Sign Your Way to Good Health
Use your brain or lose it. That, unfortunately, is the truth. Aging brains need to be constantly tweaked and worked out to keep those little gray cells healthy and happy.
One fun way to do this is to learn American Sign Language.
Learn American Sign Language (ASL)
This is not as daunting as it sounds. I was 50 when I learned American Sign Language. I was the youngest in the classroom but so what – we were all in the same boat. Most of us didn’t even know the alphabet in sign language. Within one year I had passed the course and even taught the basic elements of ASL to a handful of seniors the next year. Do I use my newfound skill? Not very often but there is the thrill of learning an extremely interesting and fun language, of being able to converse with someone in something other than a verbal manner and just the joy of absorbing something new and fresh.
Check out your local college to see if they offer sign language courses.
Perhaps you don’t feel like facing a classroom of students. Don’t despair. The internet, as always, is an incredible resource. There are numerous sign language dictionaries online which can teach you everything from individual signs such as the alphabet to numbers to phrases.
Will you become a proficient signer? Probably not. But that is not the point of this exercise. Those people who choose to become interpreters for the Deaf (yes, that’s right. Deaf (with a capital D) is the way Deaf people choose to be referred to. They are not hearing-challenged or hearing-impaired. Deaf people take pride in their ability to sign.
ASL is actually a very beautiful language complete with poetry and art that must be visualized in a totally different way. It takes a while for a ‘hearing’ person to truly appreciate the beauty of sign language.
The purpose of learning sign language is to give your brain a boost in a fun and challenging manner. So turn on that computer and start signing. You’ll be glad you did.