Forever Learning: Community Education & Free College Classes for People Over 50


Terracina Grand

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Posted on

Jul 23, 2023


Florida - Southwest

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One of the best ways to keep your mind sharp is to take classes, gain knowledge, and learn new skills. That's good advice at any age, but it rings especially true for older adults.

To encourage lifelong learning, every one of the 50 states offers some form of reduced,or even free, tuition for seniors. In fact, there are so many options, we put together this list of resources and suggestions to start a learning adventure.


Many state universities and colleges offer programs for state residents aged 60 and over, some even for 50 and over. Programs can vary widely from state to state and institution to institution. Some programs offer no-cost class auditing that won’t earn credits. Others offer low-cost classes for credit or non-credit. Some, like The College of Wooster in Ohio, offer community members of any age one tuition-free class audit per semester.

The University of Minnesota has a robust program for state residents 62 and over. Seniors can audit classes for free or earn credits for just $10 per credit.

Looking for a program near you? The Penny Hoarder has a list of free or cheap learning opportunities for seniors in all 50 states.


Most urban communities offer a wide range of low-cost classes through their community education programs. These often focus on specific skills, such as photography, learning another language, or boning up on computer skills. But the range of options is usually pretty broad. For example, St. Paul Community Education offers everything from cooking and driver’s ed to business classes. Similarly, Minneapolis Community Education has a full range of opportunities, including lifelong learning for adults 55 and over. Check out your local community ed calendar to discover the to senior living


Community centers and other local resources like parks, museums, and even retail shops offer general and special-interest classes in everything from using your cell phone to beekeeping. The 350 Jewish Community Centers (JCC) across the nation are just one example.


The opportunities for online learning seem endless. Some of the top universities have free online classes, including Harvard, MIT, UCLA, and Michigan State University. Many college and university courses are offered through companies like Coursera. Or, you can look into additional learning platforms offered online for free. 


Aside from being just plain fun, lifelong learning has an array of added benefits. Here are just a few.

  • Keep a Sharp Mind – This includes slowing memory loss, which learning new information and skills can help. In particular, focusing on new, unfamiliar skills can improve cognitive function.
  • Make New Friends – Learning with others is a great way to prevent loneliness and isolation, make new friends, and share new-found interests.
  • Retain or Build Physical Abilities – Taking a class isn’t just good for the brain. It can be good for the body, as well. Learning to use new tools in a woodworking class can help strengthen the upper body, just as joining a bird-watching group can have a restorative effect on the whole body. Consider learning a new type of physical exercise! There are plenty of free apps out there to give a try, too. 
  • Feel a Sense of Accomplishment and Purpose – Learning a new language, picking up a new skill, or creating a new work of art can all bring a deep sense of pride and even a renewed sense of life purpose. And that’s surely worth the price of admission!

The world of learning is vast and readily available to anyone who wishes to dive into it. Simply select your area of interest, and you'll likely find an assortment of online and in-person classes for you to choose from. It's time to ignite your curiosity and expand your knowledge. Let the learning begin!

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Winter Wellness for Seniors

Winter Wellness for SeniorsBy Patrick Troumbley, MS, CSCSBalancing the 8 Pillars of Wellness for Seniors in Winter: Evidence-Based Insights Introduction As winter descends, the well-being of seniors becomes a paramount concern. Aging individuals must navigate the unique challenges that colder temperatures and reduced daylight hours bring. This article delves into the intricacies of balancing the 8 pillars of wellness for seniors during the winter season, substantiating insights with scholarly references. Physical Wellness Physical wellness, a cornerstone of senior health, demands careful attention during winter. Maintaining physical activity is essential for avoiding the adverse effects of inactivity and cold weather. A study by de Rezende et al. (2014) emphasizes the importance of regular physical activity for seniors, citing its role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Indoor exercises like yoga and chair exercises, as recommended by the American Heart Association (2021), offer viable options to stay active during winter. Mental Wellness The winter months often usher in feelings of isolation and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A study by Melrose (2015) underscores the prevalence of SAD among older adults. Engaging in cognitive stimulation activities can alleviate symptoms. Seniors can find solace in local clubs, virtual classes, and community events, as advocated by Forrester (2017), who highlights the significance of social engagement in mitigating SAD symptoms. Emotional WellnessEmotional wellness hinges on effective emotional regulation. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques are integral components of emotional wellness. A systematic review by Rusch et al. (2019) supports the efficacy of mindfulness-based interventions in reducing stress and anxiety. Seniors can access mindfulness resources and guidance on emotional wellness through organizations such as Seniors Blue Book Utah. Social WellnessMaintaining an active social life is pivotal for seniors. The adverse effects of social isolation on senior well-being have been extensively documented (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2015). Seniors are encouraged to participate in local clubs and community events, as promoted by Senior Expos, to foster social connections. Intellectual Wellness Intellectual wellness necessitates ongoing learning and mental stimulation. Seniors can embrace hobbies like reading and learning new languages to foster intellectual growth. A study by Verghese et al. (2003) associates intellectual engagement with a reduced risk of cognitive decline in aging individuals. Occupational Wellness Occupational wellness transcends traditional work and relates to engaging in purposeful activities. Volunteering, as explored in a study by Okun et al. (2016), offers seniors a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Seniors can explore volunteer opportunities through organizations like Seniors Blue Book Utah. Environmental Wellness Winter introduces environmental challenges, such as slippery sidewalks and heating concerns. Seniors must ensure their living environments are safe and comfortable. The National Institute on Aging (2021) provides valuable tips for creating senior-friendly environments. Spiritual Wellness Spiritual wellness revolves around finding meaning and purpose in life. Engaging in spiritual practices, such as meditation and prayer, can provide solace and inner peace. A study by Carlson et al. (2016) explores the positive effects of mindfulness-based spiritual practices on well-being. Conclusion Balancing the 8 pillars of wellness is paramount for senior well-being, especially during the winter months. Evidence-based insights emphasize the need for regular physical activity, cognitive stimulation, social engagement, and emotional regulation. Seniors can access resources and information from reputable organizations like Seniors Blue Book Utah and Senior Expos to aid in their pursuit of wellness. By integrating these scholarly insights into their winter routines, seniors can not only survive but thrive during this season, enjoying a life marked by health, happiness, and purpose. References: American Heart Association. (2021). Recommendations for Physical Activity in Older Adults. Carlson, L. E., et al. (2016). Mindfulness-based interventions for coping with cancer. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1373(1), Rezende, L. F. M., et al. (2014). Physical activity and preventable premature deaths from non-communicable diseases in Brazil. Journal of Public Health, 36(3), 514-522. Forrester, A. (2017). Seasonal affective disorder in older adults: improving mood and well-being through leisure interventions. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 41(1), 39-53. Holt-Lunstad, J., et al. (2015). Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for mortality: A meta-analytic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(2), 227-237.Melrose, S. (2015). Seasonal affective disorder: An overview of assessment and treatment approaches. Depression Research and Treatment, 2015, 1-6.National Institute on Aging. (2021). Winter Safety Tips for Older Adults. Okun, M. A., et al. (2016). Volunteering by older adults and risk of mortality: A meta-analysis. Psychology and Aging, 31(6), 634-645. Rusch, H. L., et al. (2019). A randomized controlled trial of the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on posttraumatic growth among survivors of interpersonal violence. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 32(6), 936-946. Verghese, J., et al. (2003). Leisure activities and the risk of dementia in the elderly. New England Journal of Medicine, 348(25), 2508-2516.Patrick Troumbley, MS, CSCS

What is Adult Day Care and Is It Right for Me?

Adult day care is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to get the care and socialization they need without making a full move to a senior living community. Its also a great option for caregivers to have a well-deserved break from their caregiving duties during the day.There are over 7,500 adult day care centers in the U.S., 430 of which are in Florida. Over half of these centers are nonprofit, being operated by local governments, hospitals, universities, national groups, religious organizations, and more. Some are affiliated with or located within senior living communities or senior centers.A 2017 study published in the journal The Gerontologist showed that adult day care centers had health-related, social, behavioral, and psychological benefits for seniors, especially those with dementia or other cognitive impairments. Lets explore all the benefits of adult day care further and see if it could be a good option for you or a loved one! What is Adult Day Care?Adult day care is a professional, non-residential care setting for seniors in need of supervised care and companionship during the day. Most adult day care centers operate on weekdays during regular business hours, though some offer extended hours on weekdays or evenings. At adult day care centers, seniors can participate in various activities and social opportunities while receiving assistance with activities of daily living. Adult day care centers can also provide respite care so caregivers can have relief from their caregiving duties during the work week. This break can be instrumental in preventing caregiver burnout. In fact, a 2021 study published in the journal Aging & Mental Health showed that both seniors with dementia and their caregivers got a better sleep with fewer disturbances on nights before the senior attended adult day care. What are the 3 types of Adult Day Care Centers?There are 3 main types of adult day care centers: 1.  Social Adult Day Care: Based around socialization, companionship and recreation2. Adult Day Health Care: Focused on health and various therapeutic services; often has trained nurses on staff3. Specialized Adult Day Care: Intended specifically for seniors with conditions such as dementia, Alzheimers or certain disabilitiesWhat services are offered at Adult Day Care Centers?Adult day care services can vary based on the specific center. However, they are all focused on improving seniors quality of life and offering many social opportunities and engaging activities.  Most even provide coffee, snacks, and a healthy lunch for attendees.Some frequent activities and services offered at adult day care centers include:Social and recreational activities such as music, art, bingo, cards, holiday celebrations, discussion groups, book clubs, and moreCounselingFitness classesPersonal care, or help with activities of daily living such as grooming, dressing, eating, and toiletingEducational opportunities and workshopsHealth screeningsPhysical and occupational therapy Medication managementTransportationRespite careHealth servicesNutritionPet, art, and music therapyCommunity service opportunitiesAnd more!What are the benefits of adult day care?There are many benefits of seniors attending adult day care. Some of the major benefits for seniors are as follows:They can spend time in a safe, secure environment, giving peace of mind to families and caregivers.They can have meaningful social interactions to prevent isolation and cognitive decline. They can participate in enjoyable activities that reduce stress and improve their mood and sense of purpose.They can engage in brain-boosting activities like lectures, classes, card games, book groups, and more.They can improve their physical health through fitness classes and other activities.They can receive needed senior care without making a full move to an assisted living community.Caregivers can have a much-needed break from caregiving duties, helping to prevent caregiver burnout. When should seniors consider adult day care?Seniors may want to consider adult day care when they:Do not need full-time supervision or assisted living care, but could use some help with activities of daily livingNeed assistance structuring their day-to-day routineCould benefit from supervision in a safe environment during the dayAre beginning to feel isolated or lonely and could use regular social interaction and emotional supportNeed more stimulation and engagementHave a caregiver who works outside of the home, is away from home frequently, or needs a break from caregiving duties during the daytimeHow much does adult day care cost?The prices of adult day care can vary based on the location, services offered, and duration of stay. Most centers are billed on a daily or hourly basis.Generally, adult day care can range from $25 to over $100 per day, or about $500 to $2,000 per month. According to Genworth, the 2023 median cost of adult day care in Florida is $1,609 per month, or about $80 per day. Medicare does not usually cover adult day care attendance. However, some financial assistance may be available through federal or state programs including Medicaid, Older Americans Act, and Veterans Health Administration (read more about using Florida Veterans Benefits here).Other ways to pay for adult day care include long-term care insurance, private pay insurance, and out of pocket.How do I find adult day care?One great resource for finding adult day care centers in your area is through the National Adult Day Services Association (NASDA). Click here to find a center from their website.Another excellent resource is the Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging. Click here to access the locator tool, or call 1-800-677-1116 for assistance.Next stepsAdult day care is a wonderful option for seniors who need more engagement, interaction, supervision, or assistance. It is also a great solution for caregivers to have a break from their duties during the day. Not only that, but adult day care is also a great first step to transitioning to assisted living. Going from living at home directly to a senior living community full time can be a big and often difficult transition for older adults. Adult day care is a great middle ground option that can help seniors transition more smoothly to assisted living if it becomes necessary.Florida Senior Consulting is another great resource for ensuring a smooth transition to assisted living. We guide you every step of the way and help find your dream community, all at no cost to you!Enjoy a maintenance-free, resort lifestyle with peace of mind, safety, and well-being.When youre ready to take the next step to live your best life in your golden years, give us a call at (800) 969-7176, or visit! Senior Living on Your Terms. The Choice Should Be Yours.

Are There Herbs That Help with Memory?

re you worried about memory loss or forgetfulness? Youre not alone. Memory problems are common, especially as we age. While mild forgetfulness is a normal part of aging, memory problems that affect daily life can be more serious. Memory care in senior living communities can help loved ones with memory or cognitive impairment by providing the personalized support and care they need. Apart from a pharmaceutical approach to memory care, there are alternatives, such as medicinal plants or herbs that can help support memory. Ginseng, peppermint, and gotu kola are some herbs that can help boost or improve memory. SIGNS OF MEMORY LOSS & COGNITIVE PROBLEMSMemory loss and cognitive decline can indicate Alzheimers or other forms of dementia. When a loved one starts showing the following signs or symptoms, speak to their doctor about what you can do to safeguard their memory:Memory loss for recently learned informationForgetting important dates or eventsAsking the same questions over and overRelying more on memory aids or family members to remember thingsHERBS THAT HELP WITH MEMORYWhile some techniques help with memory, such as learning a new skill, following a routine, eating healthy, exercising, and volunteering, some herbs can boost cognitive health and enhance memory. Its important to note that some herbs can interact with medications, so speak to your doctor before taking any herbs. ASHWAGANDHA (WITHANIA SOMNIFERA)Also called Indian ginseng or winter cherry, ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic remedy used as a brain rejuvenator. One study showed enhanced memory and improved executive function. Some benefits of ashwagandha include:AntioxidantAnti-inflammatoryInhibits neural cell deathRestores synaptic functionNeural regenerationImproves auditoryverbal working memory, processing speed, and social cognitionGOTU KOLA Gotu kola is a familiar herb used in Chinese, Indonesian, and Ayurvedic medicine. It is believed to promote intelligence and improve memory. In one study, taking a daily higher dose of the extract improved working memory. Gotu kola contains compounds that can improve blood flow to the brain, protect brain cells from damage, and reduce inflammation.Properties of gotu kola include:Inhibiting cell deathReduces oxidative stressPromotes dendritic growth and mitochondrial healthImproves mood and memoryBRAHMIBrahmi, or Bacopa monnieri, is an Ayurvedic herb that grows in South Asia and helps with mental stress, memory loss, epilepsy, and insomnia. Studies showed brain function improvement, including the speed of information processing and reaction time.Its properties include:AntioxidantAnti-inflammatoryImproves memory, attention, and executive functionInhibits neural cell deathDelays brain agingROSEMARYRosemary essential oil has compounds called terpenes that enter your bloodstream and can directly affect your brain. It may help improve cognitive performance, including speed and accuracy. SAGE (SALVIA)Sage contains compounds that improve mood, alertness, attention, and memory. Medicinal properties include luteolin, rosmarinic acid, camphor, quercetin, and apigenin. Sage helps inhibit the breakdown of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays an integral role in brain function. PEPPERMINTStudies show that inhaling peppermint essential oil, a mixture of spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica), can boost alertness, memory, mood, athletic performance, and energy. RHODIOLA ROSEA Rhodiola rosea is a herb used for centuries in traditional medicine to improve memory, alertness, and endurance. It can also reduce mental fatigue, boost brain function and mood. One study shows supplementing with Rhodiola rosea improves feelings of exhaustion, impaired concentration, and lack of joy. GUARANA  Guarana contains caffeine, saponins, and tannins. It is believed to be beneficial for energy and brain function. Because of its stimulating effects, you can find it in energy drinks and supplements.Some studies show that supplementing with guarana alone or combined with other nutrients may help boost attention, alertness, and memory performance. CATS CLAW (UNCARIA TOMENTOSA)Cats claw is a tropical vine in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of South and Central America. It contains oxindole alkaloids, polyphenols, glycosides, pentacyclic alkaloids, and sterols. Pre-clinical studies suggest cats claw may be effective for memory loss and cognitive decline in Alzheimers disease. However, there is a need for human studies to confirm findings. BENEFITS OF MEMORY CARE AT THE FAIRWAYS AT NAPLESWhile there is no cure or specific medication to prevent Alzheimers disease and memory loss, there are things you can do to help protect your memory as you age. To see what The Fairways at Naples offers a loved one with Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, and dementia, schedule a tour or call to speak to one of our specially-trained memory care advisors. 

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Terracina Grand

Assisted Living 6825 Davis Blvd, Naples, Florida, 34104

Terracina Grand is a premier senior living community offering European, old-world building design and dcor with luxury, grace and comfort. Terracina is a rental community with no entrance fees. Terracina offers independent living with the assurance of continuum of health care, should you ever need it. From chef prepared meals, many amenities and large selection of apartments with special upgrades, Terracina Grand is the place to be. Call today!