Now, I’m that kind of person who loves research. Maybe you’re like that too? So, I started studying seniors, and what actually helps them stay active and aware.
I found many research studies by neuroscientists that suggest that popular types of mental “brain training” games don’t work—in fact, the FTC (the Federal Trade Commission)—actually sued and won an injunction against the popular online brain game software, Lumosity. They were required to no longer make claims that it reduced cognitive decline. Similarly, doing simple crosswords or other such puzzles is fun, but seems to have little transferable effect on cognition; in other words, they make you better at doing puzzles, but little else.
The latest studies are suggesting that learning new things, especially in combination with social engagement, has a more powerful effect on cognitive function.
So, seniors need social interaction and learning to retain cognitive function. And, with your experience in working with people — as a teacher — you are the exact person they need.