If you hear the term “lifelong learning,” several images may come to mind: a classroom setting with a professor, a workshop at a local community center, or even a spoken word event by a popular author. However, COVID-19 has likely reduced the number of classes and live-speaker events being offered this fall. So what other options do you have besides educational TV? Podcasts! There are countless podcasts for seniors that are informative on virtually any topic. The best ones are enjoyable tools in the pursuit of lifelong learning and f. Below, we’ll share a few. But first …
Why Should You Care About Podcasts for Senior Citizens?
Studies show that mental stimulation in older adults helps with depression, anxiety and general well-being. According to Psychology Today, studies show “an enriched environment, whether through a formal university program or self-directed learning, has an important role in active aging.” You may not have access to a formal university program, but you can certainly use popular podcasts for seniors to do some self-directed learning. So let’s get started.
- What exactly is a podcast? Podcasts are like radio on demand — audio programs you can listen to on your own time, at your own pace, and on any topic you want.
- How can you listen to one? Smartphones and tablets often come with a podcast app already installed. If you can’t find yours, go to the Play Store (for Android) or App Store (for Apple). Search for “podcasts,” and the app will pop up and ask if you want to open it. Open it and type in a topic that interests you. If you want to listen on your computer, simply start an internet search for “top podcasts 2020” or “podcasts for seniors,” select your favorite, and click play!
- Where should you start? This is where you get to have fun. Think about areas you want to learn more about or want to get caught up on. For example, you may be surprised by how many universities produce their own programs or upload past lectures. You can go back to school at your alma mater just by listening to their podcasts. Even though George Fox University is right across the street from Friendsview, residents can listen from their own living room to professor lectures or the university pastors discussing different relevant spiritual topics. If you are into sports, numerous teams also produce podcasts. Into crafting? Educate yourself on the latest quilting trends while you are gardening or taking a walk. Truly, with podcasts, the world is your classroom.
Top Podcasts for Seniors in 2020
Perhaps you don’t want to spend time searching online. Well, we did the work for you and chose the best podcasts for seniors this year. Here are the top seven.
For Amateur Historians …
- Check out Stuff You Missed in History Class. The hosts say they “bring you the greatest and strangest stuff you missed in history class!” They cover topics like Irish slaves, the Flexner Report, and the birth of gospel blues.
- As a community based on Quaker values, we often talk about church history at Friendsview. It can be a heavy topic sometimes, unless you take it five minutes at a time! Try out 5 Minutes in Church History with Stephen Nichols.
For English Gurus …
- AARP recommends adding The Allusionist: Small Adventures in Language to your top podcasts for seniors in 2020. Each episode is 22 minutes and will take you on a ride around the world looking at words and their origins — all with a comedic and quirky approach.
For Senior Health and Wellness Seekers …
Seniors Matter lists two great podcasts that feature wellness for your entire person:
- The Better Health While Aging Podcast “offers practical information on improving health and well-being while aging. Episodes feature such topics as Medicare, long-term care, hearing loss, estate planning, and more.”
- Living to 100 Club! Topics include staying “positive in the face of adversity, healthy lifestyles, starting new chapters, and doing what you can’t.”
For the Crafters at Heart …
If you are a seamstress, crafter or artist, then you know there’s always another great tip just around the corner for helping you improve your craft. Here are two podcasts you don’t want to miss:
- American Patchwork & Quilting podcast covers more topics than you may first think. From money-saving tips to preventing neck and back pain while quilting and crafting — if you’re interested in needlework, check out this popular podcast.
- The Art Newspaper podcast is a British program that takes you “from breaking news and insider insights to exhibitions and events around the world.” The team at The Art Newspaper picks apart the art world’s big stories with the help of special guests.
Lifelong Learning and Friendsview
With George Fox University (GFU) as a direct neighbor to Friendsview, it’s easier for us to focus on lifelong learning that isn’t limited by age. We consider intergenerational activities an important part of intellectual health and living life well. We value our strong relationship with GFU and other educational programs in Newberg and think you will too. Contact us to learn more about our educational partners and lifelong learning at Friendsview.
Nikki Deckon has been on staff at Friendsview since 2018 in various roles and in long term care for several years. Before working with seniors, she wrote/produced hundreds of talk radio programs and vignettes; was published in a couple of editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul and other print publications including The Oregonian, Kids NW, The Sun and more. After twenty years of marriage she feels that she’s still in the “honeymoon” phase and is enjoying raising her teenage boys in Newberg, a mere two miles from Friendsview.