Benefits of Lifelong Learning

The Montclair Institute for Lifelong Learning (MILL) fosters opportunities to expand social connections and build knowledge and new skills for adults age 55+.  It is a core program of Lifelong Montclair, part of the Township’s commitment to becoming an age-friendly community. More than 250 classes have been offered since 2015, and there have been 1,500 registrations this year alone.  MILL classes are also free of charge and taught by high-level instructors.

Participating in MILL courses aren’t just for fun – there are tangible benefits to lifelong learning, as demonstrated by MILL student feedback and research.

Lifelong learning increases brain health

“I am 92 years old and always glad to learn something new.”

“The class has helped me realize that I can learn and enjoy something new.”

One study suggested that engaging your brain throughout your life may provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease.  Another suggested that engaging in lifelong learning may improve memory.  And further research demonstrated that ongoing cognitive activity may relate to improved cognitive performance

Lifelong learning expands social connections

“I’ve developed many new friendships with a diverse group of intelligent women!”

“The gathering of people with like-interests has gained me many new friendships!”

“The class is a community with lovely people who I look forward to joining with at every class.”

MILL classes are intentionally multiple weeks long, so new friendships can form and develop.

Lifelong learning improves mental health and reduces stress

“The MILL class has improved my life in many ways. I think I’m calmer, more focused, and certainly have better balance.”

“This class helped me in many ways: to reintroduce me to yoga, which I haven’t done in decades, to increase my physical and mental health and well-being, to ease my transition into semi-retirement and to introduce me to all the wonderful programming that happens through the MILL as well as the other senior programs at Edgemont.”

A study has suggested that lifelong learning may result in improved mental health and emotional resistance.

Lifelong learning builds knowledge and new skills!

“Classes like this help me to dust off and reacquaint with information that I breezed through in school. Now I get to understand and appreciate the importance of why and what occurred during this period of history.”

“In retirement I am exploring art. I learn a little more technique in each class.”

MILL courses offer a chance to discover and revisit topics that didn’t seem important during school and college.  Participation in the MILL is an opportunity to try out new skills for which you didn’t have the capacity at another time in your life.