Today, about half of adults over age 65 own a smartphone, and that number continues to rise each year. There are many applications available that can help make daily life easier and more interesting for older adults. Even apps designed with a younger generation in mind, can have particular benefits for seniors living on their own.
Here is our list of the best smartphone apps for seniors aging in place:
- Skype and FaceTime. Research shows that social interaction is essential for living a long, healthy life. However, for seniors who live alone, regular opportunities for social engagement tend to diminish. Apps such as Skype and FaceTime allow seniors to stay connected with family and friends through face-to-face video chat. With many families spread out across the country, or even the globe, these communication apps help enable seniors see loved ones on a regular basis for free.
- Lyft and Uber. These ride-sharing services can help seniors who no longer drive get around town easily on their own. Once an account is set up, there is no need to call for a ride or worry about having cash in hand to pay for it. With the simple push of a button a car will be at your door in minutes to take you to doctor appointments, the grocery store, a friend’s house, or anywhere else you need to go.
- AmazonFresh and Instacart. These services will deliver groceries right to your door, usually within a few hours. Simple to use, just open the app and select the specific items you need. Both shelf stable and fresh food items are available, and AmazonFresh also delivers prepared meals and toiletries. Many local grocery chains offer similar delivery services, if you prefer shopping at a specific store. For seniors who don’t drive or aren’t able to carry heavy bags, grocery delivery services can help them remain living independently.
- Mint. This easy-to-use personal finance app can help seniors stay on top of their bills and money management. After the initial set up, Mint automatically keeps track of your income, expenses, budgets, bills, and more. The app will even send an alert when bills are due, and give you weekly reports of where your money went along with savings tips.
- Medisafe Pill Reminder. This app helps remind seniors when to take specific medications, or when a prescription needs to be refilled. It can also track blood glucose levels, blood pressure, weight, pulse, and temperature. This data can then be easily shared with your doctor to track better outcomes, faster. Highly regarded by health professionals, the app is great for independent seniors in charge of their own medication schedule who may need a reminder for dosages and the correct medication to take.
- Red Panic Button. This is a wonderful safety app for seniors aging in place. It enables them to report an emergency or a need for assistance, by simply opening the app and tapping the red button in the middle of screen. The app then immediately sends a text message and email with your GPS location in a Google Maps link to all your emergency contacts.
- Luminosity. One of the best ways to keep your mind sharp as you age is to play challenging brainteaser games. Apps such as Luminosity, feature a large selection of scientifically developed games that are designed to stimulate parts of the brain that deal with memory recall, problem solving, and information retention. Brainteaser games like these have been shown to fight dementia other memory-related conditions.
- Magnifying Glass With Light. As we age, our eyesight often decreases and reading small print can become difficult. Using the Magnifying Glass with Light app allows seniors to illuminate and magnify books, magazines, newspapers, restaurant menus and more.
- Kindle, iBooks and Audible. For seniors who enjoy reading, Kindle and iBooks allows them to read books, magazines and newspapers anywhere, right from their mobile device. For seniors who struggle with weakening vision, the Audible app enables them to still enjoy books they wish to read. The app provides access to tens of thousands of audiobooks that you can listen to via your mobile device.
- Yesterday USA. This Internet radio app broadcasts retro music and popular radio programs from the 1920s-1950’s. The app streams nostalgic entertainment options 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Nostalgia has been shown to help seniors counteract feelings of loneliness, boredom, and anxiety making this a great app for seniors living on their own.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.