While teaching anyone can be a challenge, people who choose to educate or teach something to senior citizens may find that they have to deal with all new teaching challenges that they hadn’t thought of before. So if you’re planning on teaching the elderly something, be it at an assisted living facility or through a community class, here are three tips to ensure that you’re able to be an effective teacher and help this demographic learn.
Give A Thorough Explanations
Although senior citizens have spent much of their life learning new things and growing in their knowledge, this can be both a blessing and a curse to you as someone trying to teach them something new.
With all of that knowledge can sometimes come a capacity to be stuck in their ways or think that you as their younger teacher don’t quite understand where they’re coming from. You may also find that some seniors are stubborn to take your advice on new things, too. So to help ease any frustrations for either party, you may want to try giving thorough explanations for everything you’re teaching. Try to be explicit in what you’re describing for them to do or learn, and allow them to ask you lots of questions. This way, there will hopefully be less confusion and concepts will come quicker and easier.
Be Cognizant Of Their Physical Needs
Sometimes, learning something new as a senior citizen can be hard because the body doesn’t always work the way it did in previous years. Things like failing eyesight, poor memory, shaking hands, and hearing problems can all make learning something new harder than it may be for other learners.
Knowing this, you should work with your students to come up solutions for whatever physical problems they might be dealing with. This may include speaking louder or using a presentation so they can read the information, supplying better lighting, or assisting with balance or strength issues.
Allow For Lots Of Practice
Learning something new takes time and patience, especially for those who are getting along in years. So rather than teaching something once and moving onto another topic or harder level of practice, it’s wise to allow your senior citizen students a lot of time to practice whatever it is you’re teaching before moving on. This time can encourage them to really understand and get comfortable with what you’re teaching so they don’t forget something or try to improve upon their current station without having a solid foundation first.
If you’re going to be teaching some kind of class or skill to senior citizens, consider using the tips mentioned above to help prepare yourself for this and help you students find more success from working with you.