Over the past 20 years, podcasts have been on an upward trajectory and they show no sign of stopping. In 2004, George W. Bush became the first U.S. President to deliver a weekly address via podcast. Today, 55% of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast with 24% listening to them weekly. With over 48 million episodes of podcasts available, there is certainly no shortage of these virtual shows.
More and more industries are getting in on the podcast game—including Markentum who is involved in a podcast series about aging, The Mentor’s Voice. And while many people might think that podcasts are only for Millennials or younger generations, there are plenty of podcasts geared toward older adults that can entertain and educate your residents.
Keep reading to learn the benefits of podcasts and our recommended podcast ideas for seniors!
There’s Something for Everyone
Many older adults may remember a time when their family gathered around the home radio during the evenings, keeping up with the news, comedy shows, and children’s programming. At their core, podcasts are essentially radio shows, but they’re available any time, anywhere! You can listen to podcasts while driving, cleaning the house, or sitting on a bench outside.
Just like old-time radio shows, podcasts can be funny, informative, insightful, or even scary. This is why so many people enjoy podcasts; there is truly something for everyone. Here is a look at the top genres of podcasts in 2020 based on weekly listeners:
What Are the Benefits of Podcasts for Seniors?
Listening to podcasts has basic and more complex advantages, especially for older adults. On the surface, you’re gaining the benefit of whatever the podcast is intended for: a news podcast will keep you informed; a comedy podcast will keep you entertained; an art or science podcast will offer valuable insights into a specific topic.
Deeper down, though, there’s a psychological change happening in your brain when you listen to podcasts. Whether you’re listening to a meditation podcast or a true-crime podcast, your brain is emitting several “feel-good” chemicals like serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine, which can result in lower stress levels and increased focus. Plus, learning new things has been shown to slow cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia.
Encourage Your Residents to Listen to Podcasts
Listening to podcasts is valuable for adults living inside and outside of senior living communities. While many people choose to listen on their smartphone or home speaker, you can also listen on a computer. You can find most podcasts on platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play Music.
Recommended Podcasts for Seniors
If you’re interested in encouraging your residents to listen to podcasts, here are some options to start with!
1. Lux Radio Theater 📻
A great way to help seniors familiarize themselves with podcasts, Lux Radio Theater is one of the classic radio shows that has been repurposed as a podcast. This series ran from 1936-1945 and has over 300 episodes, so it can be sure to provide hours of entertainment.
The hour-long podcast features iconic Hollywood stars such as John Wayne and Jude Garland and even includes some of the original advertisements! Listen and learn more here.
2. This American Life 🇺🇸
Produced by NPR and consistently one of the most listened to podcasts, This American Life features stories that range from funny and surprising to captivating and thoughtful. Of course, it’s not uncommon to enjoy some stories more than others, but here are a few places to start.
3. Stuff You Should Know 🧠
This podcast shares all the fascinating things you never knew you needed to know. The vast library includes episodes explaining complex topics like How The Sun Works (told in only 32 minutes), fascinating topics like How Psychopaths Work, and fun topics like How Junk Food Works. Find these episodes and more here.
4. Criminal 👀
Criminal is an ideal podcast for those interested in true crime, but want to avoid graphic stories and details. It veers away from the typical serial killer stories and lands more on unusual and spooky tales, like cases of identity theft, wrongful convictions, and haunted houses. Discover popular episodes to get started with here.
5. Super Soul 👏
Hosted by Oprah and featuring a new guest each episode, Super Soul aims to help listeners live a more mindful and soulful life. Each episode encourages listeners to reconnect with the world and the people around them. Find episodes and more here.
Podcasts in Senior Living
Podcasts are a great tool in any industry, but in senior living, they can help adults learn, laugh, and live! Podcasting is also a valuable tool in senior living marketing; if you have the resources, we encourage you to start your own podcast! And don’t forget to listen to ours, The Mentor’s Voice, with new episodes every other Tuesday.
To discover more about Markentum and get a free consultation on your current senior living marketing strategies, we invite you to explore our website.