A pod cast is basically an audio version of your favorite blogs, shows and topics that you can download and listen to whenever you want, wherever you want. Podcasts started as a way for individuals to spread their message and build a community of people with similar interests. Topics cover just about everything you can think of from news, to economics, to religion to comedy. The best part is most podcasts are free! You can easily listen to shows from your phone’s web browser utilizing an app such as RadioPublic, Sticher and Google Podcast. Podcasts can also be accessed via a computer. Below you will find a list of our 10 Favorite podcasts for seniors.
1. Stuff You Should Know
This is a fascinating biweekly podcast from the HowStuffWorks team. A unique dose of education and entertainment. Topics include: How sweepstakes work, how the escape from Alcatraz worked and the great American coin shortage of 2020.
2. Lux Radio Theater
Lux Radio Theater, one of the genuine classic radio anthology series (NBC Blue Network (1934-1935); CBS (1935-1955), adapted first Broadway stage works, and then (especially) films to hour-long live radio presentations. It quickly became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, running more than twenty years. The program always began with an announcer proclaiming, "Ladies and gentlemen, Lux presents Hollywood!" Cecil B. DeMille was the host of the series each Monday evening from June 1, 1936, until January 22, 1945.
3. Planet Money
Helping you make sense of our rapidly changing global economy. NPR's Planet Money highlights high rollers, brainy economists and financial experts to keep you up to date on the fiscal world. Money makes the world go around, so listen on demand with two podcast episodes each week.
4. Ask Me Another
Packed with trivia, comedy and celebrity guests, Ask Me Another is like an amusement park for your brain. Host Ophira Eisenberg and musician Jonathan Coulton take brilliant contestants on a roller coaster that'll make you laugh and scream out the answers.
5. Better Health While Aging
A doctor's podcast for older adults and family caregivers, hosted by practicing geriatrics specialist Leslie Kernisan, MD MPH. Learn what really works, when it comes to improving health and wellbeing while aging. Dr. K and her guests discuss common health problems that affect people over age 60, the best ways to prevent and manage those problems, and they also often address common concerns and dilemmas that come up with aging parents.
6. How I built this
Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built. One reviewer said, “These are riveting stories of people from startlingly diverse backgrounds whose energy, ideas, persistence and... often...humor has vaulted them to extreme success in businesses that matter deeply to them. It's a revelation that the world of business can be entertaining, emotional, and inspirational”.
7. Stuff You Missed in History Class
Join Holly and Tracy Wilson as they school you in Stuff You Missed in History Class. Get caught up from these history buffs as they explore the most fascinating events in the world. This podcast covers the spaces left out of most history classes. You will hear about a range of topics including royalty, crime, war and more.
Adult family homes are an often-overlooked option when it comes to long term care environments. Unfortunately, many people outside of the senior living industry are not even aware Adult Family Homes (AFH’s) exist. Simply put an AFH is a miniature assisted living setting operated in a traditional residential home. These homes are often run by a professional who also lives in the home. It is entirely possible you live near an Adult Family Home without even being aware of its presence. As of this writing there are 202 active Adult Family Homes in Spokane county. For many years an AFH was limited to a maximum of 6 residents at a time. This recently changed as of June 2020 with Washington HB1023 which allows AFH’s to care for up to 8 individuals at a time. As is the case with most assisted living settings the type of care provided can vary quite a bit from home to home and many of these homes specialize in care for individuals with very specific needs such as developmental disabilities or mental health issues as well as more standard senior living needs. Some AFH’s may admit people as young as 18 but for homes specializing in care for the elderly the average age is 86 years old. Females also tend to outnumber males 3 to 1.
In terms of the care provided Adult Family Homes offer all of the assistance you would expect from most long term care settings including meals, bathing, dressing, medication, house keeping and other activities of daily living. The biggest difference being the care is provided in a typical residential setting which can provide a much more intimate home like setting. The cost can vary quite dramatically from home to home typically ranging between $3,500 and $6,500 per month. Pricing will depend on a number of factors including the level of care provided and whether you choose a private room or shared room. Payment options can be as varied as homes themselves. VA benefits may be an option as well as long term care insurance and many will allow for a transition to Medicaid after a period of private payments.
If you think you or a loved one may prefer a smaller residential setting to that of a large assisted living community an Adult Family Home may be an excellent option. For additional help finding the right Adult Family Home in Spokane County don’t hesitate to contact a local Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) from Lifestage for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your needs and preferences
You often see wireless carriers market really bad phones to seniors and they do it by reinforcing negative stereotypes about seniors. What we hear is that seniors aren't good at using new technology. They don't want to learn how to use it. They need flip phones because they are just easier to use. Let's start by debunking a few of these misconceptions:
Seniors we have come in contact with who have taken a little time to play with a smartphone are just as capable as younger people of using smartphones and they love them just as much, however a lot of the time they were a little bit more hesitant about breaking something. It’s common for them to ask a question about something they already know how to do, but they don’t want to push the wrong button. Seniors have been learning new skills with technology for their entire lives and they've seen computers go from the size of an entire living room to something you can hold in our hand. They remember when entering the wrong command on a computer could crash the whole thing, so they're naturally a little more hesitant about just pushing buttons. Luckily in the past several years smartphones have switched their focus from introducing new features to emphasizing the ease of use. For instance when you upgrade to a new iphone all you have to do is take the old one and hold it near the new one and everything transfers. If you do ever get lost in a smart phone you can just hit the home button and you’re back to where you started. When introducing seniors to a smart phone it’s important to emphasize the fact that you can't break it by pushing buttons. There's nothing that they can do that's going to break it so have fun!
A smart phone can be an excellent way for seniors to connect to the outside world. Seniors enjoy taking pictures and sharing them with friends and family just as much those who may be from a younger generation. Text messaging makes staying in touch just as convenient and easy for seniors as it does anyone else. Video chat, voice commands, calendar reminders, news, weather games and everything else that make smart phones so great are great for people of all ages. The argument that seniors don't need any of the amazing features that smartphones offer just doesn’t make sense. When you actually look at the flip phones marketed to seniors one thing that comes up a lot is the buttons size. For some reason the flip phones have huge buttons and of course smartphones have no buttons at all. Well if you go to the iPhone keypad you start dialing a phone number those buttons are significantly larger than the buttons you will find on a flip phone. Of course the buttons don’t matter at all when you can say “Hey Siri, call my daughter”. If you want to send a text message that flip phone is actually much harder to use. The keyboard on a smart phone is significantly easier to use. Again that is if you want to use the keyboard at all, of course a smart phone allows you to just speak whatever message you want to send. Even the largest of screens offered on flip phones are still just a fraction of the size you have with a smartphone. Smartphones also offer the ability to easily zoom in on text if it is still to small or difficult to read.
With a little practice seniors tend to be able to use smart phones just as well as their younger counterparts. These phones are just as useful and just as fun for people of any age. Odds are you may even have spare iphone or android just collecting dust in a drawer or a closet. So if you are asking, what is the best phone for a senior? The answer is you may already have it.
Ty Strahl is the Spokane areas leading Certified Senior Advisor (CSA). Her job is to help navigate the many aspects of aging and to help seniors who are in transition to find the right solutions for their individual needs.