Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kelley D. Hamilton on the Benefits of Returning to School After 50

Going back to school is an increasingly popular decision among retirees. There are many benefits and advantages to college as a senior citizen. Mental acuity and social interaction are important in senior years and going back to school can provide both. Kelley D. Hamilton, Bonaventure Senior Living CEO, expounds on the virtues for seniors considering furthering their education. 

Q: Are there any financial benefits for seniors considering going back to school?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Many colleges and universities offer free or reduced-cost classes as well as tuition cuts and waivers.

Q: How can returning to school help with social interaction if everyone else is younger? 

Kelley D. Hamilton: There are many, many older students. Also, age is no barrier to friendship. The simple act of chatting between classes helps with social interaction.

Q: Is there a sense of personal fulfillment involved here?

Kelley D. Hamilton: Absolutely! Seniors who finally have the time to learn something they are really interested in gain an amazing feeling of fulfillment.

Q: How does returning to school help cognitive abilities? 

Kelley D. Hamilton: The stimuli around seniors in school make the mind more alert and focused.

Q: What about computers and technology? Will seniors be capable of keeping up? 

Kelley D. Hamilton: Of course! Studies have shown seniors who learn computer skills and modern communication techniques are mentally healthier and less depressed.

Q: What other ways does going back to school benefit seniors? 

Kelley D. Hamilton: I think you could say the need to be needed is an unusual benefit to school. Adults have an ingrained need to be needed and attending school with younger people often allows seniors to impart their personal experience and knowledge to others.

Q: Is it harder for seniors to attend college than younger people? 

Kelley D. Hamilton: In some ways it is easier. Older people are able to focus their attention when needed. They don’t have the heady sensation of new found freedom distracting their attention.


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