Expand Your Intellectual Diversity

What are your areas of interest? Do you explore a variety of topics or situations? How could you expand your  leisure time pursuits? Research suggests the importance of changing it up. That might mean including socializing with different groups, having some ongoing learning activities and doing things in a different way.

Just returning from teaching my 7 Day Memory Fitness Plan at the Road Scholar program at Chautauqua Institution, I am filled with such appreciation for that opportunity over the last five years. There are all types of people from many states gathering in the northwestern part of New York State. They have such a diversity of experiences themselves and come to attend a series of a different lectures Monday through Friday on a wide variety of topics. Spending time with them during the rest of the day and at mealtime feels like being a kid in a candy store. Some of the people attending have done many Road Scholar (formerly Elderhostel) programs and have traveled extensively. Friendships are formed during that period as they share a some of the other opportunities such as tours, mini lectures, and entertainment.

Listening to their adventures and experiences offers me an opportunity to expand my horizons and it is easy to see the importance of encouraging others to find ways to adopt that philosophy as part of their successful aging strategy. One of the attendees was 90 years old, still seeking to learn and share and socialize and doing it very well.  Chautauqua also has a wonderful 9 week summer program, each with its own theme and a wide variety of speakers from all over the country. For those who cannot attend, their fall program includes 2 different opportunities to attend a Road Scholar program. If you prefer to listen to some of the lectures in the comfort of your home or when driving, explore the The Great Lecture Library  which is an opportunity to subscribe to the major lectures recorded over the decades at Chautauqua including the morning speaker in the Amphitheater.

Try something new. If you have a computer, try one of the seminars offered online. Check out what is available at a local museum or library in your area. Sign up for a day trip offered through one of the organizations you might want to learn more about. Perhaps share the experience with someone else that is a seeker of expanding their horizons. Make a plan to at least once a month to check out something new. Perhaps it will become a new interest to pursue or perhaps even a hobby.

“If little else, the brain is an educational toy.” Tom Robbins

Quick Link to all blogs and Memory Toolkit For more tips refer to Walking the Path to Memory Fitness One Week at a a Time.

About Kathryn Kilpatrick

Kathryn Kilpatrick received her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1968 from the University of Massachusetts. She has worked in a variety of settings, primarily in Ohio, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and for decades in the area of home health care. Kathryn is president of Memory Fitness Matters (www.memoryfitnessmatters.com) and Communication Connection(www.connectionsincommunication.com). She offers memory coaching for all ages and has a geriatric consulting practice. She is a national motivational speaker and author of more than 30 products to enhance communication and connection as well as a Memory Fitness Toolkit. Kathryn brings her decades of experience as a speech-language pathologist to all those wanting to enhance their quality of life, particularly when there are communication, memory and cognitive challenges. Her websites offer information on a wide variety of topics related to elder care concerns as well as memory fitness and successful aging.
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