EduSenior – it’s never too late for studying.

Old age does not have to be a time of slowing down. It’s the perfect time to do something for yourself – learn something new that you didn’t have time for. Seniors should take care of their education, acquire new skills and broaden their horizons. They have predispositions and possibilities for this and, what is important, they can gain a lot from it. It’s never too late for studying!

Reasons why seniors should always keep learning:

  • Improve Self-Confidence.

Self-confidence can be influenced by two things; trust in yourself as well as your level of competence, which comes from knowledge, experience and the skills that you possess.

  • Fight Boredom.

Staying challenged helps fight boredom. Take every opportunity to enrich yourself and learn something new; take a course, read voraciously, watch TED conferences online or attend webinars in your field of interest.

  • Keep Your Brain Healthy and Your Mind Sharp.

Learning keeps your brain functioning at a high level. The brain is a muscle; continue to keep it in shape by giving it new challenges and opportunities for learning and growth. Mental facilities are best protected when they are used often and continued learning can slow the physical process of Alzheimer’s Disease.

  • Learn Practical Life Skills.

Besides the professional knowledge we acquire through school or work, it’s important that we learn practical skills such as handling our finances, improving our communication skills, as well as basic computer skills. Courses on these subjects and more are readily available online for students of any age!

  • Model Positive Behavior for grandchildren.

Set a good example for your grandchildren by letting them see you work hard at self-improvement and continuing your education. Working alongside each other towards individual goals will increase the chances that you both will be successful!

  • Learn for Leisure.

Take a course in a subject you enjoy such as cooking, photography, beading or writing. You never know what other interests you might discover!

  • Sleep More Soundly.

Just as when you exercise your body and it gets tired; when you exercise your mind, your mind gets tired. Give your mind a workout by studying a new subject!

  • Stay Healthy.

There are some not-so-obvious health benefits to learning. Becoming organized and practicing time management techniques can help reduce stress in your life. Learning the basics of nutrition may help you to make improvements your diet. Exploring health and fitness courses may inspire you to take better care of your body.

  • Make new friends.

Classes at the university are a great place to meet new, interesting people.

The most important thing is to make a decision to change: yes, I’ll try! This is the first most difficult step, but it is worth taking it, not out of obligation but only for your own satisfaction.

Universities of the Third Age are becoming increasingly popular and can be found in almost every major city. They offer a variety of activities, so seniors undoubtedly will find something for themselves.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2019 was an extremely busy year for project partners. Our team of experts worked with great commitment to implement all planned tasks aimed at improving the quality of services for the elderly. 😓

Over the past 12 months, the following activities have been implemented:

– international meetings of project partners,

– meetings of the Local Advisory Committees,

– educational workshops,

– educational materials,

– good practice guide – video,

– promotion and dissemination.

In the new year, we promise to do even more to make seniors’ lives better!🤞

Volunteering can transform senior’s life!

Being a volunteer can transform senior’s life – but not enough people know that yet. Volunteering can help to provide elder people with ways out of poverty, by giving them new skills and confidence, and aid social integration. This is of particular value to those who are most excluded from the labor market, such as people with disabilities, and especially the elderly.

There are many reasons for people not to volunteer. For older people, the barriers can include poor health, poverty, lack of skills, poor access (lack of transport links), or having caring responsibilities, such as looking after grandchildren. A survey developed by Volunteeringmatters UK reports that less than 13% of people over 55 years old were keen to gain qualifications through volunteering, compared to 72% of young people (13-24 years old) . On the other hand, 94% of the responders over 65 years said that volunteering helped them have a sense of purpose.

Volunteers don’t just need access to opportunities, they also need continued support if they are to gain the most from their experience, and that, too, should focus on their individual needs.

In fact, past research showed that volunteering among elder persons is beneficial because it improves physical condition, fosters interpersonal trust, toleration and empathy for others, and respect for the common good.

As the literature review suggests, there are several reasons to expect that elderly adults may experience different effects as a result of volunteerism than younger adults. If the predictions of activity theory hold assessments and with measures of morbidity and mortality, being a volunteer should be more positively associated with well-being among elderly persons than among younger adults because elderly volunteers are more active than younger volunteers. Second, elderly persons are less likely to be involved in other activities, such as employment and child rearing, and therefore their volunteer work may have a greater effect on their well-being.

Volunteering’s benefits for the elderly

  • life satisfaction,
  • life experiences,
  • perceived health,
  • independence,
  • social integration,
  • social suport,
  • skills development. 

The attention to senior volunteers has been warranted, not only because seniors are less likely to have other social roles to keep them active, socially integrated, and feeling productive, but because they experience the greatest benefits. Older volunteers experience greater psychological benefits for each hour that they contribute. Older adults who did not volunteer reported significantly worse health. Senior volunteers also reported higher levels of life satisfaction and perceived health than non-volunteers. The volunteers are the kind of people who are more satisfied with their lives and healthier in the first place.

What can be done to increase the participation of seniors in volunteering?

  • positive appeal to older people and strenghtened recruitment,
  • improved efforts and means for older volunteers recognition,
  • improved supervision, development and management of volunteer programs,
  • removal or reduction of specific impediments to older volunteer recruitment and retention efforts.

Local health and social care leaders are starting to recognize the power of volunteering and the importance of diversifying the pool of volunteers. This could break down some of the existing barriers to volunteering – and give everyone a chance to transform their own lives and those of others.

Encourage your senior to start the adventure with volunteering! Explain the benefits, look for organisations that recruit seniors as volunteers, help in signing in, suport on every step!

Diet of an efficient mind!

Dear senior, if you want to keep your brain in good shape you should take care of it. Train your memory using different games but also eat products full of minerals and vitamins that will help your brain stay healthy!

Vitamines from B Group –they are responsible for proper functioning of the nervous system, improving mood and intellectual efficiency. They can be found in buckwheat, oatmeal, rice, nuts, pumpkin seeds and sesame.

Lecithin – it mostly improves memory and occurs in peanuts, soy and wheat germ.

Iron – it’s responsible for transporting oxygen. We can find it in nuts, legumes, raisins, stone fruits and leafy vegetables.

Zinc – it defends us from cold and flu, strengthens hair and nails. It occurs in pumpkin seeds, buckwheat and dark chocolate.

Magnesium – it helps in the processing of neuromuscular impulses, improves the work of brain cells. We can find it in cocoa, dark chocolate and oatmeal.

Potassium – improves the oxygenation of the brain. It occurs in grapes, bananas, oranges, apricots, avocados, melons, nectarines, peaches, tomatoes and potatoes.

Phosphorus – it improves mood, increases intelligence, adds vitality. It’s necessary for our memory to not disappoint us. We can find it in fish and especially in sunflower seeds.

Linoleic acid – its lack results in reduced concentration, loss of memory. It is found in fish and vegetable fats .

Second project meeting

Rogaska Slatina, a small city in Slovenia, is known for its healing water rich in magnesium, spa and crystal glass. If you have never been there, don’t hesitate – all the partners of GOAL project recommend it😉

Rogaska Slatina was a host city of a second project meeting organised on 16th October 2019. Partners from Poland, Sweden, Portugal, Romania and Slovenia met to discuss major issues regarding to GOAL objectives: sum-up of ativities carried out since the beginning of the project, plans for next 6 months, evaluation methods and dissemination strategy. Good practice guide – one of the material results – was presented and refined. It will be very interesting and useful manual for people who care about seniors but also for seniors themselves! Finally, Partners shared their knowledge and experience in the area of seniors, tried to find methods for motivation elderly to lead an active and healthy life, discussed about activities that are organised for seniors and ways of their promotion.

Transnational project meetings are priceless, there are no other such fantastic opportunities to carry out a brainstorm to find out the ways that will enrich standards of care services for seniors.

Thank you all for your positive energy, engagement and creativity!


Sleep is a periodic and reversible physiological state, characterized by the temporary suppression of consciousness, by partially abolishing the sensitivity and slowing down the functions of organic life (respiratory rhythm, heart rate, muscle relaxation, decrease of temperature by about 0.5 degrees C, decrease of secretory functions).

 While many of us believe that sleep is a temporal stretch in which nothing happens, sleep is, in fact, at least neurologically, a very busy time, a “second state” with its own complex and varied mental and physical activities that help the brain and body develop smoothly and function well. Sleep is a basic physiological need, such as thirst and hunger, without which we cannot exist.

Sufficient and restful sleep protects mental and physical health, increasing the quality of life. The activities we do during the day depend largely on what happens while we sleep, when the body does not sleep, but works to support healthy brain functioning and maintain physical health.

Most people need, on average, about eight hours of restful sleep to function properly. It is important to find the amount of sleep necessary for your body and then try to reach that number of hours. As a general rule, if we wake up tired and feel a strong need to sleep throughout the day, it is obvious that we do not get enough sleep.

Restful sleep implies:

  • 10 – 11 hours in children
  • 8.5 – 9.5 hours in adolescents
  • 7-9 hours in adults

A survey conducted by the American Cancer Society concludes that people who sleep less than 6 hours a night or sleep more than 9 hours have a 30% higher death rate than those who typically sleep 7 – 8. hours. Even those who slept less than 6 hours and generally had no health problems had a death rate 1.8 times higher than those who slept “normal” hours.

The absence of quality sleep brings many problems:

  • It affects the cognitive processes. While we sleep, the brain prepares for the next day, forming new ways by which we can learn and remember various information. Studies show that restful sleep improves learning ability, helps us focus better and be more creative. Sleep deficiency alters activity in certain parts of the brain, making decision-making, emotion and behavior management difficult, and the ability to cope with changes.
  • Affects muscle mass. Loss of muscle mass is one of the characteristics already visible with advanced age, which It has been shown that one or two nights in a row of total sleep deprivation increases the level of nitrogen excreted in the urine within 24 hours, which can slow down the accumulation of smooth muscle tissue. Poor sleep slows down caloric burns and promotes the consumption of muscle tissue for energy.
  • Affects weight loss programs. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours a night tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of obesity. Sleep deprivation can affect the variables associated with body composition (the proportions between body mass and fat) and create changes among hormones that control appetite and body composition.
  • Increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Deficiency of sleep over long periods of time is associated with increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and higher levels of certain chemicals that increase the risk of inflammation. Seniors already have a higher tendency to develop blood pressure issues, so that is why sleep is becoming even more important.
  • Increases the risk of diabetes. Scientists have found that people who usually sleep less than 5 hours a night have an increased risk of developing diabetes. The lack of deep sleep changes the way the body produces glucose. This is especially important in advanced age, as there are other factors that also contribute to getting diabetes.
  • Affects the degree of motivation and the mood of good mood. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to long-term mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Research has shown that many people suffering from anxiety and depression sleep less than 6 hours per night.
  • It affects the immune system. A rested organism is much stronger and can be better protected from infections and colds.

Among the factors that negatively influence a quality sleep are:

  • Caffeine consumption too much or too late during the day;
  • Too much emotional stress;
  • Too much artificial light and the use of the TV in the bedroom;
  • Inappropriate food or meals consumed at late hours;
  • Lack of movement.

Healthy sleep habits and, by implication, good sleep hygiene can make a big difference in the quality of life. Whenever we can make small changes in lifestyle, to improve the quality of sleep.

There are a few techniques that help you get a better sleep:

  • Maintain a regular schedule of bedtime and wake-up times. Try to fall asleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day, even at the end of the week. In this way, the biological clock of the body is adjusted, which will help you to fall asleep easier and have a quiet sleep.
  • Avoid sleeping in the afternoon. Afternoon sleep helps you complete your daily tasks, but it keeps you awake at night and disrupts your normal sleep schedule.
  • Do not drink caffeine drinks 4 or 6 hours before bedtime and try to minimize the consumption of caffeine products
  • Avoid alcohol and too-heavy foods before bedtime. Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine disrupt sleep. Heavy or spicy foods can irritate your gut and keep you awake longer. It is advisable to avoid any kind of food at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Exercise regularly. Intense physical exercises are recommended during the day, but not before bedtime. If you cannot move at an alert pace, you can practice any type of exercise: walking more, doing squats or sit-ups, etc. It is important to move and consume energy.
  • Prepare the room for sleep. The bedroom must meet certain conditions to help you have a peaceful sleep. First, the temperature should not be higher than 19 degrees Celsius. Specialists recommend that there is no TV set in the bedroom, and if there is one, turn it off 30 minutes before bedtime. Try to remove any source of noise or light. You can rely on curtains, eye masks, ear plugs, “white noise” devices, which play relaxing songs or sounds.
  • Practice a technique of relaxation before bedtime. A relaxing activity, practiced just before bedtime, in a diffused light, helps you make the transition from demanding daytime activities to the peace you need to fall asleep.
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress. Make sure the mattress is solid, but comfortable. Also pay attention to its appearance, since it is recommended to use the same mattress for no longer than 10 years.
  • Choose the right pillows. Try using a comfortable pillow, adapted to your sleeping style (back, side, etc.), and if you are allergic to dust, choose an anti-allergic pillow.
  • Use the bed only for sleeping. If you cannot sleep, it is preferable to get up and go to another room, where you can do something relaxing. The moment you feel tired again, you can return to the bedroom. The bed should only be used for sleep, so the association between bed and sleep is strengthened.

I have no appetite!

Many factors can affect senior’s lack of appetite. Deteriorating appetite may be related to medication and nausea, deterioration of the oral cavity and perceived difficulty in biting, impaired taste sensation if a prosthesis is worn, or eventually deteriorating mood due to family, social, economic or revealed factors.
Reducing the amount of food can have an adverse effect on uncontrolled weight loss, and consequently on weakness, depressed mood, there are situations that can lead to malnutrition. A reduced appetite can sometimes be associated with a developing disease.

Don’t stay alone, Seniors! Call your children, grandchildren, ask your loved ones for advice. If your condition worries you – do not wait, see a doctor for advice.

What is worth remembering?
We eat not only the sense of taste, we first smell, look, touch and tasting is almost the last activity. It is therefore worth taking care of the aesthetics of serving the dish – You are Important – Take care of yourself Seniors! How much nicer it is to eat a dish when it looks beautiful.

Waltz your way into a better life

CC-BY-2.0 | Flickr images reviewed by File Upload Bot (Magnus Manske) | Photographs by Alex Proimos

As we advance in age, it is important to maintain a balanced and active life, but it is equally important to acknowledge that the range of activities we can perform diminishes.

That is why performing some physical activity is not as important as performing the right type of physical activity, taking into consideration the limitations that occur with aging:

One of the major risks regarding the elderly is connected to falling: as we advance in age, while our total body mass does not necessarily grow, our overall fat percentage is on the rise, coupled with reduced muscle mass. This contributes to loss of muscle strength, while endurance and balance are also affected, all these increasing the risk of falling (with potential for serious injury).

With this fear of falling comes a decrease in activity, which leads to further loss of balance, strength, endurance, all completing a downward spiral that could prove very harmful. There is also the aspect of „mental fitness” with cognitive functions needing to be stimulated in order to have a healthy and active life. While exercise has a positive effect on mental state, not every type of physical activity has a direct positive impact on cognitive functions.

Dancing is one of the activities that checks all the boxes:

  • It can be adapted to your current fitness level, so that it can be helpful and, most important, risk-free;
  • It helps improve overall fitness no matter the current level;
  • It improves heart condition, as it is a type of cardiovascular exercise that people preffer, as it does not require specific equipment (as opposed to riding a bicyle, for instance);
  • Besides strength, it also improves balance, which significantly reduces the risk of injury sustained from falling;
  • It could reduce joint pain and stiffness, resulting in less discomfort in everyday moving around, a massive aspect when it comes to maintaining a functional and independent lifestyle;
  • Dancing also improves timing, coordination, and multitasking, which stimulates brain activity, helping in preventing dementia and other degenerative cognitive conditions;

…and while it can be done by yourself, it is always more fun with company, which has its benefits as well:

  • It improves communication abilities;
  • It makes you feel less lonely, which decreases the risks of depression;

CC-BY-SA-3.0 | Self-published work

The “WHY” was easy to cover, but the “HOW” does not require a lot more effort: head towards your nearest seniors center and ask if they provide dancing classes; other than that, just get your “dancing shoes” (hint: almost any shoes will do!)

How can we encourage seniors to start doing sport?

Survey from 2018 “Sport and Physical Activity” Special Eurobarometer 472 showed that 61% people over 55 years NEVER exercise or play sport. The main reason of not doing sport were: lack of time, lack of motivation or interest, having a disability or illness, fact that it is too expensive, do not liking competitive activities, do not having friends to do sports with, cite lack of suitable or accessible sport infrastructure close to home.

GOAL project would like to deal with this terrifying statistics by encouraging seniors to do sport. Doing sport brings a lot of benefits – besides enhancing physical condition, it provides optimism, energy and opens people to the world! 

What should we do then to motivate older people to do sport?

Situation is much easier when seniors have practiced physical activity in the past, because they can feel this important need to be active and have some grounds.

But what about people who have never trained any kind of sport? We need to focus on working out a good motivation for them!

In our society there is a conviction that sport is tiring, too hard for seniors. That’s why we need to start our discussion from breaking this stereotype. We need to show all the positives of doing sport such as (based on EU Physical Activity Guidelines):

  • A reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Prevention and/or delay of the development of arterial hypertension, and improved control of arterial blood pressure in individuals who suffer from high blood pressure.
  • Good cardio-pulmonary function.
  • Maintained metabolic functions and low incidence of type 2 diabetes.
  • Increased fat utilisation which can help to control weight, lowering the risk of obesity.
  • A lowered risk of certain cancers, such as breast, prostate and colon cancer.
  • Improved mineralization of bones in young ages, contributing to the prevention of osteoporosis and fractures in older ages.
  • Improved digestion and regulation of the intestinal rhythm.
  • Maintenance and improvement in muscular strength and endurance, resulting in an increase in functional capacity to carry out activities of daily living.
  • Maintained motor functions including strength and balance.
  • Maintained cognitive functions and lowered risk of depression and dementia.
  • Lower stress levels and associated improved sleep quality.
  • Improved self-image and self-esteem and increased enthusiasm and optimism.
  • Decreased absenteeism (sick leave) from work.
  • In very old adults, a lower risk of falling and prevention or delaying of chronic illnesses associated with ageing.

It’s also good to present strong connection between systematic activity and better physical condition, health and mood. When we are doing sport we feel much better, healthier and happier. Don’t be afraid to emphasise the fact, that when we are active our independence is growing. This is very important information for older people who very often feel stressed because of the fact, they are addicted to others. Being physical active makes them independent in many aspects of daily life!

Nowadays, its really easy to find sport offers for seniors. There are many sport classes devoted to this group of people and sometimes they are even free of charge. Look around, ask your friends, search the internet and we guarantee that you will find the best option for your senior. If not, you can always walk outside together and spend time not only active but also in family atmosfphere.

Fudamental rules of senior’s plate

Elder’s plate should be a composition of the taste and nutritional values. How to take up such a challenge? It’s important to put in some fundamental rules.

First of all, shopping. Plan your main meals in advance for the next week, pay attention to what products you already have and can use in your meals. Don’t waste food. At the same time, remember that food loses its nutritional value when it heated or froze many times.

Second of all, take care of the taste and the presentation of a plate. Eating your meals will become an enjoyment and not a sad obligation. Pay attention to the seasonal vegetables and fruits, in the winter enjoy the pickled or frozen vegetables and 100% vegetable juices, that can be a base for soups or sauces. In the spring-summer time, remember to add in some fresh herbs that you can plant on your windowsill. That way you can reduce the amount of salt in your diet.

Vegetables and fruits should be included in every one of your meals. They are a good source of vitamins and minerals. If you have trouble with chewing you can cook them for a while. Add good quality plant oils to your vegetables.  They help to dissolve some of the vitamins in the vegetables.

Pay attention to the availability of vitamin D that is included mainly in fish, vitamin B, and folic acid that you can mainly find in: Vit. B2: natural yogurts, lentil, mackerel, Vit B6: wheat germ, walnuts, wheat bran, Vit B12: natural yogurts, cottage cheese, fish – this vitamin is not abundant in vegetables, fruits or grain products. Good sources of the folic acid are leafy vegetables, citrus, full grains, and legumes.

While composing your meals, remember to pay much attention to good quality sources of calcium. Your daily need for calcium is 1200 mg. To deliver that amount of calcium, a really important microelement equip your meals in milk, yogurts, kefir, buttermilk, fish that have a skeleton like sardines or sprats, eggs, almonds, kale, sesame, legumes.

In order to provide yourself with energy use grain products, especially full grain (wholemeal bread, spelt bread, graham bread, full-grain pasta, thick groats). If after eating those things you feel discomfort, change your assortment and choose options with more fiber. Stay away from any pastries. If you feel like you need something sweet fix yourself a natural yogurt with seasonal fruits and a tablespoon of muesli.

When you use protein-rich products more than usual, look for products made of turkey, chicken, fish, cooked legumes. Rarely use red meat – especially when thinking about cooking. Cooking stewing, baking. Always add seasonal vegetables to your meal. Make sure to eat oily fish twice a week. Eggs are rich in vitamins and minerals so they can be exchangeable in the protein group.

Make sure your meals are regular. Try to eat in peace with no rush. Be welcome to add healthy oils, nuts, seeds, and olives to your meals. An important element of a sustainable diet is the right amount of water.

It can be spa water that you drink in between your meals. When planning meals you can add in tea and coffee if there are no medical restrictions. You can increase your fluid consumption by adding soups to your meals and drinking smoothies without sugar.