Challenging Perceptions: Four Skills The Elderly Can Learn

Challenging Perceptions: Four Skills The Elderly Can Learn

With huge advances in healthcare and medication and an improvement in the standards of living older generations are living longer and in better quality lives than ever before. It has been estimated by 2050 but people aged 65 and up will make a massive 15.6% of the global population which is huge.

I’m sure most of us have had to help out older relatives be it parents or grandparents with things they’re not familiar with, most commonly technology because a lot of them cast of that they’re ‘incapable’ to work or learn new things. Bathing Solutions have been asking “Why does society often cast off its seniors as ‘incapable’ or ‘unable’ to learn new skills?” and I completely agree. Just because people are older doesn’t mean they can’t learn new things. Yes it might take them longer to practice the skills and it might take them longer to remember things, but this doesn’t mean they can’t.

I think a lot of older people lose faith in their own abilities when they grow older and don’t feel they can do things even if it’s something they have done before. With the time and patience, the older generation can achieve more than they think they can. Such as:


Regards of age all older people have used a camera in the past so this isn’t a huge jump it’s just that cameras do a lot more now than they ever used to. If they’re just looking for something to take pictures of the grandkids on then they don’t need a fancy camera or a heavy SLR which they might struggle to pick up. To begin with, they should only need to know the basics: turning the camera on and off, how to zoom, how to take a photo, how to view a photo, how to delete a photo, how to put the images on a computer/ print them and how to charge it. Most local colleges hold basic photography classes if the older generation feel they want to learn more from the abilities of their camera.


This is usually the most daunting thing for the older generation as chances are they won’t have had much contact with them depending on their age, but again like a camera they don’t need to know how to do anything fancy just the basics of being able to search for information, send and receive emails and play the inbuilt games on the computer (I know my nan loves the solitaire!) With computer skills it’s helpful to write information down so older people can look back on it and remember step by step how to do something, just be patient with them. Imagine how excited they’ll get if you’re able to e-mail them a photo of you on holiday. Little things mean a lot.

Horticulture/ Gardening

Older people tend to take a lot more care over their gardens – maybe because they have more time to tend to them but obviously gardening has its hazards and older people shouldn’t push themselves. Learning how to care for plants, what grows best in a garden and how to keep plants alive are all things which I have no clue about but there are plenty of gardening courses out there which the older generation can benefit from.

Learning a language

Older people’s memories might not be quite as good as it was when they were younger but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn a language. Knowing the basics of how to communicate/ ask for directions/ order a meal can come in very useful when on holiday and can give older people that sense of independence that they can cope and manage when on holiday.

*Post sponsored by Bathing Solutions but all opinions are my own



  1. fashion-mommy
    October 10, 2016 / 1:02 pm

    Great post Rhian, you are never too old to learn a new skill and this post gives great examples of this.x

  2. LaaLaa
    October 10, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Lovely post, I’ve been trying to get my nan to learn to use the computer but nope! – “I’m too old, I’ve got by without it!” It’s unfortunate because a lot of things are now switching to online to cut back on paper. x

    • October 10, 2016 / 9:13 pm

      My nan had the same attitude to begin with but I got her to persevere x

  3. October 10, 2016 / 7:47 pm

    These skills could be a lot of fun for older people to learn. I wonder what kinds of things my mom would be interested in learning.

  4. October 10, 2016 / 8:11 pm

    I agree we shouldn’t write off the older generation as not being capable because they can do anything!

  5. October 10, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    I agree with this post. The older generation have so much to offer and its only right that we give them a helping hand with all the modern technology!

  6. October 10, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    My parents are elderly and although can use the computer for certain things they rely on me for a lot of things, and my Mum and a mobile phone do not mix at all. But they have recently taken up bowls this year and love it and have a great social life from it, they are never home x

  7. Kathryn
    October 10, 2016 / 9:02 pm

    I’m so proud of my nanna, she is 80 and still goes to vegas every year, has an iPhone 6s, and an iPad. She has overcome cancer and Parkinson’s and she’s still going strong. She’s also on facebook, which she enjoys so much, I think more elderly would love the chance to connect if they were shown how xx

    • October 10, 2016 / 9:12 pm

      Wow you should be proud of her she’s doing great x

  8. Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️
    October 10, 2016 / 9:04 pm

    Love this post. The older generation are never too old to learn something new x

  9. Home and Horizon
    October 10, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    I think most of us could learn a thing or two from the older generation as well. Enjoyed really this – it’s a lovely post that discusses subjects most people seem to gloss over

  10. Hungry_Healthy_Happy
    October 11, 2016 / 7:37 am

    My Dad has just started getting in to photography at the age of 72. It’s never too late to start!

  11. October 11, 2016 / 9:46 am

    I completely agree, you’re never too old for anything. My nan moved to Spain on her own at 72 – best decision she ever made! x

  12. Harriet @ Toby&Roo
    October 11, 2016 / 11:51 am

    I couldn’t agree more with you – I hate this kind of “old dog can’t learn new tricks” attitude some people have. It’s insulting and demeaning. H x

  13. October 11, 2016 / 11:57 am

    Oh what a lovely post! This is really inspiring, we take elderly people for granted.

  14. October 11, 2016 / 1:16 pm

    Totally agree with you, my nana loves gardening and knitting. She loves learning new things and she recently got an iPad 🙂

  15. Beautyqueenuk
    October 11, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    I totally agree with you and one of my work volunteers can take much better photos than me right now, she has just finished doing an OU course x

  16. Laura
    October 11, 2016 / 7:47 pm

    I could’t agree with you more. My nana always loved to learn, even more so when she retired xxx

  17. October 11, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    My mummy is currently teaching my Grandma how to use an iPad so couldn’t agree with this post more!

  18. October 11, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    I think it’s a shame how when you get older, you get less and less confident in your ability to learn.. “can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is SO wrong. My husband’s gran is 82 this year and has decided to learn a new language!

  19. Melanie Edjourian
    October 11, 2016 / 9:22 pm

    My mum learnt how to use an ipad quite fast, she’s better then me on it now lol. In my defence I rarely use them.

  20. October 11, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    I wrote about this issue awhile ago. We need to support and encourage the elderly. Fab post.

  21. October 11, 2016 / 11:36 pm

    ah this is an interesting subject and i do agree! people do think they’re limited in what they can do but they can do anything they’re interested in

  22. October 12, 2016 / 6:25 am

    I completely agree – my husband’s grandfather is 90 and has learned all sorts of new skills recently x

  23. October 12, 2016 / 8:25 am

    I think you are just as good to learn new things when you’re old just like when your were young. It’s all about believing in yourself.

  24. October 12, 2016 / 9:53 am

    I agree. You’re never too old to learn a new skill – we need to encourage the elderly to have confidence in themselves to do so 🙂

  25. Things Sarah Loves
    October 12, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    Definitely agree, you are never too old to learn something new. My gran loved crafts and was always looking for projects to inspire and challenger her.

  26. Ayesha Farhad
    October 12, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    Love this post! It is so important to keep yourself occupied when you’re a little older. I have seen my father in law slowly slip into depression because he just confined himself to his bedroom! Learning new things definitely changes your perspective!

  27. October 12, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    This is such a great post! I remember my grandparents took a computing class. My grandma also uses emoji’s in texts aha!

  28. October 12, 2016 / 6:49 pm

    My dad has only learned how to use a computer since he retired.

  29. October 12, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    This is such an important post, especially with an ageing nation. My great aunt is 84 and has recently joined the ‘silver surfers’ club and learnt to text!

  30. Kira L Curtis
    October 13, 2016 / 5:33 pm

    This is such a lovely post! It’s so true how you’re never too old to do something! My grandad knows the basics of computing so we can keep in contact with him. He struggles to learn much more but even the basics is great!

  31. Annie Brooks
    October 13, 2016 / 8:32 pm

    This is so so important. In life if you give up on something you start to lose the ability to do it. Using your head is one of them – always keep learning! What a super post.

  32. October 16, 2016 / 7:56 pm

    My dad recently got an iphone and still puts his finger over the camera whenever he takes a photo so he should definitely take a photography course! xD

  33. October 17, 2016 / 7:19 am

    I think it’s wonderful when older folk can get out and about – learning and socialising is so good for the mind and feeling connected.

  34. October 17, 2016 / 4:21 pm

    I think my parents are a real inspiration in that despite being pensioners officially, they’re really active and really current with technological trends. Just goes to show age is just a number!

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