Keep Seniors Entertained and Busy at Home: There is an App for That

28 Mar Keep Seniors Entertained and Busy at Home: There is an App for That

I call my 92 year-old father everyday to check in on he and my mom during “lockdown” at their apartment in their continuum care village in California.  As I waited for him to get to the phone, I dreaded the conversation about how miserable they were in their apartment and how they felt like prisoners.  Instead, to my surprise, my dad joyously reported on his day filled with learning through The Great Courses app and how he and my mom had happily watched a live stream of the Met Opera in the afternoon from their living room. 

In addition to signing up for apps like The Great Courses, they were accessing lectures from his alma mater University of Michigan and recorded symphony performances on his local PBS app. And not to mention they were wandering through major art museums virtually on the Google Arts and Culture link.

My dad inspired me to compile a list of apps for our Steps Home Care clients so they may also have the joy of listening and watching cultural activities appealing to their generation. If your parents are not as tech savvy, try to direct them over FaceTime to set up the apps or you can set up the apps for them with ID and password and send them the link to access.


Watch hundreds of your favorite PBS Channel 13 NYC programs directly on your TV and streaming devices by downloading the free PBS app.

Museums, Art Exhibits and Historical and Travel Tours

Museums and Art Exhibits Around the World  

Take a virtual tour of major art museums and cultural exhibits around the world.  The Louvre may be closed, but you can access it here 24/7. 

CNN Style Streaming Art Museums-Concerts

CNN Style looks at some of the most fascinating, immersive concerts, museum tours and other virtual experiences you can explore from the comfort of your own couch.

National Library - Free Access to 1.5 million Books

Open Culture

The coronavirus has closed libraries in countries all around the world. The Internet Archive's opening of the National Emergency Library, "a collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed." While the "national" in the name refers to the United States, where the Internet Archive operates, anyone in the world can read its nearly 1.5 million books, immediately and without waitlists, from now "through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.”

"Not to be sneezed at is the sheer pleasure of browsing through the titles," writes The New Yorker's Jill Lepore of the National Emergency Library, going on to mention such volumes as How to Succeed in Singing, Interesting Facts about How Spiders Live, and An Introduction to Kant’s Philosophy, as well as "Beckett on Proust, or Bloom on Proust, or just On Proust." A historian of America, Lepore finds herself reminded of the Council on Books in Wartime, "a collection of libraries, booksellers, and publishers, founded in 1942." On the premise that "books are useful, necessary, and indispensable," the council "picked over a thousand volumes, from Virginia Woolf’s The Years to Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, and sold the books, around six cents a copy, to the U.S. military." By practically giving away 120 million copies of such books, the project "created a nation of readers."


Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals in London Free Live Streaming


Met Opera

The Met: Live in HD is a series of performance transmissions shown live in high definition in movie theaters around the world.  Today, they reach more than 2,000 venues in 73 countries across six continents. The Live in HD performances are later also shown on public television, and a number of them have been released on DVD. 

Other Met media offerings include Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, a subscription-based audio service broadcasting both live and historical performances, commercial-free and round the clock. The Met also provides free live audio streaming of performances on its website once every week during the opera season.

Classes and Lectures

The Great Courses

Take a historical tour of France, learn about Mindfulness or explore the Normandy beaches of Day. The Great Courses is a series of college-level audio and video courses produced and distributed by The Teaching Company, an American company based in Chantilly, Virginia. As of 2015, it had created over 700 courses and sold over 14 million copies.


Coursera is an American online learning platform founded in 2012 by Stanford professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller that offers massive open online courses, specializations, and degrees. Explore college lectures by erudite professors across the US and learn about topics you always wanted to study. 

Please send us your suggestions for websites and apps that allow access to free cultural programs and entertainment beyond live streaming TV and Movies. 


Big Band.






San Diego Zoo

Smithsonian National Zoo

Houston Zoo

Cincinnati Zoo




Email with your suggestions.