Quaker Values: Lifelong Learning in Chicago

Apr 16, 2024

lifelong learning in chicagoKendal, the not-for-profit parent company of The Admiral at the Lake, has been working to transform our culture’s view of the aging process since the 1970s. Although the Kendal System is not affiliated with any religious institution, it was founded with the principles of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in mind.

Quaker beliefs are rich and multifaceted, with an emphasis on peace, integrity, community, and simplicity. With that focus on community comes a responsibility to ensure everyone has access to education. No matter what stage of life a person is in, scientific inquiry, artistic expression, and deeper learning opportunities are key to developing a well-informed mind. Tied to this is the concept of lifelong learning, which is made easy at The Admiral at the Lake thanks to the vibrant surrounding Chicago neighborhood.


What Is Lifelong Learning?

Lifelong learning is the concept that learning shouldn’t end at a certain age. Rather, it should continue throughout your life via self-directed learning exercises or continuing education programs.

But lifelong learning isn’t just about taking classes and traditional education. It’s about taking the time to learn new ideas, challenge your old beliefs, and explore new concepts. When you’re a lifelong learner, you never stop seeking ways to increase your knowledge and expand your horizons.

Examples of Lifelong Learning in Uptown Chicago

There are a lot of ways to engage in lifelong learning, whether it’s informal or formal. You can practice lifelong learning by taking a course at a local university, learning a second language, or simply by making time to read a new author.

Retirement communities offer a wealth of educational opportunities to facilitate lifelong learning. The Admiral at the Lake has a Lifelong Learning Committee, chaired by Toni Smith, that’s specifically dedicated to cultivating educational opportunities for residents. With classes, seminars, talks, and a variety of programs and events, everyone has the opportunity to explore their love of learning in whatever way best suits their interests.

And because we’re an independent living community located in Chicago, there are unique opportunities to continue your quest for knowledge right down the street. The following are great examples of local attractions near The Admiral at the Lake that help you become a lifelong learner:

  • Edgewater Historical Society Museum: This local museum is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. Spend an afternoon exploring fascinating snippets of Edgewater history and learning more about the area’s historic sites.
  • Swedish American Museum Association: Located in the heart of Andersonville, this 24,000 square-foot cultural museum celebrates and reflects on the rich Swedish heritage of the area. Visitors to the neighborhood can also look forward to Swedish food and, if you time it right, Swedish holiday celebrations.
  • Green Mill Cocktail Lounge: Taking time to appreciate the arts is a fun way to practice lifelong learning. Visit the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge to enjoy a night of jazz or slam poetry.
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: Science and nature enthusiasts will love giving their minds a workout at the nature museum. With collections that focus on a variety of topics, including ornithology, paleontology, botany, photography and cultural artifacts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The Admiral at the Lake also takes advantage of the excellent universities and cultural organizations in Chicago by partnering with them to bring new ideas to the neighborhood. The Lifelong Learning Committee invites speakers from universities and cultural institutions throughout Chicago, as well as authors, architects and other professionals, to give presentations on site at the Admiral.

Why Be A Lifelong Learner?

Lifelong learning helps improve your mental health and overall well-being. Research shows that continuing to learn throughout your life is associated with greater satisfaction, optimism, and the ability to get the most out of life.  Learning new things, especially new skills or hobbies, can also help prevent memory less.

How To Incorporate Lifelong Learning Into Your Life

As this article from Entrepreneur points out, it’s now easier than ever before to be a lifelong learner. With digital courses, easy-to-download apps, and a constantly expanding catalog of online resources, today’s knowledge seekers have nearly unlimited resources at their disposal.

The main tip for incorporating lifelong learning into your life is to simply make time for it. Schedule at least one hour a week to learn something new. Dedicate time for learning a new skill, joining a new social club, or simply reading an article from your favorite research publication. Before long, lifelong learning will become a way of life instead of a weekly task.

Of course, living in a community that fosters lifelong learning makes it even easier to incorporate it into your everyday life. At The Admiral at the Lake, it’s easy to learn new things because the tools are all right there at your fingertips. Included in the independent living services and amenities is access to a library and resource center, a comprehensive wellness program, and cultural and social activities.

Expand Your Horizons At The Admiral at the Lake

The Admiral at the Lake is a continuing care community that supports an ageless spirit, promotes health and wellness, and fosters engagement, collaboration and liberating choices. From lifelong learning to building community ties, learn how The Admiral at the Lake incorporates Quaker values each and every day.