Older Adult Education
Towards Age-Friendly Canadian Universities
Interest in older adult education (OAE) is intensifying for several reasons. The number of older adults in Canada is growing; increasing the proportion of older people in the population. Older adults are now more active, and want creative challenges, opportunities to learn, and chances to contribute to their community. In turn, cognitive and social activities, including educational activities, benefit the health and well-being of older adults and their communities. Adults face multiple role changes as they age, which can motivate them to participate in education to inform and support life transitions. Universities are well positioned to engage the growing and changing population of older adults in creative and interesting ways, and in doing more fully serve their communities. The paper provides a perspective on how OAE is currently understood and practiced in Canadian universities, identifies issues facing educators in sustaining/developing these types of educational programs, and poses considerations on future directions for university-based OAE.
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