Lifelong Learning

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Lifelong Learning
Lifelong Learning

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Lifelong learning

Doing what is fun in old age, being independent and leading a fulfilling life is a great wish for many people. Lifelong learning is an important key to fulfilling this desire for an active, self-determined life.

Learning also means dealing with new things: with personal changes, new social challenges or with technical progress. This is also and especially important in old age.

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  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Learning is development
  • Learning in old age
  • Supportive learning environment
  • Organized and informal learning
  • Learning competencies in old age
  • What does lifelong learning bring?
  • Information & offers

Learning is development

Whether you like it or not, life often brings with it new challenges, opportunities and losses. Everyone adapts to these changes and develops as long as they live. This concerns for example:

  • Physical development: growth, changes in body functions, performance and health, physical aging, etc.
  • Social and emotional development: changes in behavior, in attitudes, in dealing with other people and with oneself, in communication, etc.
  • Cognitive development: changes in memory performance, concentration, in everyday knowledge, etc.

Science assumes that people can improve their skills and compensate for losses at any age. An important prerequisite for healthy aging is the willingness to learn.

Learning in old age

Children learn very quickly, but older people learn more slowly. In return, older people have the advantage of being able to fall back on their wealth of experience. Someone who is used to learning will find it a little easier to absorb new content. But senior citizens who start again after a long break from studying and learn a language, for example, can be successful. A supportive environment and an inner attitude are important.

Successful learning promotes the willingness

  • to overcome personal barriers,
  • to practice and persevere,
  • communicate with others, learn from others and
  • apply what has been learned in practice.

Supportive learning environment

Adult education offers for older people must meet their needs and interests and use appropriate teaching methods. In order to enjoy learning, older people need the right framework conditions:

  • A positive, supportive learning environment promotes learning success. The educators cater to personal needs, interests and previous knowledge.
  • Enough time to learn new information and consolidate knowledge.
  • Well-prepared, understandable content makes learning easier.
  • Good accessibility of the offer near the place of residence, the adaptation of the course times to the needs of the elderly and accessibility of the event location are important prerequisites for participation.

Organized and informal learning

There are many possibilities for lifelong learning:

  • Organized learning - with or without a certificate - is possible in recognized educational institutions such as schools, universities or adult education institutions.
  • In addition, associations for voluntary employees offer courses and training courses that impart specific knowledge.
  • In everyday life and in the social environment (family, friends, club, etc.), competencies and practical skills are learned in many situations - often unconsciously, not organized and informally, e.g. in joint activities or in voluntary work.

Learning competencies in old age

Learning not only means acquiring practical, professionally applicable knowledge. It also includes learning new roles, skills and rethinking well-established behaviors. Older people - just like young people - can acquire various skills in order to cope with new challenges, e.g. dealing with social and physical changes, making new relationships, learning new hobbies, etc.

What does lifelong learning bring?

Education and lifelong learning help in old age to participate in social life and to shape life oneself. Older people who continue their education acquire new knowledge, make new friends and broaden their horizons. The mental stimulation improves memory and has a positive effect on health.

Lifelong learning is the basis for maintaining intellectual abilities. One-sided activities, such as crossword puzzles or Sudoku tasks, are not enough in the long run. A diverse range of stimulation that stimulates thinking, perception and imagination has a positive effect, e.g. learning foreign languages, dancing, making music or studying.

Information & offers

There is a wide range of educational opportunities for older people:

  • The adult education.
  • The counseling networks in the federal states offer free educational advice for adults in general, as well as especially for the transition from work to pension and further training in the pension.
  • The website engagiert-gesund-bleiben.at offers information on the subject of volunteering in old age.
  • You can find information on the subject of lifelong learning and education in old age on the website of the Ministry of Social Affairs.
  • Initiate projects successfully! of the Federal Ministry for Labor, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection is a guide for senior citizens who want to get involved in a self-determined way.
  • To a healthy neighborhood! into an initiative of the Healthy Austria Fund.

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