Myth: Older People Can’t Learn New Things

Older People Can’t Learn New Things

I have so much fun debunking myths about older adults. I see it as a personal challenge to take
on these untruths and set the world straight about how amazing we older adults actually are.

We are blessed with organs that have the power to regenerate themselves, grow new parts and
survive and thrive against high odds. Our brain falls high on that list. About twenty years ago,
scientists discovered, and we now know as fact, that our brain is neoplastic—able to adapt and
change at any age. The science tells us it actually continues to change throughout our lives. So,
what does that mean in regard to learning new things? It means we are certainly able to and
should keep learning new things all our lives, because the more we challenge our brain as we
age, the more efficiently it works. With continual use, our memory and cognitive functions
become better, faster, and sharper.

Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist showed us that by challenging our
brain by learning new things we actually grow new brain cells. As I discuss in my posts, and in
my Wednesday’s Wisdom videos this month, when we put our brains to work, we lay new track,
and with time and use of these new neurological pathways, we turn that track from temporary
“as strong as a noodle” to permanent “as strong as steel”…and develop a “mind as sharp as a
steel trap.”;-)

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