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5 online activities for seniors
January 25, 2021
By Kirsten Queen
The internet is a big place, so it can feel a little intimidating for seniors who are unfamiliar with it. But there are lots of online activities for seniors that can help them stay engaged, connect with friends and family, and have a little fun. Check out our recommendations for fun online activities for seniors to do.
Online computer games for seniors
Video games aren’t just for millennials – about 44% of adults 50+ report playing video games once a month. Video games, defined by AARP as “as any interactive digital entertainment played via a computer, a game console (like the Xbox or PlayStation), or a phone or tablet” are not only entertaining, but certain types can also improve cognitive function. And video games are increasingly mobile – you can even play on your smartphone or tablet. Online games for seniors are popular too. Most seniors prefer puzzle and logic games followed by tile and card games. For a bigger boost in cognition, you might try playing a game like Wii Sports or Super Mario. To connect with grandchildren and create a virtual world, consider playing Minecraft. For free online games, check out Facebook or onlinegamesforseniors.com.
Connect on Facebook
Social media is a great place for seniors to connect with their family and friends online. Currently, Facebook is the most popular social media platform for seniors. With photos of the people you love, groups that allow you to connect with people who have common interests, and entertaining videos, Facebook is a great place for seniors to find social connection. For more information on using Facebook, check out our guide to social media for seniors.
Lifelong learners are in luck: many universities allow seniors to audit classes for free or for a low cost, as long as there is room in the class. If you aren’t able to find an online course that interests you at your university of choice, you might look into some other options like Coursera, which offers online courses from higher education institutions. Or explore Academic Earth, which has a library of free courses and lectures offered by universities like Yale and Oxford. You can also go on an online trip with Road Scholar and learn about places all over the world. They offer a mix of free and paid courses and trips you can take all from the comfort of your home.
Audiobooks and podcasts
For seniors with visual impairments or if you just want to take some entertainment with you on car trips or walks, audiobooks and podcasts can help you stay informed and entertained. Many public libraries offer audiobooks that you can download to your smartphone or tablet, or you can look into a service like Audible. Android users can use the Homer App, which has a large and easy-to-use interface.
You might also look into podcasts, which cover a broad range of topics, including news, politics, education, and history. Podcasts are essentially radio shows that you can download to your smartphone or tablet or stream online. Podcasts created specifically for seniors include The Not Old - Better Show, Take on Today by AARP, and Living to 100 Club.
The second most popular social media platform among seniors after Facebook, YouTube is a place to find videos on whatever topic interests you. It’s full of exercise videos for seniors and is a place to learn new skills or find entertainment. There are even some senior YouTube stars you can watch and follow along with. Learn how to make pasta from grannies in Italy with Pasta Grannies or explore cool toys and optical illusions with Grand Illusions. There are even senior gamers you can watch like Grandma Shirley. Other great channels include Cyber-Seniors Corner and 2nd Act TV.
The internet can help seniors stay connected to their interests and passions, as well as their loved ones. For more tips for seniors and technology, visit our guide to the internet for seniors, with explanations on how to avoid scams, become more tech savvy, and even make your devices easier to use.
We believe it’s important to connect seniors to technology, and that’s why we offer Lifeline to help make communications services more affordable for lower-income or fixed-income consumers, including retirees.