Learning a second language is not only fun and exciting, it promotes one’s cognitive functioning and critical thinking skills. However, recent studies report that learning a second language can have an especially positive cognitive impact for seniors and older adults.
Benefits and Advantages for Seniors
One of the primary benefits of learning a second language is brain training. The area of the brain that is targeted during this activity has been shown to improve memory and boost cognition and awareness. Focus, the recalling of information and attention span, are also positively impacted. Studies even report that learning a second language can help in preventing the onset of memory related conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Getting Started & Choosing a Learning Platform
With so many benefits, it’s no wonder why seniors are interested in learning a second language. There are several different learning platforms available ranging from classes at a local university or community college to in-home or online programs. As with anything else, the best learning platform will be determined by a senior’s comfort level and preferences. For instance, a college course may be great for the outgoing senior looking to meet new people and learn. However, a college course may be too busy or fast-paced for a senior, especially if a hearing impairment is present. For these seniors, self-paced study at home or a tutor can be a great alternative to the traditional learning environment.
Maintaining Interest for the Senior
As with many hobbies, it may be difficult to keep a senior’s interest. Family should support their loved one throughout their learning experience and do their best to keep the activity exciting and fun. Using flash cards and playing games may hold the attention of the senior and when images are incorporated, can even increase these benefits. The family can also learn the language with the loved one, which makes the activity much more engaging and gives the senior the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned. If your aging parent or loved one has a part-time home caregiver, ask them to go over language activities with them for additional practice and fun.
For more information about senior care, visit www.homecareassistancemesa.com or contact a Care Manager directly at (480) 699-4899 today.