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What is Lifelong Learning and Benefits for Older Adults

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost half of the adult population in the United States (43 percent for men, 49 percent for women) are enrolled in some form of lifelong learning.

What is Lifelong Learning?
Lifelong learning is the process of keeping your mind and body engaged—at any age—by actively pursuing knowledge and experience.

While many companies encourage lifelong learning in their employees to keep their skills up-to-date, you don’t need a job to enjoy lifelong learning. In fact, learning something just for fun can be a more rewarding experience.

The Benefits of Lifelong Learning for Adults 50-plus
The pursuit of knowledge through lifelong learning—whether it’s learning how to dance, speak a foreign language, write a newsletter, improve your golf swing, or repair your car—has wonderful benefits for adults 50-plus:


  • Keeps your mind sharp
  • Improves memory
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Offers an inexpensive way to try something new
  • Saves money as you learn to “do it yourself”
  • Gives you a feeling of accomplishment
  • Helps you meet people who share your interests
  • Builds on skills you already have
  • Offers an opportunity to learn a new skill or trade and increase your income
  • Gives you a new interest that you can share with family and friends

Where To Find Lifelong Learning Resources
Lifelong learning classes (also called continuing education or adult education) are offered by most community colleges, trade or technical schools, many larger cities and counties, and public universities.

If your community has a Parks and Recreation program, that can be a wonderful and often inexpensive resource for taking classes in sports, art, dance, language, yoga, exercise and music.

Are you 65 or older? Check out the social groups and lifelong learning options at your local Senior Center.

For a list of educational resources for lifelong learning in your community, see Interested in Lifelong Learning? Find a School, College or Library Near You.

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