Overcoming Older Adult Barriers to Learning Through an Understanding of Perspectives on Human Information Processing
Health Services Needs and Demand
The importance to older adults of being able to learn to perform activities related to leisure, work, or daily living for maintaining independence and a good quality of life is unquestionable. An appreciation of the challenges that older adults face during learning, as well as insights into ways to help them overcome these challenges, whether through design or instruction, can be obtained through a basic understanding of human information processing. The purpose of this article is to facilitate this understanding within the context of older adult learning. The article begins with an overview of the human information-processing system and cognitive limitations and capabilities associated with aging. Critical components of the information-processing system are then revisited in greater detail from the perspective of older adult information-processing capabilities. Concepts are illustrated through examples to demonstrate how older adults could make more efficient use of their information-processing resources during learning.