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Let’s Talk about:

As UCFV is about to start the registration process for their Elder College I though it would be topical to talk about the effects of continued education on the aging process.

In the December 20, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association an article on the effects of learning and cognition in the aging was published. It involved 2800 subjects aged 65 to 96. These individuals were placed in one of four groups, those working on improving reasoning skills, those working on improving memory, those learning on improving processing time and a control group who did nothing. The study found that after 10 learning session’s individuals in each of the first three groups had improvements in their areas of focus. Furthermore, the study did a five year follow up showing that the effects of this learning were still present even after a prolonged period of time.

This study is a great indication that continuing to learn, to stimulate and to challenge one’s self mentally, can lead to long term benefits that may increase one’s sense of independents and stave off mental decline. The socializing aspect of learning can not be overlooked either. Social interactions have been shown to increase one’s sense of emotional well being and give one a feeling of community, of belonging. As we age and enter into retirement our social circle may decline end our sense of purpose may be stymied. The social aspects of pursuing an education may be a good way to curtail these events.

With these concepts in mind the University College of the Fraser Valley has been working in partnership with Eldercollege. The Eldercollege provides adults aged 50 and up with access to educational and learning opportunities focusing on expanding knowledge and enriching one’s life. Anyone over the age of 50 can join for a $10 fee, which is good until the end of the following August. Individual courses cost between $20 and $35 depending on the length of the course. Two six week semesters are offered each year; the fall semester is in October/November and the winter one is in February/March. For exact course information contact the Eldercollege office, (located in building A of the Chilliwack campus, room 112, 45635 Yale Rd, Chilliwack) with the information below. Or look in the UCFV continuing Ed catalogue that recently came out in the local paper.

Registration is one day only, January 22, opening at 3 pm at the Landing Sports Centre, (previously the Age Rec. Building), at 45530 Spading Ave. Registration takes place form 3:30 to 4:30. For more information call 604-702-2611 or e-mail elderco@ucfv.ca.

That’s it for this session of Let’s Talk About, thanks for readying,

Sharon Grant, BA, SAC, MA, (candidate).




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