Helpful Senior Living Apps
Nowadays there are many apps that can help us as we age, mainly because seniors are increasingly using mobile technology. A Pew Research Center report estimates that 42% of people over 65 own smartphones and 67% use the internet. Seniors often use different apps than younger generations due to their particular needs, and many apps even focus on them specifically. This article will explain several apps that can help seniors with everyday tasks or simply enjoy themselves.
Many apps provide seniors with helpful information that can save them money, time, and effort. These include:
- AARP: This free mobile version of the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) website provides members with calendars of local events, information on local senior discounts, and news relevant to all things senior living.
- Senior Savings: This paid app will help you find discounts, sales, and other good deals in stores, restaurants, theaters, and hotels in your current area.
- Yahoo! Weather: This free app has a much more simple, intuitive, and usable design than many other weather apps and provides radar maps and forecasts for the next five days.
- Epicurious: This free app provides thousands of recipes that can keep you invested in cooking good meals.
Several other apps provide assistance with tasks that seniors may find difficult, including:
- EyeReader: This paid app magnifies and lights up newspapers, restaurant menus, magazines, and other items of small text that visually impaired seniors may have difficulty reading.
- Be My Eyes: This free app connects visually impaired users to sighted volunteers over video calls for any everyday task that requires vision. Such tasks include reading small print, distinguishing colors, and traversing unfamiliar places.
- Silver Surf: This free app enlarges buttons and text on iPad and iPhone screens, making them easier for visually impaired people to use.
- Find My iPhone: This free app will alert you to your iPhone’s location when you activate the app through a separate iOS device.
- Life360: This free app will allow you to track loved ones’ locations over GPS if they have opted into your circle (and will help them monitor your own location), letting you know if they arrive at places safely.
- Uber or Lyft: These apps are free to download and connect you to paid ridesharing services, letting you get rides from anywhere at lower prices than taxis. Ridesharing is particularly a benefit for seniors who can no longer drive and/or have mobility issues that rule out other forms of transportation.
Still, other apps allow seniors to stay connected with loved ones, such as:
- Skype or Facetime: These free apps allow seniors to video chat with loved ones, allowing the face-to-face intimacy that phone calls lack. Similarly, various social media apps can keep seniors up-to-date on their family and friends’ activities.
- Tapestry: This free app provides an alternative to Facebook, allowing seniors to share text, images, and videos with their loved ones. It is a social media app specifically designed with seniors in mind, using a simple display that lacks spam and ads.
Several apps can assist seniors with their medication needs, including:
- Good RX: This free app compares prices on prescription drugs from over 60,000 pharmacies, helping you afford medications that may otherwise be overpriced.
- Pillboxie: This free app will remind you to take your medications at the correct times, which can be helpful if you otherwise forget or have to take different pills on different days.
- iPharmacy Pill ID & Drug Info: This free app sends out reminders, identifies pills by shape and color, and provides information on side effects.
Other apps will allow you, loved ones, and doctors to monitor your health, including:
- Red Panic Button: This free app sends messages about your condition and address to a designated list of people when you need help, like a mobile version of panic button necklaces.
- Blood Pressure Companion: This paid app measures your heart rate, blood pressure, weight, and other health statuses, generating charts your doctor can consult to assess your risk of heart disease.
- Moves Activity Diary: This free app tracks your walking, biking, jogging, and other movements constantly (until deactivated).
- The Fabulous Motivate Me! App: This paid app allows you to maintain healthy habits in your nutrition, fitness, and mental health using a highly ranked plan.
Several apps allow you to access engaging media, including:
- iBooks and Kindle: These free apps with paid downloads provide access to thousands of books, allowing you to read them on your mobile device rather than carry around physical copies. The apps provide the option to download only a few pages in case you wish to make a decision before paying.
- Librivox Audio Books: This free app with paid downloads offers access to thousands of audiobooks, which can be especially useful for seniors with vision problems that make reading difficult.
- Old Time Radio 24: This free app broadcasts music and TV shows from the 1920s to the 1950s. It is run by volunteers and enjoyed by both nostalgic seniors and younger generations interested in learning about the era’s art.
- NPR One: This free app tunes into NPR (National Public Radio), offering access to national and international news and entertainment shows. It has a search option and allows you to set notifications for your favorite shows’ airtime.
- Castro or Podcast Addict: These paid apps download and play episodes of your favorite podcasts upon their release.
- Netflix or Hulu: These subscription-based apps allow you to stream select movies and TV shows.
- Pandora or Spotify: These free apps with ad-free premium options allow you to form playlists based on favorite artists, genres, and songs. They can help you discover new music and play old favorites.
Other apps provide enjoyable puzzles and games that will keep your thinking sharp, such as:
- WordBrain: This free app offers word puzzles that start out easy and gradually get harder as you go. Word puzzles can help delay dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Lumosity: This free app offers thousands of puzzles and games.
- Words With Friends: This free app provides a Scrabble-like game that users can play with friends from anywhere in the world.
Many apps are essentially digital versions of well-known games, devices, and information. For seniors used to mobile devices, apps can keep everyday tasks and entertainment neatly in order.
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