I’m sure we can agree that lifelong learning is beneficial for people of all ages, and is especially constructive for seniors who are striving to keep their mind sharp. So it’s no surprise that more and more senior living communities have been cropping up on college campuses, giving seniors the option and opportunity to take classes alongside much younger students.
But Lasell Village, a senior housing community located on the campus of Lasell College since May 2000, has taken the emphasis on lifelong learning to a whole new level. The Newton, MA, community is the first to feature a formal, individualized, and required continuing education program for residents. That’s right – residents are required to complete at least 450 hours of learning and fitness activities each year. The community is also the first to be run by a college as opposed to an outside corporation.
Courses at Lasell Village, which features independent living, supported living, and skilled nursing, are offered in everything from history and politics to criminology and alternative medicine. Some courses are taught by Lasell College professors; one is even taught by a Lasell Village resident/Harvard grad.
Courses at the college enable seniors to interact with peers as well as young people in a lively, intergenerational setting. Residents also enjoy courses, lectures, cultural events, and fitness classes within the senior living community itself. Each residential building includes at least one common space dedicated to continued learning and physical fitness.
Seniors with and without past formal education are drawn to this community, which was designed to revitalize retirement for those who share a love of learning.
What do you think about this unique senior living community? Does the prospect of required adult education sound appealing – or abhorrent?