If you have older loved ones in your family, you may be called up for your tech support and technological expertise. These ad hoc arrangements are common in the digital age, and they help to close the knowledge gap for seniors who are curious about the internet but not quite sure where to start.
For many seniors the first foray into technology comes via a smartphone. These pint sized computers are less intimidating than desktops but no less powerful, perfect for seniors who want to chat with faraway loved ones, play games and explore the wonders of the online world. If you will be setting up a smartphone for an elderly loved one, here are 9 senior friendly apps you will want to download right away.
1. Skype – Skype is the original videoconferencing app, and it is still one of the easiest and most intuitive to use. If you want your older loved one to be able to keep in touch, make sure the Skype app is loaded up and added to the home screen.
2. Zoom – During the pandemic everyone seemed to be using Zoom, and this is another great conferencing app for older loved ones. Zoom meetings are easy to join and simple to create, making this app a must for any senior friendly smartphone.
3. Medisafe – Medication monitoring is a big concern for many seniors, a task that is made easier through technology. Downloading an app like Medisafe and adding the appropriate medications can make life easier, and safer, for your elderly loved one.
4. Facebook Mobile – While some members of the digital generation would not be caught dead using Facebook, the social media app is still a hit with seniors. Facebook Mobile is a great app for active and social seniors, so set Grandma or Grandpa up with an account.
5. Google Maps – Navigation apps like Google Maps are great for driving, but they can be useful for parking as well. With the touch of a button Google Maps will pinpoint your (or your loved one’s) location, making it easier to navigate those busy parking lots as well as those crowded city streets.
6. Good RX – Managing medication is one thing, but paying for it can be even more difficult. The Good RX app makes it easy to compare the cost of medication, so your older loved one can save money without putting their good health at risk.
7. Magnifying Glass & Flashlight – Reading a menu in a dimly lit restaurant can be a challenge even for the young, and an even more difficult task for seniors with aging eyes. You can make reading and lighting easier by downloading a combination magnifying glass and flashlight app to their senior friendly smartphone.
8. Snapfish – Chances are that senior friendly smartphone will soon be filled with family photographs, and apps like Snapfish make sharing and printing those shots easier. It is easy and free to set up an account, so load up the app and start preserving those precious memories.
9. Audible – There is nothing quite as entertaining as a good book, but reading that tiny print can be tough for aging eyes. Apps like Audible make audio books available, keeping seniors engaged and entertained and helping to keep their brains healthy as they age.
Smartphones are powerful tools for seniors, including the elderly loved ones in your life. If you are tech savvy you can offer to set up a senior friendly smartphone for those you love, and when you do you will want to download the 9 great apps listed above.