Apps for your mobile phones and tablets seem to have taken over as the must have products in the modern world. Fortunately, plenty of them are suitable for older people and there are more apps being released which are targeted at the elderly.
Everybody likes it when a new app comes out. There’s fun ones, useful ones and sometimes life changing ones too! Older people are now being catered for as they take a step into the world of apps. We think that it is important for older people to be comfortable on their devices and to know what is available to them.
Apps for Older People – Definition
We begin our guide on apps for older people with an explanation of what an app is. App is short for application, which is a form of computer program. Although applications have been around for decades, the term app was introduced during the rise of the smartphone and tablet.
Apps allow people to access information or games without having to visit a website. This makes it much easier and faster to find what you were looking for. The most popular types of app include games, news, weather and social media.
Mobile phones and tablets come with pre-installed apps, but you can add more through the app store. This can easily be found on your chosen device. Some apps are free, however some will require you to enter your payment information. Please read reviews and check any in-app costs before downloading an app to your device.
Which apps are you missing out on? We have put together a list of apps for older people that we would recommend you download.
1 – Skype
Skype is available for your tablet and mobile phone, whether you have an apple product, such as an iPad or an android device such as the Samsung Galaxy range.
Skype is a free-to-use video calling app which gives you the chance to stay in touch with your friends and family. It’s especially helpful if your children or grandchildren have gone to university or if they have recently moved away from home, as you can keep in touch and make sure that they are settling into their new surroundings.
This is a good tool to ensure that you do not become lonely. If you’re living by yourself, or even if you do live with a partner, it is nice to check-in with your favourite people. Of course, if you struggle with your mobility or if’s a cold winter day then you can catch up and ‘see’ your friends without having to leave the comfort of your sofa.
To use Skype all you need to do is:
- Download the app.
- Create a username and password.
- Add your friends or relatives.
- Get chatting!
A family member or friend who already has the app can always help to get you started if needs be.
2 – WhatsApp
WhatsApp is great for people of all ages. This app enables you to instant message friends and family over WiFi/mobile data for free! It’s perfect for keeping in touch with the people you care about.
It’s quick to send messages and you can see when your contacts are online too! All you need to get started with WhatsApp is to download it through the app store on your device and follow the set-up process. It will then import all your contacts from your contact list and you can start sending messages.
3 -Pill Reminder Pro
Everybody can become forgetful when you have to follow a confusing and busy medication routine, but there are apps such as Pill Reminder Pro on-hand to ensure that you never forget. Once you have downloaded this app to your iPhone or iPad you can enter all of your different medication – including the dosage, frequency and the exact time in-which you need to take it.
The app will then send a notification through to your device at the correct time, by a message popping up on the screen and an alarm playing out loud, similar to a text message or phone call. There is a cost of 99p for this app which available on the iTunes App store.
4- Games to challenge the brain and to entertain
Who doesn’t enjoy a challenging crossword or word search? Well there are plenty of apps to choose from if you are looking to avoid boredom.
Lumosity is a free brain-training game, created by a team of scientists and university researchers. Lumosity contains over 25 different games that will expand your knowledge and ensure your brain continues to work hard as you learn new things.
Elsewhere there are a number of different crossword and word search apps to choose from. Simply search for these keywords in the Android or App store and all of your options will appear – including free and paid-for games. You can also read our blog on how to keep a healthy mind in old age.
5 – Pocket Physio
This physio app by Care UK is an ‘easy to use mobile app for physiotherapy exercises involved in preparing for and recovering from orthopaedic surgery.’
Pocket Physio features advice on walking with a frame or crutches, hip precautions, breathing exercises, managing pain and self-assessment, as well as recommended techniques for dressing, bathing and getting in and out of vehicles. The app provides videos and text instructions on pre- and post-operative physio exercises, enabling you to establish a strong exercise regime before surgery that you can also continue afterwards, helping you to make a speedy recovery. You can even plan your own physio exercise regime using the reminder function.
This handy app is available on both android and apple devices from the app stores and is completely free!
6 – Senior Fitness Workouts
Keeping fit and healthy is essential for everybody and the Senior Fitness Workouts app is an easy way to do so. Aimed at people aged 50 and over, the app aims to get you into a workout routine aimed at the difficulty of your choice. Sticking to your routine is a good way of feeling good about yourself and in-turn put a smile on your face.
You can do a workout in the comfort of your own home rather than having to find your way to a local gym – which could be miles away. Being in your own surroundings, rather than in a gym full of other people, you can actually lead to a better workout as you won’t have to worry about what others think around you if that’s something your concerned about.
7 – News Apps
Of all the apps for older people, it’s news and weather ones that provide so much choice. Whether it’s a national story or a local story, you could be affected in some way so it is important that you know what apps to have on your device so that you receive news alerts and can check daily headlines.
Both the BBC and Sky have free news apps, with national newspapers such as The Daily Mail and The Guardian also offering their news for free.
If you are a sports fan then BBC Sport and Sky Sports News have an easy-to-use app, which will send you breaking news alerts if you wish. For the football fans out there, Sky Sports News also has a dedicated football app full of the latest news and scores.
8 – Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
This app as featured in the likes of The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. With reviews like, “It just works. Period. It does exactly what it advertises which is absolutely amazing.” This app is perfect for anyone who has trouble with their sleep and wants to be woken up at the best time in the most gentle way.
Waking up easy is all about timing. Sleep Cycle alarm clock tracks your sleep patterns and wakes you up during light sleep. Waking up during light sleep feels like waking up naturally rested without an alarm clock.
Staying Safe at Home
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