From social media apps, to staying informed and games: we look at some of the best apps for seniors
The internet does not belong to the younger generations. Despite the many negative stereotypes around seniors and social media, the internet has been as great for seniors as it has for everyone else.
In a previous blog, Seniors and Social Media, we looked at 5 of the benefits of social media for seniors:
- Staying connected
- Staying informed
- Starting a new business
- Taking advantage of online sales
What we didn’t address in that blog was how to do these things. And while the largest growing demographic on Facebook is over 55s (there was an 80% increase in America between and 2014), many other tools exist to help seniors communicate with friends and family across the globe.
Apps to stay connected
Staying connected is the primary reason seniors use the internet (75% of seniors in fact use it to not feel isolated), with email and Facebook being the standard options. Email has proved useful for seniors who no longer feel comfortable going down to the post office and mailing a letter—also, with email you don’t have to worry about the price of stamps: or whether the mailman will deliver the letter on time.
Apps to stay connected:
Skype transformed the way the world used video conferencing. With a wide range of options, and an option to type, or talk without image—sometimes good for slow internet connections—Skype has helped people stay connected.
Seniors with a desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone can, after installing this app, talk with their children and grand-children wherever they are. Skype is usually a more cost-effective option than long-distancing calling.
- Facebook messenger
We’ve already mentioned Facebook, but one of Facebook’s apps Messenger provides more than just a text message service. In a similar—but more basic—way to Skype, you can do video and voice calling to anywhere in the world.
These are just two apps to stay connected. There are plenty of text-only and video calling apps available depending on whether you use an Android, Apple or Google phone. For example, Apple has FaceTime, which in an excellent service if you have an Apple device.
Apps for staying informed
Most news services have their own apps, however, many of these put their articles behind a paywall—often charging a few dollars per article or offering a monthly subscription fee. Often finding the best news app depends on which news channel you prefer to watch, or which newspaper you prefer. Here are two apps which aggregate news for you:
- American News
For Android users, there is the app American News. This provides you with easy access to read the latest news in America.
- News Addict
This is an app which provides access to 41of the best mobile news sites. Which also integrates with a full-screen browser for those whose eyes can’t read a phone screen.
Taking advantage of online sales
Everyone likes a sale. And now that most businesses offer to deliver to your door, staying informed about when your favorite store is having a sale is incredibly handy.
Apps like Flipp and Ibotta, while not as functional as Facebook, offer users a way to find coupons, save them and use them either straightway or later. These apps, both available for Apple and Android have their pros and cons.
The pros of these apps are their ability to collect coupons, and special offers in one convenient place. However, navigating these apps can be at times clunky. At the end of the day though, these apps, and similar apps can provide you with good shopping deals.
Apps for entertainment
This section is an extension of apps to stay connected. Game apps allow you to connect with friends wherever they are and play games like chess, scrabble, checkers and card games.
- Words with Friends
This has quickly become one of the most popular free word game apps. Similar in many ways to Scrabble, Words with Friends allows players to connect and play with friends or play solo.
You can improve—or refresh—your vocabulary; track your performance and improvement with in-game statistics; chat with friends in-game as well as access the game on your computer, laptop, tablet and phone.
There are thousands of chess apps. Most are terrible, and clunky and detract from the experience of playing chess. Chess.com is simply to use, easy to read, easy to see, and best of all; it’s easy to navigate.
Benefits of entertainment apps
Entertainment apps keep the brain active, keep the user entertained and allow them to talk with friends. Entertainment apps are great for seniors who are looking for ways to keep their brains occupied, and with apps like Words with Friends and Chess.com, they provide the challenge and stimulation that is so beneficial.
Apps for reading
For the avid reader who doesn’t want to pick up a weighty book, but is fine with the modern, sleek e-reader: apps like Kindle and iBooks are a great way to store hundreds of books on an e-reader. A good e-reader will allow you to enlarge the text, highlight words (some have in-built dictionaries) and leave notes for later.
WebMD is a good source of information, but it’s also a terrible place for those with a tendency to self-diagnose. With that said, WebMD is still one of the most trusted places for medical information online.
Forgetting to take medication is not just something seniors do, but there is app to help seniors keep track of their medication—and when to take it—as well as help them to comply with a treatment plan. With this app, you can set reminders and create status reports to help track their treatment plans and provide accurate reporting for their doctors.
The best apps for seniors
The best apps for seniors are the ones that help them with their day-to-day activities as well as the ones that help them stay connected and active. Our list is the tip of the iceberg for effect apps to help seniors in their day-to-day living.
Thank you for reading.