Podcasts. You have probably heard your children or grandchildren talking about them, or maybe heard something on the news like, “true crime podcasts are all the rage these days.” But what is a podcast? The simplest explanation is: radio but on the internet.
If you remember the old radio shows from the 1940s (or if you’ve heard about them) then you already know about one type of podcast - audio dramas. Audio dramas are complete stories with actors and sound effects - everything you would get in a TV show without the TV. But there are many, many other types of podcasts on almost any topic imaginable - health, science, sports, politics, news, history, true crime, talk shows - the list is endless. Podcasts are generally released in episodes and can be streamed on almost any internet-connected device.
Do Seniors Listen to Podcasts?
Recent studies indicate around 26% of participants over the age of 55 listen to podcasts, but that number is steadily increasing as podcasts have grown in popularity and accessibility. Seniors who aren’t listening to podcasts probably either a) don’t know much about them and how they work or b) don’t know there are podcasts out there they would enjoy. Luckily, this article is here to help!
How to Listen to Podcasts
Most people listen to podcasts on their phone using either the Apple Podcasts app (on iPhones) or Google Podcasts (on Android devices). You can listen on a desktop or laptop computer using iTunes or Spotify. You can also use an Alexa device to listen to podcasts. Most podcasts are free to enjoy.
Podcasts for Seniors
As previously mentioned, there are podcasts on almost every topic imaginable. For example, I googled “podcasts about knitting” and found more than twenty (my personal favorite based solely on the title being “Two Ewes Fiber Adventures”). Some podcasts that pop up on every “top podcast for seniors” list include:
Consider This from NPR
The Perfect Scam
In Our Time
The Relic Radio Show
There are many health podcasts created specifically for seniors, such as:
Aging in Full Bloom
Girl Talk: Women, Aging and Sexuality
Better Health While Again
Not Old, Better
Living to 100 Club
Live Long and Master Aging
Love sports? There are hundreds of podcasts about sports. You can “shop around” and find commentators you like. There are tons of choices for news podcasts as well, and your favorite newscaster probably already has a podcast.
You can find audiobooks on podcasts. If you have trouble sleeping, you can find podcasts specifically to help you sleep, like Sleepy. In Sleepy, a narrator reads a familiar tale like Rapunzel in basically the most boring way possible so you can listen and drift off to sleep without feeling like you will miss an important part of the story.
Working on brain health? Use a podcast to help you learn a new language and keep your memory sharp.
It is not an exaggeration to say there is a podcast for everything. A little searching can definitely lead you to one you will love listening to every day.