It's Back to School for Older Adults

Nowadays, university has become a life-long affair. While teeming with young adults, the halls of higher learning have filled with seniors from retirement residences. There is a trend for active living and independent living residences to set up on the fringes of campuses. The demographic of younger students and older adults constitutes a wide range of ages that makes lifelong learning a reality rather than a catch phrase.

Dr. O’dell Owens, president of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College told Ohio's Middletown Journal “...increasingly we’re seeing individuals who are coming to us just because we have courses that have always been of interest to them and they are now at the point in their lives where they have the luxury of indulging in that interest.”

“What it takes are educational institutions that work in tandem with local officials, economic development groups, private businesses, and capital to better meet the needs of a changing population,” he told the media source.

This trend is vital because the senior population is growing and wants to stay connected with learning and cultural events, like opera, theater, the symphony, and more. Universities have been able to capitalize on this market by offering cultural courses for credit. Also, seniors find as much allure in being involved in the arts, and other areas of higher learning, as they do with warmer weather.

Karen Arlauskas, 62, of Middletown, believes seniors should strive remain sharp later in life. “I think a lot of folks get house-bound and stop learning,” she said. “When you stop learning, you start dying ... life is about learning every day.”