UK care homes may be transformed into places of learning, if a new range of courses from the University of the Third Age (U3A) is embraced by residential care providers
The courses are designed to further the independent living capabilities available within the care sector, overcoming the restrictions of physical frailties and transport issues.
A ‘four point plan’ from the U3A is now underway that includes an extension of interactive online courses, new face-to-face learning groups, the recruitment of residents by visiting care homes themselves, and closer involvement with other adult learning providers.
National chairman Ian Searle commented on the many benefits care residents can gain from new learning opportunities, saying:
‘We aim to improve the quality of life of those who are no longer able to travel to our massively popular learning groups.
‘We know that learning benefits the frail elderly. It’s been shown that care homes which provide learning opportunities need fewer sleeping drugs and fewer incontinence pads.
‘There is no reason at all why learning should cease when you become old and frail.
‘But we cannot do it all ourselves. Society as a whole must play a part, and we are calling on government to put money and encouragement behind the provision of learning activities in care homes and for housebound people.’
U3A is a voluntary organisation, with headquarters in Bromley, that receives no government funding and was formed to help older people continue with their learning interests when they have left full-time work.
Sourced from Care Home, 27th March 2012.