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Health Benefits of a Higher Education in the Golden Years

College is not only meant for people who are just starting their adult lives. Seniors who seek education later in life can also receive a wealth of benefits. The Summit elderly care experts at Home Care Assistance want to share a few of the ways your elderly loved one can benefit from going back to school.

Increased Physical Health

A study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research found every year of education a senior receives is equivalent to a life span increase of .18 years. The study also found receiving a degree, typically after 4 years of higher education, lowered a senior’s mortality rate by 1.8 percent, reduced the risk of heart disease by 2.16 percent, and lowered the risk of diabetes by 1.3 percent. 

Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Though a higher education doesn’t appear to slow memory loss once it starts, it may prevent your loved one from developing Alzheimer’s disease in the first place. A study done by researchers at Rush University Medical Center compared the educations of 6,500 seniors, and those who had more education had better memory and thinking functions. Researchers believe learning exercises the brain, making it work harder and preventing Alzheimer’s disease as a result.

More Opportunities for Socialization

Many seniors find it difficult to socialize after a spouse or close friend passes away or family members move. This lack of socialization can cause feelings of isolation, loneliness, and depression in your loved one. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, seniors who socialize have healthier blood pressure levels, are less likely to have heart disease, and are more active. Going back to school can encourage your loved one to socialize with others, build new friendships, and engage in meaningful conversations.

Enhanced Feelings of Wellbeing

The senior years are a time when stress and anxiety from health issues, family concerns, and financial problems can take their toll on emotional health. Pursuing a higher education can increase your loved one’s feelings of peace and wellbeing, helping him or her manage the stresses he or she encounters. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, feelings of wellbeing are associated with longer life spans and increased productivity.

If your loved one isn’t able to return to school, but still needs regular cognitive and social stimulation, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can engage your loved in various activities designed to benefit his or her overall health. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s home care Summit seniors can rely on. For more information and to schedule a no-obligation consultation, please call one of our friendly Care Managers at 908.450.9400 today.