Today’s seniors are more active than ever. And there are plenty of apps to help maintain social interaction, track health and wellness, and sharpen the mind all while on the go.
Below are a few apps seniors will love to help them do just that.
Seniors using the web version of Facebook on their desktop computers already know how helpful it can be for keeping up with busy family and friends. You can send messages, or just log on to see what everyone has been up to. It’s a great way to get updates and photos from older grandchildren that have gone off to college or to see a video of your first great grandchild taking his first steps.
For seniors leading busy lives of their own, downloading the Facebook app for your iPad or smartphone may be an even better option. You can stay current on what everyone has been up to while you’re on the go, upload a photo, or post a status about your own activities.
The Words With Friends (WWF) app allows you to play a quick word game online with loved ones (or make new WWF friends) anywhere in the world. The game itself is similar to Scrabble. Each player uses his or her own mobile device to take a turn building a word on the board. There’s even a feature to send messages to keep the game social!
“As we age, each of us becomes concerned that our memory will start to cause problems in our everyday lives,” says Dr. Ernest Brown, house call physician of Doctors to You.
Dr. Jerry Bauer of the Neurosciences Institute at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital asserts that in order to “maintain active and strong nerve connections in the brain and improve how they communicate with each other,” we must remain active.
Exercising this complex network of neurons in your brain can increase memory function and could potentially keep dementia at bay.
The Elevate app uses math, memory, and word games to improve various skills such as reading comprehension, listening, writing and speaking.
Lumosity is an older, but still popular alternative to Elevate that also uses games. According to Lumosity’s Director of Communications, “Lumosity is based on the science of neuroplasticity, the idea that the brain can change and reorganize itself given the right kinds of challenges.” With both free and paid versions for Lumosity iOS and Android, seniors can use this app to focus on improving skills, such as memory, attention, speed, flexibility and problem solving.
Following a healthy diet is another way to help keep your brain in top shape. Foods that are high in antioxidants are particularly helpful in reducing cell damage. The ShopWell app will help you match foods to all of your health needs. Once you set up a profile, this app will help you make nutritious shopping lists that you can take to the store. It will also show you healthy alternative to some of your favorite foods.
Fooducate, an alternative to ShopWell, is also free on iOS and Android. According to their website, the app is designed to help you “change your diet, eat real food, track your progress, and get motivated by the most supportive community in the world.”
Whether you’re taking a stroll through the mall, at the park or on your favorite trail, this app can map your progress while allowing you to track your personal goals. And it gives you the proof when your friends and family don’t believe you!
6. Pill Monitor (free for iOS)
Staying active is great for your health. But skipping important medications can lead to health problems that keep you from enjoying your favorite activities. The Pill Monitor app can help make sure you don’t forget about any medication. This app allows you to schedule reminders by day, date, and time. You can even send your doctor a log of medications taken.
For an Android alternative, consider Medisafe Meds & Pill Monitor.
In addition to taking your medications, it’s also important to stay up to date on any changes or notifications from the manufacturer, such as a product recall or potential adverse reaction notification. With the MedWatcher app, you to create a list all of your medications and receive real-time news and information. The app can also be used to report an adverse reaction you’ve experienced directly to the FDA.
When you’re out and about enjoying fun activities, you may miss your favorite news program or not have time to read the newspaper. The NPR app gives you instant access to all of the great content on NPR’s website. Whether you want to catch up on reading the News section or see what’s happening in the Arts & Life and Music sections, this app makes it easy.
And NPR isn’t alone. USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and many other news outlet have native apps for you to download to your device. Or if you prefer to get aggregated news from a single source, consider Paper by Facebook, Yahoo News, or Flipboard.
This is just a small sample of the numerous apps that are available for your use. Go ahead and give them a try. You can always uninstall!
Kimberly Barnes, a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, is a web marketing consultant and kitchen chef. Her passion (aside from cooking) is helping organizations connect holistically to their constituents by way of social media engagement, content marketing and CRM. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or her website.