Speak with a Licensed Insurance Agent

Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Online Entertainment for Seniors

Table of Contents

Summary: Engaging in online entertainment can help older adults alleviate boredom and can act as a mood booster. In this article, we’ll explore some of the top sources of entertainment that can be found online including audiobooks, eBooks, music, podcasts, movies, video games, and more.

Engaging in Entertainment Can Help Seniors Relax

Throughout our guide, we’ve talked about the numerous benefits that technology can have for seniors and older adults. Below, we’re going to highlight some of the ways technology can help seniors be entertained. Leisure activities, such as listening to audiobooks or watching a movie can boost your mood and help you relax. With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to gain access to multiple forms of entertainment online.

However, it is important to remember that watching movies or television shows in excess can be detrimental to your health. When possible, online entertainment should be combined with physical activity and social activities to ensure that you maintain physical and mental well-being.

Audiobooks and eBooks Are a Great Way to Pass the Time

Reading is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States and is a great low-cost and entertaining hobby for seniors. Reading can be relaxing and fun and can help seniors keep their minds active as they age. For some, reading can come with new challenges as we age such as difficulty reading the text, or limited transportation to go get new books. Fortunately, eBooks and audiobooks can help alleviate some of these challenges.

eBooks are simply books that are converted into a digital format that can be read on multiple devices. Most modern devices such as tablets, smartphones, and computers can be used to read eBooks. There are even devices specifically made for reading eBooks called eReaders.

eBooks can be purchased online or borrowed from your local library. If you enjoy reading but find that you’re reading less in your older years, you may consider trying eBooks. Here are some benefits that eBooks can offer:

  • Most devices that you can get eBooks on allow you to enlarge the font size, making eBooks easier to read.
  • You don’t have to worry about finding space for physical books – even an entry-level eReader can store around 2,000 eBooks. Could you imagine finding space for 2,000 paper books in your home?
  • eBooks are easy to take with you, especially if you have a lightweight tablet or eReader.

Audiobooks are Great for Multitaskers

Audiobooks are a great option for seniors who like to multitask, or seniors who struggle with reading the text on a paper book or eBook. Audiobooks aren’t anything new – you may remember books on tape or books on CDs (which are still available in some libraries). Today, audiobooks are available on most smart devices including smartphones and tablets, making it easier than ever to bring your audiobook with you wherever you go.

Whether you’re pulling weeds in the garden or working in the garage, audiobooks can help make your task more enjoyable. Just pop in your favorite headphones, or turn up the volume on your device, and enjoy listening to your book while you get other work done. But audiobooks just aren’t for multitaskers – you can also enjoy listening to your book from your favorite chair on a calm afternoon.

Like eBooks, audiobooks are available at many local libraries and can also be purchased online. If you’re an audiobook enthusiast, there are subscription services available that cost a monthly fee but allow you to download a certain amount of audiobooks each month.

Music Streaming Services Give You Access to a Variety of Music

Even with all the advancements in technology, many people still listen to broadcast AM/FM radio. However, over the years, music streaming services have soared in popularity. Online music streaming can be broken down into two categories: online radio and interactive streaming.

Online radio (or Internet Radio) acts similarly to AM/FM radio: you choose a station, and songs play on that station. Online radios generally have a vast selection of stations to choose from, often including local stations that you would find on your regular radio. Some online radio services also offer additional features, such as the ability to skip songs or listen to podcasts. Some of the most popular internet radio services include iHeart Radio and SiriusXM Internet Radio.

Interactive music streaming services allow users to pick which songs or albums that they want to listen to. These services typically allow a user to create playlists of their favorite songs or listen to playlists that other people have created. Music streaming services also utilize algorithms to make suggestions for new music based off the music you listen to. Some of the biggest names in interactive music streaming include Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited.

One of the biggest reasons people gravitate toward music streaming services is because they want to be able to listen to a variety of music without purchasing a bunch of albums. For seniors who enjoy music but don’t like what’s played on the radio today, music streaming services can help provide access to music that better suits their taste.

An additional benefit of music streaming services, especially for seniors who are looking for additional forms of entertainment, is that many streaming services include access to podcasts or audiobooks.

Podcasts Can Be Entertaining and Educational

Many music streaming services also include access to various podcasts. Podcasts are digital audio or video files made available on the internet for downloading, typically available as a series. With music and video streaming services making it easier for people to access podcasts, there has been a steady increase in the number of people who listen to podcasts on a regular basis. According to a 2022 survey published by Statista, about 22% of adults age 55 and over listen to podcasts on a monthly basis.

If you’re not very familiar with podcasts, you may be surprised with how many genres of podcasts there are. Podcast genres include comedy, music, technology, health and fitness, business, news, politics, education, documentaries, and more.

If you’re looking for a podcast for entertainment, you might consider a comedy podcast, a sports podcast, or even a game show podcast. There are even fictional podcasts that tell a story (much like an audiobook) but in an episodic manner.

If you’re looking for a podcast for educational purposes, you might consider a documentary podcast, a history podcast, or a science podcast. You may be surprised with how much you can learn from podcasts; there’s even podcasts for learning more about Medicare!

When you browse podcasts in whichever music streaming service you use, you can typically browse by genre. If you’re unsure what genre you’d like to listen to, your app will typically show the most popular podcasts, or podcasts that are currently “trending”. This can be a great place to start. Give a few a listen and see which ones catch your attention.

One of the best things about podcasts is that they’re episodic. This means you can create a routine, which becomes important after you retire. For example, Saturday mornings can be spent mowing the lawn and listening to the newest episode of your favorite podcast.

Video Streaming Services Give You Access to Movies and TV Shows

Video streaming services allow you to control exactly which movies ands television shows you want to watch. This can be a great option for seniors who only have basic cable or have decided to get rid of cable to cut down on monthly bills. Video streaming services are available as apps for your smartphone, tablet, or smart TV and can also be used on streaming devices such as the Roku Streaming Stick or Amazon Fire Stick.

There are many video streaming services available, which can make it difficult to decide which one to choose.

Considerations to make when choosing video streaming services:

  • Do you primarily want to watch movies or television series? Some streaming services are better known for their movie selection, while others have a larger television show selection. For example, Hulu is well known for the numerous amounts of TV shows it has, while Amazon Prime Video and Netflix are known for their library of movies.
  • Explore the streaming service’s catalog ahead of time to see if it has movies or shows you’re interested in. Many services share a list of their movies/shows online so you can see which service would be best for you.
  • Monthly costs. Most video streaming services have a monthly subscription cost, especially the most popular ones. Some of the smaller video streaming services may have a “free” version (which typically includes ads) as well as a paid version. Keep these costs in mind. Even though a single streaming service may not be very expensive, they can add up if you have more than one.
  • Who else will be watching? If you’re not going to be the only one using the video streaming service, you might want to also consider what your spouse or family members may also want to watch. For example, if you have grandkids that visit often, you may consider a streaming service that includes movies and TV shows for children.

Video Games Aren’t Just for Kids – They’re Fun for Seniors Too

Many people think of video games as a hobby for children or young adults, but playing video games can be fun for older adults as well. Video games are not only a source of entertainment but can also help keep your brain engaged. A study published by the National Institute on Aging showed that older adults who are exposed to rich three-dimensional environments and novel experiences, which can be found in video games, can have a positive impact on cognition.

Video games can also help seniors build social connections with other players and individuals in gaming communities. In fact, there are several well-known seniors who play video games and share their gameplay videos online. Some seniors even earn money by playing video games live on a popular video game streaming website called Twitch.

You can download games on your phone, play video games on your computer, or purchase a video game console such as a PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch. If you’ve never played a video game before, consider what you might enjoy playing. Do you like solving puzzles? Do you want a game that’s fast-paced and full of action? There are even video games where you do chores like power-washing or mowing the lawn.

Many old video games have been re-released on newer devices/consoles. If there was a game you enjoyed years ago, chances are, that game is still available.

If you’re at a total loss of where to start, consider looking up senior game players on YouTube or Google to see which video games other seniors are playing. Ask your friends and family members if they like video games and if they have any recommendations for games that are easy to get started with.

Other Sources of Online Entertainment for Seniors

Above we covered some of the most popular and largest entertainment services available online. However, there are some additional sources of online entertainment that seniors may enjoy:

  • Visit your city’s museum’s website to see if they have any online exhibitions to view. The Smithsonian has many online exhibitions you can view for free that are both educational and entertaining.
  • Social media can provide ample entertainment, especially social media platforms that focus on images and videos like Instagram and Youtube.
  • Daily crossword puzzles by big publishers can be accessed via your internet browser. Simply search for “daily crossword puzzle”.

For seniors, technology can help you manage your health, can help keep you entertained, and can even improve your safety at home. On the next page of our technology guide for seniors, we’ll be looking at Technology and Home Safety Devices.


Older people are embracing video games. For some, that means stardom, NBC News. Accessed April 2024


Thomas Liquori

Thomas Liquori