senior woman sitting at laptop drinking from a mug

Why Lifelong Learning for Seniors Is Important

At the heart of Timber Ridge is our commitment to helping residents live an active, balanced lifestyle. We know that wellness comprises much more than physical health, nutrition and exercise. That’s why our HealthyLife® Services program takes a whole-person approach to health by focusing on an abundance of life-enriching activities where personal choice is paramount.

HealthyLife® Services

Our philosophy focuses on 8 dimensions of wellness to promote whole-body wellness. These 8 dimensions are:

  • Physical

Prevent disease and maintain and improve your health by remaining active, establishing a healthy diet and avoiding harmful habits.

  • Emotional

Feel at peace inside and out by establishing and maintaining a positive relationship with yourself and others.

  • Spiritual

Make sense of every day, find peace and security during times of struggle, and remain confident in your decisions.

  • Vocational

Remain engaged in the community by tapping into existing knowledge, discovering new interests or refining forgotten skills

  • Environmental

Create a healthy environment from both a personal and ecological standpoint.

  • Social

Create an environment in which  you can establish lasting friendships and maintain engaging relationships with others.

  • Health Services

Prevent and detect disease and maintain your peace of mind and independence.

  • Intellectual

Enjoy lifelong learning and explore new intellectual interests.

Living well, with complete balance, requires attending  to all aspects. We use this 8 dimensions model to assist residents in identifying strengths and areas of opportunity to help them craft the balanced life they wish to live. Each resident has access to a health and wellness navigator who can connect them with the right staff, services, and activities to help them reach their health and wellness goals.

Lifelong Learning

One thing that makes Timber Ridge unique is our deep commitment to the intellectual dimension of wellness through various lifelong learning opportunities at the community. Lifelong learning for seniors is about creating and maintaining a positive attitude about learning. Research suggests that continuous learning provides numerous benefits for older adults in the areas of cognitive functioning, health and well-being, civic participation and self-confidence.

The Rush Memory and Aging Project, a study of more than 1,200 senior citizens who underwent cognitive testing for up to five years, revealed that cognitively active seniors were 2.6 times less likely to resolve Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia than those who were cognitively inactive.

That’s one of the reasons we established Timber Ridge University. Because we understand the myriad benefits of lifelong learning, we created a series of educational classes centered around the expressed interests of our residents. We wanted to make it easy so residents can learn simply for joy of learning.

Every year, residents complete a survey on the topics they’re most interested in learning about. The results of this survey are used to design the program. Popular topics over the years have often focused on art, music and philosophy. Classes are held once a week for either four or eight weeks, and there’s no limit to how many classes a resident can take.

Instructors for classes come from either the TELOS™ program offered at Bellevue College or The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute affiliated with the University of Washington. The Timber Ridge University committee monitors classes at these two locations to see if they offer classes that would be a good addition to the Timber Ridge University curriculum.

Learn more about all the wellness activities and opportunities here.