Surfing for Seniors: Fun Opportunities to Exercise Your Mind
The internet offers a wealth of opportunities for people of all ages. Many of these learning opportunities are highly beneficial for seniors. And what’s more, many of these opportunities are fun and free. We have some terrific suggestions for seniors who are ready to surf.
Many seniors feel uncomfortable with computers, some even feel downright overwhelmed on the internet. However, the New York Times notes that we are “in an era when everything, from personal health records to nursing home quality ratings, is moving online, when the best way to stay in touch with grandchildren may involve texting.”
If you could use help getting comfortable with computers and the internet, plenty of options are available. Experts suggest these online resources:
- GCFLearnFree.org offers a variety of classes for all kinds of computers. Learn the basics on navigating the computer, using email, the cloud, search engines, and social media.
- HomeAndLearn.co.uk teaches users how to operate Windows, Excel, Word, and some computer programming basics.
- EducationOnlineForComputers.com teaches Microsoft and Adobe products, as well as web design, programming and development via tutorials and instruction. Some services are free and some are available through subscriptions.
- Meganda.com offers computer basics, graphics and photography tutorials, internet and email, Microsoft Office, and information on ipads, smartphones and the cloud.
You also might check into your community resources. Many libraries offer basic computer classes for seniors. This can be a great option for you if you don’t have the internet or a computer at home, or if you would like to participate with a group of friends. Not sure where to start? Make a visit to either SeniorNet.org or OasisNet.org for potential providers.
Beyond the basics.
Have you mastered the basics? If you’re ready to dive in, the internet is your oyster.
Games. One of the great things about playing online games is they progressively get harder. The challenge involved in learning the game and continuing to be successful keeps your brain fit. SeniorPlanet suggests “Double Decision,” available from BrainHQ.com. “Double Decision” offers proven results in improving players’ cognitive speed and agility. If you have a Wii, try “Just Dance 4” or “Zumba Fitness 2.” If you’re connecting via an iPad, try “Bubble,” “W.E.L.D.E.R.” or “Pocket Planes,” all available as free downloads in the Game Center of the App Store.
History, art, and science. Researchers cited by the Senior Citizen’s Guide explain there is increasing evidence that lifelong learning is essential, so don’t overlook these traditional subjects. Senior Learning Network is a hub for a plethora of options, all for free. Contributors include such facilities as Cleveland Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, The National Museum of African Art, Bullock State History Museum, Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve, LearnNCo, The Grand Canyon National Park, The Texas State Aquarium and many more.
Music lessons. The NAMM Foundation cites numerous studies reporting the special benefits of learning to play an instrument. You can increase memory function, improve your hearing and speech, improve your ability to focus, and feel more positive overall. Stringed instruments are a great option. Not sure what to try out instrument-wise? A quick search for best ukulele, best guitar or best banjo can send you in the right direction.
Surf’s up! If you feel intimidated by computers and the internet or just need to refine some skills, there are plenty of options available to you. And once you master the basics, go exploring! From music to science to skill-honing games, opportunities abound. With a little digging, you’ll find that surfing is a fun way to exercise your mind and keep the wheels turning!