Seniors are traditionally considered late adopters when it comes to the newest gadgets and tech developments. But in today’s digital world, they are catching up and catching on. More seniors are going online, using smartphones and tablets, and signing up for social media sites.
When we think of apps, our minds often go to popular games, maybe Facebook or other social networking apps, but there are so many great apps now that can really benefit seniors, along with their families and caregivers. Apps that support their care, provide emergency solutions, and help them to pass the time.
Here are our top ten picks for easy-to-use, low-cost apps for seniors.
Eyes and hands
- VizWiz (free; iPhone, iPad)
This app was designed by a team from the University of Rochester for blind or partially sighted users. It allows users to take a picture with their device, ask a question, and receive quick answers about their surroundings.
- Magnifying Glass with Light (free; iPhone, iPad)
As we age, our eyesight decreases and it becomes more difficult to see and read small print. This app allows users to illuminate and magnify books, magazines, newspapers, etc. by turning your screen into a magnifying glass.
- Dragon Dictation (free; iPhone, iPad)
This voice-recognition app allows users to dictate text and see it instantly. This can be used in writing text messages, emails, notes, reminders, Facebook status updates, etc. Particularly useful for users with mobility issues in their hands.
- Skype (free; Android, iPhone, iPad)
So many families are spread out across the province, the country, and sometimes internationally. This app allows users to stay in touch with their family and actually see each other. A great one for talking to grandchildren!
- Pillboxie ($0.99; iPhone, iPad)
Pillboxie is great for tech-savvy seniors or a family member or caregiver. The app allows users to streamline the process of taking medication by setting up reminders with visual pill boxes. It does not require a data connection and will even send reminders when your phone is asleep.
- MedCoach (free; Android, iPhone, iPad)
Another great one for caregivers. This app has lists of medications, pill reminders, and access to the pharmacy’s website to fill or refill prescriptions.
Just for fun
- Newsy (free; Android, iPhone, iPad)
Get your daily news all in one place. Newsy pulls from a bevy of sources to display short, straightforward videos on the day’s news. The videos feature professional anchors who deliver the news in easy-to-digest, no-fluff clips.
- Words with Friends (free; Android, iPhone, iPad)
This one is not just for teens! Most seniors love playing games and doing puzzles to keep busy and keep their brain sharp. This is a spin-off of the classic game, Scrabble, and allows users to play with friends and family or matches you with a new friend for the game.
- Sudoku (free; Android, iPhone, iPad)
Another great option is Sudoku, the numbers version of the crossword puzzle. Play whenever and wherever – and if you don’t have time to finish, the game will auto-save and allow you to pick up where you left off.
In case of emergency
- Red Panic Button ($2.99; Android, iPhone, iPad)
This is an important tool in case of an emergency. A caregiver or loved one may need to run a quick errand, and this app can provide access to immediate help while you or your loved one are alone. If an emergency occurs, seniors simply click on the app to open and hit the red button in the centre of the screen.
We live in a digital world. Technology can make our lives simpler, and provide us with new ways to connect with others. Show off your tech savvy!
Are you a senior using a smart phone or tablet? Which one is your favorite app? Have your say in the comments below!