
We also explore a monthly theme through our partnership with the Senior Connections Program at Cleveland University Circle. This program includes customized videoconferences, which can be paired with follow-up trips to plays, exhibitions, concerts, or cultural events. Seminars include virtual visits to stimulating places including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the WWII Museum in New Orleans, and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Residents over 60 can also take free classes at local colleges and universities, including The Ohio State University, which is just a 20-minute drive away.
Through our on-site library, Residents never run out of reading material and learning resources.
Arts, Crafts and Woodworking
Creativity is an important component of Lifelong Learning. Hands-on pursuits stimulate intellectual, spiritual, and physical wellness.
Taking group classes or working side-by-side on crafts projects also supports the social dimension of wellness.
Art classes such as watercolor, jewelry making, needlework, and sculpture add a tangible touch to learning. And our fully stocked woodworking workshop allows carpenters to make furniture, toys, and gifts.
During Active Aging Week, Residents enjoyed recreating works on loan from the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Residents display their arts and crafts for everyone to enjoy at our on-site art gallery and in our common rooms.
Have Fun and Stay Young Through Lifelong Learning
An active brain is a happy brain. In fact, Harvard Medical School reports that challenging our brains can create connections between neurotransmitters and even increase the number of brain cells, regardless of age!
“There are so many ways throughout our campus to enhance intellectual wellness and have fun,” says Wellness and Community Life Director Jeanne Joseph. “Every day can be an adventure!”
As American Industrialist Henry Ford observed, learning also helps keep you feeling young. “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty,” he said. “Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
If you’re looking for a community where lifelong learning is a top priority, you owe it to yourself to explore Friendship Village of Dublin! We invite you to schedule a safe, socially distanced visit to learn how you can live your best life surrounded by friends and activities.