Apps for seniors: tools for everyday


WhistleOut
15 August 2017

A mobile phone can do so much and has the potential to offer you a lot of help. Learning how to use a smartphone can be overwhelming but once in use it can help you stay in touch with loved ones, help monitor your health, help you read better and provide various form of entertainment.

Out of the many apps that are out there, we’ve gathered a list to make not only your life easier but also more fun.


iCare health monitor 

Available for iPhone and Android. Price: Free

Smartphones are packed for of different sensors and powerful little computers, which means they can almost replace a number of different dedicated medical monitors. 

What you can test with the app:

  • Blood pressure
  • Heart Rate
  • Eye test
  • Hearing Test
  • A few more.

There are even a few abb and butt workouts to impress that special someone. This app shouldn’t replace visiting the doctor, you should only use it to monitor and it might not be accurate every time.


Magnifying Glass with Light

Available for iPhone. Price: Free

The app uses your camera. You can hold your phone over the text you are trying to read and zoom in to read better.

You can also take a picture with the app and zoom in on that. The app can use your flashlight on your phone for more light or change the contrast, making text stand out.


Magnifier Flashlight 

Available for Android. Price: Free

The same idea as the app above for iPhone. Use the camera and light on the back of your phone to zoom in on text in text in a book or magazine that you're reading.


Pillboxie

Available on iPhone. Price: $2.99

Are you constantly asking yourself if you remembered to take your pills today?

These apps can not only help remind you to take your pill but will also show what it looks like and what it is.

When it’s time to take your medicine, the app will set off and alarm and will ask you if you took the pill so you can reassure yourself later on.


Medisafe Meds 

Available on Android. Price: Free

With a few simple steps, you can add a medication, get reminders for taking pills, and receive constant tracking of your health progress.

If you have a health monitor, you can pair the app with Google Health to track things like your blood glucose.


Fall Safety Pro

Available on iPhone. Price: $6.99 per month

You can set up the app to call or send an alert message with the time and the place the fall occurred to a chosen contact.

You can turn the app on and off. So make sure it’s activated if you are walking by yourself or are in fear of falling.


Fade: Fall Detector

Available on Android. Price: Free

Fade uses the various sensors in your phone, like the accelerometer, to detect a fall, and can automatically send an alert to pre-defined emergency contacts.

While great for those of us who may fall over, the app will also work for motorcycle or bicycle riders who want extra safety while riding.


Woolworths

Available for iPhone and Android. Price: Free

A very helpful app for grocery shopping. You create a shopping list, and can use the app to either tell you where you can find all the products, have them all waiting for you packed at your chosen Woolies, or get them delivered right to your door.

The app also includes some recipes if you’re lacking inspiration.


Opal Travel

Available for iPhone and Android. Price: Free

With the Opal travel app, you can plan your journey on public transport.

You choose a location to start and then enter where you would like to go and it will calculate a few route options for you. It shows which busses, trains and ferries you can take, at what time they leave, and how much the trip will cost you. The route also includes a map to guide you to the right bus stop or station.

It also lets you check how much credit is on your Opal card and you can top it up if you are running low. Topping your card up can take up to an hour, so make sure you do it in good time.  


Skype

Available for iPhone and Android. Price: Free

Download the Skype app on your phone. You can see who is online (logged into their Skype) and call them. A bonus to having skype is that you can turn on your cameras and video call. This will let you see your grandkids, friends or family if they live far away or even in another country. All you need is for both off you to have the app and an internet connection.

You can also add skype credit to your account and call mobiles and landlines. Skype also has some of the cheapest international call rates.


Dragon Dictation

Available for iPhone. Price: Free

Hold down a button on the screen and speak to your phone. It will convert what you said into text and you can then send the message via text, email, facebook, or even post to twitter.

The app is quite accurate and can be used in 32 different languages. Once in awhile it may convert to something completely different but it might just be ridiculous enough to bring a smile to your day.


Spotify

Available on iPhone and Android. Price: Free / $11.99 per month.

An app that has millions of songs, old and new. You can search for an artist, band, specific song, album or even mood to find the right song to play.

Going for the premium version might be worth it. It lets you choose specific songs without having to shuffle and doesn’t have ads that interrupt you between some songs.

You can find all the songs you love and create a playlist that you can listen to whenever, or listen to already created playlists made my spotify or other users.

They also have a great help center online that can help you get started.



Apps to keep your mind sharp:

  • Word brain - Word puzzles - Available in more than 15 languages
  • Duolingo - Learn a new language
  • 2048 - You have to merge the numbers to equal 2048
  • Peak and Lumosity - Brain games and training
  • Sudoku/crosswords
Tips to make using your phone easier:

  • Ready tech go: Tech lessons for ipads and mobiles for seniors
  • Repetition: Write down a list of steps to use the different apps that you can practise.
  • Some phones can be set to 'easy mode', make the phone simpler while you learn one thing at a time.
  • Ask for help and recommendations.

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