Lifelong learning for young and old
Learning new things, taking up old interests and enjoying mental stimulation are proven to make us all feel happier, more confident and more sociable. And in a care home setting, such simple pursuits can make a real difference to daily lives.
Not-for-profit social enterprise Learning for the Fourth Age (L4A) is running a project to introduce older people in Leicestershire to new technologies through a diverse range of one-to-one and group educational and learning sessions. This, they hope, will enable residents to communicate more with their family and friends, helping to reduce any feelings of isolation.
Mutually enjoyable and sociable
Over the course of the year-long project, L4A tutors have mentored, taught and shared experiences with more than 100 older people across a number of care homes in the region.
Feedback from the learners has been amazing. Typical comments cover a wide range of emotions – from “I enjoy everything; it’s stimulating conversation and we talk about all kinds of things!” and “I look forward to the sessions every week” to “I used to think that my days of learning were over 30 years ago!” and “I would have gone mad by now if it wasn’t for L4A!”
Discovering new technologies
As part of the project, older people get to discover and use a wide range of new technologies, including laptops, iPads, Wii, mobile phones, digital cameras and video cameras. The opportunity to learn something new gives residents something to talk about with each other and with visitors, as well as improving general social interaction and giving learners a great confidence boost.
And it’s not just elderly people who are benefiting from the programme. The project offers an invaluable opportunity for volunteers of all ages to share their skills, meet new people and develop a better understanding of old age.