Whether it's an unfulfilled childhood goal they've never forgotten or a hobby they'd like to make a priority, there are many dreams seniors can pursue in their golden years.
The advancement of technology makes this an exciting time for seniors to begin making the things they're passionate about a reality. Cell phones and tablets make it easy to stay in touch with others, and online resources bring a wealth of up-to-date information to seniors looking for the best places to travel, opportunities to volunteer or lessons on DIY projects and crafts.
With so many possibilities available to explore, here are just a few of the dreams seniors may have and tips on how to get started today.
Bringing a role to life as an actor can be rewarding and exciting for individuals of any age. Seniors who delight in this form of storytelling and entertainment can explore theaters around our Springfield community for chances to audition in local plays or to volunteer backstage working on lights and special effects or helping with the audience as ushers. The Springfield Little Theatre is a nonprofit that welcomes volunteers and is a good place to look for opportunities.
Behind-the-curtain roles let creative seniors design backdrops, props and costumes. Those with handyman or sewing experience can also lend a hand with repairs or alterations.
Residents can also look into creating their own acting club here at The Gardens and putting on skits for their neighbors. Memorizing lines is a great way for seniors to challenge themselves and form friendships while keeping both mentally and physically active.
Many individuals have considered writing a book based on their favorite genre or their own life story, but have never had the time to start. Retirement gives seniors more time to put pen to paper and to study the art of writing and to read for inspiration.
Novels aren't the only option available to aspiring writers. Seniors can also share their hearts and lifetime of knowledge through short stories, poetry, screen plays, devotions and how-to articles. Libraries and bookstores often carry copies of market guides that seniors can use to locate publications that match their areas of interest, and many online resources such as Writer's Digest can help them find their own voice.
Universities and community colleges around the country offer discounted classes to seniors who wish to expand their knowledge or earn a degree in a favorite subject.
Local campuses around Springfield are no exception to this practice. One example is Missouri State University, which offers seniors a chance to wave student fees through its MSU 62 program.
Many of these institutions offer online courses that let seniors study from the comfort of their own apartments while still gaining access to advanced curriculum and knowledgeable professors. A wealth of free courses, audiobooks and reference materials are available through Open Culture, an online database founded by Dan Coleman, the Director and Associate Dean of Stanford University.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has hundreds of courses available to the public through its MIT OpenCourseWare program, including undergraduate courses in business, science and math.
Another great resource, Alison.com, lets seniors expand their understanding of computers, brush up on their typing skills or learn more about a variety of languages, life skills or crafts such as photography.