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.
Best Social Apps for Seniors
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.
2. Skype (available for iOS and Android)
If you want to keep in touch with family or friends, Skype makes video and audio calling easy over the internet. Communicate with loved ones and see their faces with your mobile device. Skype can be used to call mobile phones and landlines in addition to making video calls.
Best Health Apps for Seniors
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 alternatives to some of your favorite foods.
2. 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 can create a list of 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.
This comprehensive app makes documenting and monitoring blood pressure easy. After taking their blood pressure, seniors simply enter their readings into the app. A customizable color-coded graph displays trends and denotes whether readings are normal to high. The app can be used by multiple older adults with one app.
5. Pillboxie (available on iOS)
This app was designed and created by a registered nurse to make remembering to take medications easier. Once the app is downloaded, an internet connection isn’t required to activate it. Owners receive administration alerts even if their devices are in sleep mode. When it’s time to take a medication, the device makes a noise. The user then merely checks off the dose in the app. The app is easily customized to accommodate any number of medications and daily dose times.
Best Entertainment Apps for Seniors
The Words With Friends app and Words With Friends 2 allows you to play a quick word game online with loved ones or new players 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.
3. Lumosity (available for iOS and Android)
The Lumosity uses challenging puzzles and brain teasers to keep you sharp. 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.
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 outlets 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.
5. Apple Books and Kindle (available for iOS and Android)
If you’re a voracious reader but find lugging heavy tomes around burdensome, it’s easy to get unlimited books right on your device. For Apple users, Apple Books offers digital texts and audiobooks on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch. If you are an Android user, the Kindle app allows you to browse millions of books from the comfort of your own home.
6. Librivox Audio Books (available for iOS)
Librivox is a library full of audiobooks. If reading traditional books has become challenging for you, but you still want to be swept away in storytelling, this app offers over 50,000 audiobooks to choose from.
7. Old Time Radio 24 (available for iOS)
Do you miss the old tunes and radio shows of yesteryear? This app offers 35 stations of music and radio plays from the 1920s all the way through the 1970s. No matter what era you’re looking for, this app likely has the sounds of your younger years. The app can run in the background of your device so you can still use it to send messages and surf the web while listening.
Best Budgeting and Personal Finance Apps for Seniors
1. AARP (available for iOS and Android)
The AARP mobile app, available for both Android and iOS, makes keeping up with news and special offers for seniors easy. As an AARP member, you can access your digital card in the app anytime. The app also makes joining and renewing simple. Other features include daily news stories, nearby event listings, and members-only benefits and discounts.
2. Sciddy App — Senior Savings (available for iOS and Android)
The Sciddy app uses your location to help you find local businesses that offer deals for those over 50. Discounts consist of food, entertainment, home services, travel, health, and a number of others in hundreds of cities across the country. The app is available via iOS or Android and has an easy to use interface.
3. Mint (available for iOS and Android)
The Mint app can help seniors keep an eye on their budgets and finances. Users simply link their accounts and get a big picture overview of account balances, upcoming bills, and spending habits. This is ideal for seniors who are monitoring their spending or trying to stick to a budget.
Best Fitness Apps for Seniors
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!
If you’re watching what you eat because of a desire to lose weight or even just to better monitor your nutrition, My Fitness Pal can help. This app gives you nutrition labels for all your food so you can track calories and nutrients like fat, protein, and carbohydrates. With a food database of more than 5 million items and a barcode scanner, you can make the best choices at home, in the supermarket and in restaurants. There’s even a recipe importer so you can track your favorite meals.
3. Pocket Yoga (available on iOS and Android)
Yoga is a great exercise choice for seniors who want to improve muscle strength, mobility, balance and flexibility. This app provides a database of illustrations and videos that show you how to do more than 200 poses designed by certified yoga instructors. You can begin your personalized yoga practice from the comfort of your own home.
4. Tai Chi for Seniors (available on iOS)
Many seniors enjoy the meditative aspect of tai chi, which is an ancient Chinese practice of thoughtful movement. Studies show tai chi improves flexibility, increases muscle strength and helps with balance and aerobic conditioning. This app offers 64 demonstration videos with step-by step instruction from a tai chi master, and audio guides.
Other Great Apps for Seniors
This app is ideal for seniors who experience difficulty reading small print. The user just positions a mobile device’s camera over the text and moves the screen slider. The text is automatically illuminated and enlarged for easy reading. This is a great option for anyone who struggles to read menus, maps or other fine print in daily life.
While Lyft and Uber made a name for themselves with the younger generation, they also are great for seniors. Whether you’re no longer driving or just need to run a quick errand without your vehicle, these ridesharing apps let you call a car to your home and go to your destination. The apps themselves are free but the rides will charge your card in-app.
3. Find My iPhone (available on iOS)
If you’ve misplaced your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, the Find My iPhone app will let you use any iOS device to find it and protect your data. Find My iPhone can help you locate a device on a map if you left it outside your home, or have your device ding if it’s somewhere nearby. You can also remotely lock the phone, display a message such as “this phone is lost contact me” or erase all your data if you believe it has been stolen.
Stay Connected With Technology
This is just a small sample of the numerous apps that are available for your use. Today’s seniors are more technologically literate than ever and access to mobile apps is one way to keep up-to-date with loved ones and the world around you.
Senior Lifestyle is committed to keeping our residents in touch with technology. Many of our common spaces offer complimentary Wi-Fi or Business Centers. If you need a refresher course to help you thrive online, our communities often provide computer and internet literacy courses that will allow you to feel more confident on the web. To learn more, find a community near you.