September 15, 2020 —Michelangelo is often quoted that at 87, he said “I am still learning.” Learning is no longer something that only happens in school. We know it’s something that’s important to all of us- and it’s a critical part of keeping us healthy as we age.
Benefits of Lifelong Learning
Within the past year, a Harvard Business Review article cited several studies showing that learning activities can help delay symptoms of Alzheimer’s and related cognitive decline, and help improve memory. In addition, UC Irvine neurobiologists have found biological evidence that learning promotes brain health — and that in turn, mental stimulation could limit the debilitating effects of aging on memory and the mind.
The new studies and science behind lifelong learning confirms what we’ve known at Kendal-Crosslands Communities from our inception. Lifelong learning and engagement in community, through providing opportunities to be physically active, explore interests and develop new ones, is part of our mission to continually transform the experience of aging for every one of our residents.
When people describe Kendal-Crosslands Communities, sometimes they’ll say “it’s like college, but without the grades.” The opportunities to explore new interests in a community of other intellectually engaged and vibrant people opens up a new world of opportunities that would eventually be hard to piece together if you decide to age in place.
Opportunities for Lifelong Learning
Whether it’s taking actual classes, attending lectures, cultural events, or volunteering and teaching others in the community, lifelong learning opportunities are diverse and virtually endless. We have formal lifelong learning programs with classes in conjunction with Widener University, and the Osher Institute of Lifelong Learning at the University of Delaware, and many residents take advantage of classes in both gardening and photography at nearby Longwood Gardens.
For those wanting even more formal learning opportunities, there are many local Universities and Community Colleges who have general education programs, from the University of Pennsylvania to Wilmington University and Delaware County Community College. West Chester University also has an adult study program that allows retired PA residents to attend classes tuition-free on a space available basis. Chester County Night school also offers a whole host of creative, enrichment classes from learning languages to cooking tapas, archery to Microsoft OneNote, glassblowing, ballroom dancing, Adobe Photoshop, or learn how to play guitar, to name just a few of the classes they are offering this Fall.
In addition, there are lectures and presentations in the evening from scholars, film makers, artists, and even local political figures right on campus. There are book groups, writing groups, and people learning new skills and discovering talents they didn’t know they had. Residents have written books, plays, poems and more.
This spirit of engagement and community helps make Kendal-Crosslands Communities an exciting place to live. We know it helps set us apart from many other communities in the area, and we know you’ll see the difference when you come and meet our residents.