There was a time when simply using a computer required a degree of expertise that would have marked you as an expert by today’s standards.
When the web came along, things weren’t much different—with dial-up modems and BBS’s, it was a very different world.
That’s no longer the case. Computers and related devices have continued to move evermore in the direction of user-friendliness, with innovators like Steve Jobs explicitly stating the goal of making Apple devices household appliance-like in their simplicity.
And with this simplicity comes a broader, more diverse audience of users. In particular, older users that would previously have found modern technology a little overwhelming are beginning to use the web in droves.
If you are one of those people, or you know someone who is and would like to make some recommendations for YouTube channels, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are our top ten YouTube channels for older adults.
1. Tricia Cusden – Look Fabulous For Older Women
Makeup tutorials are undeniably big business on YouTube, and why not? Being comfortable in yourself is an admirable goal, but we can’t deny that most of us want to look our best, whatever that may entail.
Tricia uses YouTube to help people her age (70, if you’re wondering) look and feel the way they want to with makeup videos designed for older people. She combines this with her makeup business, which specialises in products for older women. In fact, her channel started as simple product videos at her manufacturer’s suggestion, and she herself was surprised to find the videos becoming very popular.
At a time when people are living longer than at any other stage in human history, it makes sense that the older generations might be reluctant to simply kill time in an older people’s home. Tricia proves it is possible to look great at any age and is happy to share her methods with you.
2. Tim Rowett – Grand Illusions
If you are interested in unusual toys and optical illusions (honestly, who isn’t?), then Tim Rowett’s channel is for you. Named one of the best YouTubers over 50 in 2015, Rowett collects random and strange toys that equal parts curious and mesmerising to watch.
Some of his more popular videos include apple balloons—literally balloons that look like apples—and Euler’s disc—a disc that takes a ridiculously long time to stop spinning. He has also reviewed yodelling gherkins, unusual origami, “yo balls”, and much more.
Tim’s videos are often very short, barely rarely breaking five minutes long, and often being under three minutes, making them very easily digestible. The only downside to this is you will be able to get through his entire catalogue of videos in a much shorter time. At the time of writing, Tim’s channel has nearly 1.5m subscribers, so if the description doesn’t sway you, perhaps the insane popularity of his content will at least give you a reason to try it out.
Tim has a very charming British accent that would have been entirely at home on a BBC program in days gone by, with a fabulous screen presence and a quirky sense of humour all combining to make for a very entertaining watch.
3. ElderGym Fitness for Seniors
Though the body of an average senior citizen may not be up to the rigours of regular 10k runs and high-intensity weight lifting, it’s no reason to stop exercising altogether.
ElderGym, as you have no doubt guessed already, is a channel dedicated to fitness for older people. These exercises are tailored to get the most out of your workout without overstressing your body. Expect videos on things like back strengthening, cardio fitness for seniors, and much more.
Most of the videos are presented by Certified Geriatric Specialist and Senior Fitness Coach, Dough Schrift; however, there are occasionally videos presented by others on the channel. Doug’s stated goal is to help seniors become strong and stable, regardless of whether they have exercised in the past.
While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend signing up for any marathons, it’s important to keep your body in as good a shape as you can, and ElderGym is a great way to do just that.
4. Kevin and Lill
For some good old senior comedy, you’ll struggle to find a better channel than Kevin and Lill. Technically it is Kevin’s channel; however, Lill is the star of the show. Her hilarious personality has even seen her appearing on mainstream television shows hosted by the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, and Steve Harvey.
Lill says her YouTube exploits keep her young, according to one interview with Mashable, and she enjoys the fact that none of her friends seems to care about her Internet fame.
Lill started finding YouTube popularity in videos where Kevin would take her driving and just chat with her, but now you can expect to see plenty of hilarity such as Lill answering Google’s most searched questions, attempting ASMR for the first time, and learning about Internet trends.
This channel is great for older people because they can often relate to Lill’s reactions to the quirks of Internet culture. The fact that her reactions are extremely funny is just the icing on the cake.
5. The Angry Grandpa
This is a channel I’m sure a lot of older people can relate to, even if they manage to hide their frustrations a little better than Angry Grandpa here. Run by Charles Green Jr., the channel consists of regular videos depicting a grandpa who is—you guessed it—angry. Angry at what, you might ask. Everything.
Be fair warned; however, there is plenty of foul language and bad attitude, but it is all in good fun.
At the time of writing, Angry Grandpa has over 4.5m subscribers and a fanbase that extends far beyond his own age bracket. Expect to see a lot of videos with titles that start “Angry Grandpa Hates…”, and many a humorous reaction to things like VR, and… well, Doug.
6. National Geographic
You’re never too old to be interested in things, and who among us hasn’t been transfixed by something on National Geographic at least one time in our lives. For videos on science, exploration, and adventure, there are few channels that can match National Geographic.
The Nat Geo channel uploads new videos every day, with each day having a different theme. These themes include History and Culture, Nature, Environment, Exploration, Science, Fun Facts, and Travel and Adventure. Whatever your interests, there will invariably be something here to keep you entertained.
Not to mention, as Nat Geo is a network channel with a TV budget, the production quality on these videos is notably higher than your average YouTube video.
7. Postmodern Jukebox
Whether or not we’d like to admit it, we generally tend to prefer the things we’re used to over the new and different. This is particularly true when presented with a new version of something you first became acquainted with when you were younger.
That’s why any reboot of a TV show will often find itself met with a rash of “it’s not as good as the original” comments, regardless of whether or not it is, in fact, as good as the original.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with preferring the music you grew up with, but for the older generations among us, it does somewhat limit your choices when it comes to finding new music to listen to.
Enter Postmodern Jukebox. This is a music channel that creates covers of modern hits in a range of vintage styles. Expect to see such unexpected genre pairings as Paramore’s pop-punk hit Misery Business in the stylings of 1940s jazz or Kings of Leon’s Sex on Fire in the stylings of 1960s soul.
The music is accompanied by videos of the performance in which the musicians are appropriately dressed for the period and genre they are performing. And, if you head into their playlist section, you can find a range of useful groupings that sort the songs by genre, decade, and artists, making it easy to find what you want.
8. Cyber-Seniors Corner
It could be argued that, while much of the channel is by seniors, it is not necessarily for seniors. Ultimately we decided to include it because the content is excellent for any age, and it may even inspire some seniors to pick up a camera and make content of their own.
But also because the driving force behind the channel is the desire to educate seniors in all things Internet.
In a nutshell, Cyber-Seniors Corner is a channel where seniors share their wisdom through the medium of YouTube. Initially beginning with one Cyber-Senior’s video on how to make a grilled-cheese sandwich with nothing more than an iron, the channel has grown to include advice, tips, and lifehacks from many different seniors.
And, if you do get the urge to share some wisdom of your own, the channel accepts submissions.
9. Pasta Grannies
Now, we’re not saying everyone is interested in making pasta. However, if you are interested in making pasta, what better way to indulge that interest than by watching Italian grandmas making homemade pasta? And, hey, if you’re not interested in making pasta, it’s still very entertaining content.
Founded by Vicky Bennison, Pasta Grannies has amassed over half a million subscribers who turn in regularly to see different grannies sharing their techniques for cooking pasta. Bennison travels all around Italy in her search for talented pasta grannies, so you get a healthy dose of Italian culture along with your pasta-making fix.
While Vicky herself is still spritely in her 60s, some of the grannies she visits are nearing their century, so there is plenty of wisdom to be had on this channel.
And pasta. Lots of pasta.
10. 2nd Act TV
With the motto “it’s never too late to be the person you always wanted to be!”, the purpose of this channel is right there on the door. Directly specifically at people aged fifty and up, 2nd Act TV produces videos on helping older people to take charge of their physical, emotional, and sexual health.
The message is clear; life doesn’t stop when you hit the downward slope, and there’s no reason to stop enjoying life to the fullest just because you’ve crossed the midpoint.
Hosted by Paige Valdiserri and Silke Schwarzkopf, their videos have a range of guests on with various areas of expertise and talk about things like emotional health and happiness, relationships, dealing with the anger of growing up, and a whole host of other useful conversations for people on the far side of fifty.
This is by no means a definitive list. As much as YouTube content for older people is a small niche, there is still a great deal of it available. These posts need to stop somewhere, however, so we limited our picks to a top ten, but here are some channels that just missed the cut;
- ManicGrassHopper – Music from the 1960s to 1980s
- Philip’s Lifeline Centre – Tips and information for seniors about personal medical devices
- Bosse Nakane – Soothing music by a talented singer/guitarist
- BBC News – Because older people like to know what’s going on as well!
YouTube is a vast repository of entertainment, education, and help for a wide range of people, and people in the later stages of life are not exempt from this. If you are one such person, you should be making use of this vital resource.
If, on the other hand, you are young, but you have older people in your life, and they are not using YouTube, gently encourage them to do so, perhaps starting with some of the channels on this list. Try to gauge what would be of most interest to the person you are introducing to YouTube, and start with that.
Of course, if they try it and don’t like it, don’t attempt to force it on them. But we can’t imagine they won’t want to take advantage of all the content made especially for them, once they know its there.