Too much screen time — the time you spend staring at a television, mobile device or computer screen — can cause issues with vision including strained or dry eyes. But seniors don't have to give up on entertainment just because they want a break from screens. Podcasts are a great way to enjoy commentary, news and stories without needing to look at a screen. You can also listen to them as you move about your assisted living apartment doing chores or via headphones as you walk the grounds.
Podcasts are a lot like radio programs. The difference is that instead of being broadcast on airwaves or stations, they're recorded and saved online. You can access them anytime on a mobile device or via a computer.
Some podcasts are free, which means anyone can listen to them anytime. Others run on subscription models, which means you have to pay for access to the content.
If you're interested in learning more about podcasts or adding them to your entertainment options, here are five options to check out online.
Lux Radio Theatre replays an original radio program from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. The programs adapted popular plays and films for radio presentation and were voiced by a range of well-known performers, including notables such as Judy Garland and John Wayne. Seniors may enjoy the nostalgia of listing to these programs, which have been remastered. Some of the narration has been re-recorded as necessary, and the stories play along with vintage radio advertisements. Lux Radio Theatre is available for Apple devices and on computers via an online archive.
This podcast is a fun option for anyone who loves history or is curious about certain things. You can visit the Stuff You Missed in History Class website to choose from podcasts on all types of topics, including 15th century, biographies, black history, women's history, crime, the military, science and the royals. The podcasts are powered by iHeart Radio, but they're free to access via links from the main web page.
This one's for the Jeopardy fans. This podcast is a trivia show, delving deep into random facts you may or may not want to know. You can select episodes from the website to listen too, and the podcast promises "clean" content that's part quiz show, part fun news broadcast.
Planet Money is an economics-related podcast from NPR. You can access it via a variety of devices, including Google and Apple smart phones. And since NPR makes the podcast available via Spotify, seniors can listen on any computer or mobile device. Links to the various applications and podcasts are available on the NPR website.
Seniors who want more news in their podcast can get it from The Daily, a New York Times podcast with 20-minute episodes every weekday that highlight something in the news. You can click to listen directly from the website or subscribe to get the daily episode delivered to your Android or Apple device.