Just because you’re not in a traditional high school classroom or college lecture hall anymore does not mean your education has to stop. There are many accessible resources to fuel a passion for learning, no matter your age. Let’s dive into why continuing education for seniors is so beneficial—and talk about where to find free or low-cost learning opportunities that suit your schedule, interests, and goals. 

Benefits of Continuing Education for Seniors

Actively consuming new information or honing new skill sets is an effective way to sharpen your brain. The British Medical Journal says learning as a leisure activity can strengthen neuroplasticity, which makes the brain more adaptable and resilient. This, in turn, could lower the risk of cognitive decline. Likewise, another study from the Journals of Gerontology reveals that skills-based learning in a socially interactive context can optimize working (short-term) and episodic (recall of events) memory.


Educational Opportunities for Seniors

The more often you put your brain’s executive functions to use, the more robust they’ll be, which can (in some cases) delay the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia. So if you want to experience all the benefits of continuing education for seniors, here are a few helpful resources:  

Older Adults Technology Services

Are you interested in learning about the impacts of technology on finances, wellness, creativity, and social or civic action? The New York Public Library and the Older Adults Technology Services from AARP joined forces to create Senior Planet, an immersive content series to enhance your digital savviness.


You can attend a Senior Planet Center in person if you live in or around New York City, Pittsburgh, Denver, or Palo Alto. Or tune in remotely at SeniorPlanet.org to access free online classes. The virtual learning track is self-paced, so you can flex it to meet your needs. 

Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes

It’s never too late to re-enter a classroom environment, which is why the Bernard Osher Foundation exists. This nonprofit initiative began in 1977 to help anyone over 50 afford to continue their academic pursuits. More than 45 years later, the foundation still offers post-secondary scholarships to lifelong learners at 120 universities across the U.S.


Whether you’re interested in political science, history, art, music, or some other subject, there’s a program for you. These are non-credit courses, so you won’t have to cram for exams. Check out this list of Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes. 

Local (or Virtual) Hobbies Classes

Have you ever wanted to take a lesson in website coding? What about a yoga session or DIY tutorial? Whatever hobby most appeals to you, there’s an outlet to pursue it online or at a local venue. Many companies offer accessible (and affordable) classes to the public—from classic arts and crafts to more niche activities like bird watching. Below are some fun, interactive courses that’ll help you learn a new hobby or inspire you to revisit an old one:


Online Course and Certification Platforms

Thanks to a wide variety of e-learning platforms, continuing education for seniors has never been easier. Are you interested in the history of the United States? There’s a class for that. Are you fascinated by the role of genetics in human development? There’s a class for that too. The following platforms offer virtual self-paced courses on just about any topic:


Vineyard Senior Living and Senior Education

As a member of our community at Vineyard Senior Living, you will also have access to a full spectrum of educational opportunities right here. Whether you’re learning how to cook a dish in our cooking club, unleashing your creative juices in our art studio, trying out a new exercise class in our fitness center, or taking a day trip to a cultural exhibit in the local vicinity–the options are endless for lifelong learners. Contact us today for more information on all the amenities we offer our residents.