Lifelong Learning

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” That isn’t true about dogs and it certainly doesn’t apply to people. We can continue learning throughout our lives. The good news (and the bad) is that our brains, like our muscles, run on a use-it-or-lose-it basis.
One way to keep the brain in shape is to attend some of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s many programs offered throughout Vermont each year. Whether you live in Newport or Brattleboro, Rutland or Springfield, there is an OLLI location near you.
The Bernard Osher Foundation, not surprisingly, was founded by Bernard Osher. The Foundation “seeks to improve quality of life through support of higher education in the Arts.” Mr. O hails from Maine and having made his fortune, now offers people across the country opportunities to extend themselves and enhance their lives.
Just as the kids (or grandkids) head back to school, the season starts for us later learners, as well. On September 26th at the University of Vermont’s Center for Aging, there is a one-day workshop entitled, “Working on Purpose in the Second Half of Life”. Learn more about this workshop and other OLLI programs online at or call 802-656-4220 to register for the workshop.
UVM’s Osher Institute offers more than 80 affordable, non-credit programs for Vermonters age 50+. You can sign up for just one, or the entire semester. A complete list of programs, locations and registration details is available toll free at 800-639-3210 or on the website.
Getting off the subject a little, what about computers?! It seems we just can’t avoid them, so why not join in? Increasingly, the “web” is where the information is.
If you don’t have a computer or aren’t comfortable using one, there are two places you can get very friendly help. Both are close by, no matter where you live. The first is your community library. Libraries aren’t just for books anymore; they are leading the way to getting every part of Vermont wired into the 21st century.
The second place is your local adult day or senior center. These are staffed by friendly folks who are more than capable of assisting you in your quest for online skill and knowledge.
Take a few minutes and see what is offered near you. You don’t have to own a computer to use one. And there’s a whole world of information and communication out there waiting.
Aging in Place, it doesn’t happen by accident.

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About the author

Scott Funk has specialized in Home Equity Conversion Mortgage reverse mortgages for over a decade. He is a recognized Aging in Place advocate in his home state of Vermont. His monthly newspaper column Aging in Place has run for 7 years in 24 papers around the state. Scott is brings a lighthearted approach to his talks on Boomers, retirement and aging on purpose.