The best apps for seniors

The Best Apps For Seniors

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:

  1. Staying connected
  2. Staying informed
  3. Starting a new business
  4. Taking advantage of online sales
  5. Entertainment

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:

  1. Skype

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.

  1. 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:

  1. American News

For Android users, there is the app American News. This provides you with easy access to read the latest news in America.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Chess.com

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.

Health

  1. WebMD

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.

  1. Medisafe

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.

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Teaching Seniors about Technology

Teaching Seniors About Technology

Lets face it technology can be confusing even for some of us in the younger generation.  Seniors often find themselves having trouble learning the ins and outs of technology, and how to use technology to make their lives easier and more engaged.  If used right technology can be a great outlet for seniors and their families.  Technology can allow seniors to easily communicate with their loved ones,  keep family member and friends up to date with what is going on in their lives, and even have daily conversations with their grandchildren! Here are a few essentials to keep in mind when introducing your senior loved one to technology:

Be patient with your senior loved one

As I mentioned above using new technology can be challenging for seniors.  They are not always use to how fast the world is changing around them.  The way we communicate is changing with social media platforms, text, and instant messaging platforms.  Give your senior loved one the encouragement that they need to continue to learn how to use to technology they are trying to adapt to.

If your senior loved one is having challenges learning how to use social media their are plenty of great free resources available online to make the process easier.  Take a look at the following resource available from Senior Care Corner.

Take your time introducing new tech to seniors

It is much easier to learn how to use technology one piece at a time.  Take the time to brainstorm what technology platforms will make the biggest difference to the seniors life. What are they trying to accomplish? What specific tasks are they attempting to make easier.  Is the task communication? or is it making new friends? or getting involved in a group online? or learning something new? there are plenty of opportunities for your senior loved one to do all of the following and more online.  That being said it is key to sit down with them and address what they hope to accomplish with the help of technology.

Enroll a Senior in a Class on Technology

The other day I went to the library and they were offering free computer courses for seniors.  I am sure that my local library is not the only one in the world offering this type of course for seniors and other adults.  Take advantage of these opportunities to teach a senior the fundamentals of how to use technology.  Be a leader and go with them to these courses.  It is much easier and more fun to learn when you share the engagement and new leanings with your loved one.

Where should you and your senior loved one start

I am consistently asked what are the best social media platforms for seniors to start on, and what are the best mobile devices for seniors.  Their is no straightforward answer for this question as it depends on again what the seniors goals are with the platform or tool.  That being said in my opinion the easiest social media platform for a senior to learn and use on a daily basis is facebook.com.  As far as mobile devices Samsung has a pretty cool feature on their galaxy line to make the phone more basic.  Start with the basics on the Samsung device and let the senior work their way to using the device with all of the features.