Smartphones have become a vital tool for almost everyone, including seniors. According to Pew Research, 91% of seniors have a mobile phone, with more than 53% of them owning smartphones. (Some of those are still flip phones, which don’t offer the smart capabilities.) With the adoption of smart technology becoming so prevalent with seniors, it’s important to make sure they’re using it to the best of its capabilities.
Here are several apps (available in the App Store or on Google Play now) that can be used on smartphones that will help seniors enhance their day-to-day lives:
The central purpose of any phone is communication, and smartphones allow you to communicate in a number of ways. From messaging services to video conference calls, smartphones have elevated how we interact. With these apps, you can even circumvent any restrictions your phone provider may have.
- Skype: Video calls are a great way to keep in touch with loved ones. While your phone may already have video call capabilities, using an app like Skype can be handy for anyone who is on a computer, has a different type of phone or is traveling internationally.
- WhatsApp: This app allows you to message multiple people via a Wi-Fi connection. This is handy for seniors with limited data plans or who don’t want to pay those egregious international fees.
Health and Wellness
From tracking your medical status to reminders on when to take prescriptions, these apps can make your life just a little bit easier and healthier.
- GoodRx: Prescription drugs can be expensive, which is why GoodRx comes in handy. This free app hunts for coupons on your specific prescription to help you lower the price and save a few dollars.
- Red Panic Button: The classic “help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” emergency button has evolved with the times to become the Red Panic Button. This app allows you to notify emergency responders and contacts with the click of a button. Once you hit the button, your name, information and location are sent to people who can help.
- iPharmacy: This helpful organization tool keeps track of all the prescriptions you have. From basic data to recommended usage, iPharmacy provides all the information about your prescription in a clear and easy-to-read format.
- Blood Pressure Companion: Keeping track of your blood pressure is an important way to invest in your health. This app allows you to easily log your blood pressure each day and provides graphical information that’s helpful for you and your doctor.
- Pillboxie: Remembering when to take medication can be tricky. Some Assisted Living and Memory Care communities offer medication reminders and administration. But, this app, which is easy to use, will remind you when to take your pills as well. It also keeps track of how you feel afterward, so it’s perfect for seniors and caretakers.
Smartphones are also designed to make your day-to-day life easier. With the right app, you can make reading easier, call a ride or order food for delivery.
- Lyft or Uber: You’ve probably heard of rideshare services before, but now it’s time to get in on the trend. While many of our communities offer scheduled courtesy transportation, it is scheduled. Seniors can use this app to request a ride to and from a desired destination anytime. Caretakers and family members can even schedule a ride for you.
- Eye Reader: Low-light restaurants and dimly lit spaces make reading menus and information difficult. Eye Reader not only provides a light to help you read but also has a magnifying function to make perusing the menu as easy as possible.
- Senior Discounts+: From restaurants and hotels to movie theaters and services, Senior Discounts+ provides a list of discounts that are available to seniors. The user-friendly app makes it easier for seniors to get the best price.
Apps aren’t just lifestyle and health-tracking tools. In fact, entertainment makes up a large portion of the apps on the market. From games and movies to TV and news, these apps focus more on the fun side of technology.
- AARP: AARP has an app you can use to get instant access to its site and magazine. It allows you to connect to daily news stories, nearby events and members-only benefits.
- WordBrain: WordBrain is a free word puzzle game that provides exercise for your mind. Similar to Boggle, this word jumble game lets you keep your mind flexible while on the go.
- Netflix: Netflix is a service that gives you access to multiple shows and movies. With a subscription, you can watch a variety of content from the comfort of your phone or tablet – or you can even stream it on your TV if you’re technologically savvy.
Apps are a great tool to help you make the most of your smartphone and often work better than simply going to a website. Even with all these apps, there are so many more you can download. Take time to explore your phone and its capabilities. Maybe even gather a group of your neighbors in your senior living community and see which apps they use regularly. These could become your new go-to’s as well.
For seniors seeking more information, Apple provides classes for all of its technology. There are also independent organizations that dedicate themselves to teaching seniors how to better use technology. It’s never too late for you to adopt new technology and let it improve your life.
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