Birdsong offers free entertainment, video chat to seniors during COVID-19

ByTamala Edwards and Wendy Daughenbaugh WPVI logo
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Birdsong offering free video chat tablets to older adults
A local non-profit has created a device geared toward seniors to keep them connected and entertained during the COVID-19 crisis.

During the COVID-19 crisis, more and more people are relying on technology to stay connected.

But for some older folks, navigating that new tech can be a challenge. A non-profit has created a device geared toward older adults, making it easy for them to stay connected and entertained.

No smartphone, no problem.

The Birdsong Tablet is an easy-to-use device designed specifically for seniors.

"All you have to do is enter your WiFi password," says Birdsong CEO J. Benjamin Unkle, Jr, "and it opens up on the start page."

From the start page, seniors can choose from 8,000 entertainment and engagement experiences.

"We really have worked hard to curate a lot of experiences that appeal to everybody's niche," he says.

The tablet's software developers used data from a research study.

"When you're lonely and isolated, you get depressed," Unkle says and adds that the study showed that the cognitive skills increased slightly for those who had a computer available. "We found reductions in the geriatric depression scale."

There are five categories built right into the device to help ward off boredom. You can watch videos, listen to music, play games and puzzles and even explore the world through virtual travel and lectures.

"Things to pass the time and engage your brain with fresh ideas," Unkle says. "Older adults really want 'edu-tainment.'"

If you want to connect face-to-face. Birdsong has a program called Communicate, " That has simple senior-friendly video chat."

With so many seniors isolated by the coronavirus, Birdsong has created a free website so anyone can access the content. Unkle says you can use your current computer or go to the website to set up a free account.

There's also a free version of Birdsong's video chat feature for those who don't have a smartphone.

"Having fun is important too," Unkle says, "If you can find a technology device that's designed correctly to connect people and entertain them, that's the best thing we can do to help people."

You can find more on the tablets and apps at