26Jan2018

Making the Most of Retirement: Learn New Skills Online

By Steve Johnson, Public Health Library

/

Photo from Pixabay

Once you’ve retired from the workforce and start spending your days at home, life gets pretty dull. You sit around all day doing the same old things and spend the rest of your life in monotony, right?

You couldn’t be more wrong! Retirement is a time where you can try new things and learn all the stuff you always want to but never had time for. Luckily, you have a resource right at your fingertips that makes this easier than ever… the internet!

You can learn a hundred new skills thanks to online tutorials and how-tos-- everything from cooking a gourmet meal to learning your favorite song on an instrument. Best of all, it’s good for you!

There are many benefits to learning new skills throughout your retirement years:

  • Learning new things can help prevent depression.
  • It improves your communication skills.
  • It provides you with a sense of accomplishment.
  • They can introduce you to new people.
  • Actively learning as a senior can prevent memory loss.

Learn About Art History Online

If your ideal vacation involves going to cities around the world and visiting the best museums, this is the hobby for you. Nowadays, you can take virtual gallery tours and learn new things about the most famous (and non-famous) works of art out there.

Whether you are a fool for modern art or you prefer to look at classical sculpture, there is something out there for you.

Best of all? Most of these courses are free online. You get to learn the history behind the work, the artist, and even the time period it was created.

So, why learn about art?

  • It helps us understand the past.
  • It fosters cultural understanding, as well.
  • It can help you become more creative yourself.

Learn How to Play an Instrument Online

Maybe you used to play a little in the past, but you’ve grown rusty over the years. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to be able to fill your home with music, and now you finally have the time to learn. Whatever your motivation for learning to play an instrument, doing so is incredibly beneficial.

  • Playing an instrument can improve dexterity in your hands.
  • It helps with cognition and creativity.
  • It can improve your mental health.
  • Music makes you happier.

Since you save money by taking lessons online, you want to be pickier when it comes to buying your instrument. Say you want to buy a trumpet:

  • Start with a student trumpet.
  • Don’t forget accessories (mouthpiece brushes, cleaning snakes, etc.)
  • Look for a finish that is pleasing to the eye.

Learn How to Cook Online

Sure, you probably know how to scramble an egg and grill a cheese… but there is so much more out there to learn! The internet is an endless source of culinary techniques and recipes for you to try. Plus, cooking for yourself has so many benefits:

  • You can control the ingredients to better reflect your health needs.
  • It saves you time and money.
  • It brings people together.
  • It’s a form of self-care and helps you practice mindfulness.
  • Plus… it’s fun!

***

Now that you are enjoying retirement, make the most of it by learning new skills and knowledge. The internet is a boundless resource for you to tap into.

You can explore the world’s best museums and take free classes that help you understand the artist and the work’s context. Free online music lessons are great for you brain and fill your house with music. Learning to cook online has several benefits, the least not being the delicious food you make.

Whatever skill you learn, you help sharpen your mind and improve your life when you pursue knowledge in your later years.

16Jan2018

Assistive Technologies for Seniors with Dementia

By Lucy Wyndham

/

Photo by Aaron Ang on Unsplash

With around 5.5 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s dementia and numbers expected to rise over the next decade, the technological sector is stepping up its game, with a series of innovations aimed at making the disease more bearable both for those affected and their family and friends. In this post, we highlight just a few technologies that are working to increase safety, practicality, and comfort.

Motion Sensor Lights

One of the earliest indicators of dementia, is forgetting everyday responsibilities such as closing the lights or turning off electrical appliances. Dementia affects the working memory, as well as long-term memory though in the initial stages, seniors are often able to live alone with assistance from family members, and the help of technology.

Although motion sensor lights originally envisioned to help conserve energy, they are an excellent way to help seniors worry less about closing the lights when they leave a room, or about switching them on when they need to get out of bed at night – thus reducing the risk of falls.

Depending on the wattage, those who leave their lights open spend a few more cents every hour; when one considers that most Americans spend 15% of their electricity bill on lighting, the importance of energy conservation becomes patent, if only from an economic standpoint.

Medication Reminders

Common medication errors that can arise with dementia include scheduling errors (failing to take medication on time) and episodic errors (patients forget whether or not they have taken their medication, which can result in missed or doubled doses).
Assistive technologies for medication include automatic pill dispensers (which come with an alarm so the patient always takes the right dose at the right time) and smart pill dispensers that notify caregivers when medication has been taken.

Medical Alert Systems

These devices, often worn as a necklace or on the wrist, contain technologies such as fall detection, which enables seniors to obtain assistance when and where they need it. This technology is particularly important for those with Alzheimer’s/dementia, since the latter have a higher fall risk owing to a number of factors – including problems with balance, difficulty walking, or changes in vision and hearing.

Visual Aids

This category includes special clocks (which contain larger numbers and have a simple, clear design). These gadgets often have magnifying aids and indicators of whether it is day or night time. They can also have different designs to choose from (digital vs analogue, for instance), to personalize the experience for users.
Also visual in focus are picture phones, which enable users to make calls by pressing on images of friends and family, instead of having to search by name and number.

In this post, we have mentioned just a few technologies developed to help those with dementia lead an independent life for as long as possible. While most focus on simplifying daily tasks, some are more concerned with ensuring that patients are attended to speedily, which is important considering the higher fall rates and mobility challenges faced by persons with dementia.

Login to your Account