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As seniors have become comfortable using technology for everything from video chatting with long-distance friends and family to booking the cheapest flights and hotel stays for their next getaway, it isn’t any wonder, then, that some seniors turn to the internet to learn even more new skills and turn them into hobbies.
We’ve collaborated with Karen Weeks from Elder Wellness to bring suggestions on how seniors can use the internet to learn fun, new skills that they can turn into hobbies.
1. How to Play an Instrument
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, there’s no better time than the present. There are several ways you can take music lessons online, including using services such as takelessons.com or lessonface.com. You will have convenient access to a music teacher, and all you’ll need is an internet connection, webcam, and microphone.
You may find that you prefer online music lessons because you can take them in the comfort of your own home any time you want. In many cases, online music lessons cost about the same as an average in-person music lesson, especially because you don’t have to worry about the transportation costs associated with taking private, in-person music lessons. Once you master an instrument, you can take your show on the road and play with friends or book gigs in local coffee houses and bars to make a little extra money.
2. How to Train a Dog
Many seniors are dog owners because they enjoy the company and companionship their four-legged friends offer. You also may have a dog to combat loneliness or to improve your health. Pets have the power to lower stress and blood pressure and help you combat cholesterol, depression, and heart conditions. In fact, when you pet a dog, your body has a positive chemical reaction that lowers the stress-inducing hormone cortisol and increases the feel-good hormone serotonin.
It is much easier to own a well-behaved dog when you are a senior, and that’s why you should learn techniques to train your dog. For example, “useful in so many situations, ‘sit’ is often the first command dogs learn. In fact, most dogs ‘sit’ on their own, so all you have to do is connect the command to the behavior.”
With a little patience, positivity, and dedication, you can learn to train your dog some of the most important skills he needs to be an ideal companion and to make your life easier. If you find that dog training is your calling, you can turn it into a part-time job and train other people’s dogs.
3. How to Cook
Whether you’ve never been the best cook, or you need to learn how to cook for yourself for one reason or another, learning how to cook is an ideal skill for seniors to learn online. Many sites offer recommendations from professional cooks, online cooking classes, videos, and other resources that you can use in your quest to become a better cook.
You also may want to learn how to cook online because our doctor is encouraging you to start eating healthier. Several organizations and institutions offer free courses in healthy cooking online, and seniors benefit from learning about choosing healthier cuts of meat to selecting the best vegetables to promote good health by participating in them. You’ll enjoy sharing your new cooking knowledge with friends at various get-togethers.
4. How to Make Home Repairs
Do-it-yourself skills are all the rage today, and seniors can save a great deal of money by learning how to build or repair things around their own homes. There are more than enough online sites with tutorials, webinars, videos, and other resources that will help you build your knowledge about making home repairs.
One of the most important things you will learn is when it is safe for you to make the repairs yourself and when to call in a professional. For instance, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to complex electrical and plumbing projects. You’ll save a lot more time and money by calling a licensed electrician or plumber than attempting to DIY through the more advanced tasks on your to-do list.
Seniors can learn a number of fun, useful skills online. If you want to learn new skills that you can turn into a hobby or part-time job, don’t be afraid to enlist the internet as your personal learning guide.