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Local organizations offer learning opportunities for seniors

February 10, 2014

Despite the fact that many seniors are no longer enrolled in educational institutions, there are many opportunities for them to learn new material within their own senior living home. Nonprofit organizations and different companies around the globe have partnered with independent living facilities to provide courses for seniors, teaching them skills from speaking foreign languages to paying bills online. 

Project Heart Start teaches CPR to seniors
The New Mexico Heart Institute plans to offer a CPR training class for seniors living in the state, according to the Albuquerque Journal. Project Heart Start, an organization that offers free public training in CPR and the use of AEDs, will be touring places in the area where older adults tend to visit. By training individuals in senior living homes, the nonprofit hopes to educate seniors about the steps that may revive another person who has suffered from a heart attack. 

Emeritus College stresses the arts
This month, Emeritus College will be offering five free classes for seniors to take in Malibu, Calif. Courses will focus on the arts, including the works of William Shakespeare, modern poetry, autobiography, creative writing and principles of acting. The college and its courses are specifically geared toward seniors, with more than 4,000 older adult students attending and 160 classes offered. In addition to learning opportunities in the arts, the institution has a Wise and Healthy Aging Center that offers educational workshops and support groups for seniors. The Stroke Association of Southern California also provides rehabilitation courses for individuals who have had strokes.

While Emeritus College primarily serves seniors living in the Malibu area, many local colleges and universities provide classes for older adults looking to expand their education. States such as New York, Maine and Nebraska have college programs specifically dedicated to seniors, a large number of which do not cost participants any money.

Girl Scouts teach computer skills to the elderly
As technology becomes more widely accepted in independent living homes, seniors have been searching for ways to best understand popular devices. In Newark, N.J., a couple of local Girl Scouts set out to educate their elders in the ways of the computer, spending more than 20 hours per week with seniors who required assistance, according to the Newark Advocate. The 11-year-olds, Hallie and Nichole, crafted a computer literacy program in which they taught older adults how to set up email accounts, play games on the Internet and navigate different websites. While residents were wary at first, the girls told the news source, they became more receptive to the technology as time went on.