It’s hard to believe it, but it’s been well over a decade now since the iPhone first made its way into our hands. But back in the earliest days of smartphones and apps, it was hard to find truly easy and useful apps for seniors. Now, smartphones with Apple and Google operating systems are a staple in our pockets and purses.
Smartphone and tablet apps have come a long way for seniors
Although it may seem like younger adults and teenagers are constantly glued to their phones and tablets, there is quite a lot of value in this technology for seniors. In fact, there are a host of easy and useful apps for seniors to take advantage of on their smart devices.
Here are some of our favorites.
Password reminder apps
Lastpass offers a more secure and robust platform, and as of the date of this publication, offers unlimited passwords for free each month, with more premium (in other words, more secure) features for only $3 a month if you or your senior loved one wants to be extra careful with password security on the web.
There is also free password-saving functionality in the most popular web browsers, including Chrome and Safari. Safari even takes it a step further, suggesting secure passwords than saving them in one step. If your loved one has multiple Apple devices (like an iPhone, iPad and/or Macbook or other Apple computer, they can use iCloud to save passwords across all devices.
Medication management/reminder apps
It can be difficult to keep track of medications, which medications to take and when, or when it’s time for a refill. And missing a day or two of certain medications (or taking the wrong medication, taking too much or too little, etcetera) can lead to catastrophic emergencies.
Luckily, there are many helpful apps available for both Apple and Android devices that can help with medication management.
Medisafe Meds & Pill Reminder is a popular app for phone, iPhone, and Android users, and goes beyond medication management to include many health tracking functions that could be a huge benefit for seniors. As an added bonus, this app offers the ability for a loved one to keep an eye on things and be sure seniors are staying on top of their medications.
Pill Reminder (from Drugs.com) allows seniors to add photos of their pills and ensure they’re taking the right ones, read side effects and other information, and set reminders -- this is a robust but simple-to-use app for iPhone users.
Of course, our phones are still used to keep in touch -- right?! Nowadays, though, we’re spending more time texting and with video calls. Yes, sometimes it feels like we’re really living in the future :)
iPhone users probably have plenty of experience already using FaceTime, a simple-to-use video calling app that requires no separate download. It also allows more than 2 people to join on a call, so family hangouts can happen virtually.
Android users aren’t left out -- your phones likely come with Google Duo installed (otherwise, it’s a free download on the Google Play store). Google Duo functions similarly to FaceTime, and your iPhone-using family and friends can also download this app to stay in touch. Kids and grandkids will love silly filters and other effects as well!
Tried-and-true Skype was one of the earliest video calling apps available, well over a decade ago. Now owned by Microsoft, it still works well on both iOS and Android devices (although you’ll probably find FaceTime or Google Duo easier).
Our phones and tablets have in many cases replaced our books as well. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can download the Kindle app on your device to read all your Kindle downloads right on your phone or tablet. Apple users can also use Apple Books (formerly called iBooks). Google isn’t left out, with its own online digital bookstore and app. And if you prefer to listen to your books, Audible (another Amazon company) is a great download for iOS and Android devices (and offers many books for a monthly fee, rather than downloading individual audiobooks).
There is a podcast for everyone. From conversations about your favorite tv shows and sports teams to serial mysteries like old radio mysteries from back in the day, there is an endless supply of shows nowadays!
If you’re an iPhone user, Apple’s Podcasts app is the simplest place to find shows and listen to episodes. Google has its own app -- aptly titled “Google Podcasts.” And then there are popular music- and podcast-streaming apps like Stitcher, Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio. Some of these require a subscription, while others (notably Apple and Google’s native podcasts apps) are free.
A move to senior living can help make life easy for your loved one.
Here at Winnwood Retirement Community, we are proud to provide accommodations, amenities, and support that offer a truly luxurious style of living for seniors. We help remove the stresses and burdens of homeownership, and create the relaxing, vacation-style retirement your loved ones deserve. To learn more about our independent and assisted living options for seniors, contact us to schedule a tour.