The stereotype that all seniors are technophobes, or just less able to understand technology, is simply not true–at least, not for most people. In fact, many companies are designing technology with specifically for the needs and wants of aging adults in mind. One of the biggest industries catering to seniors is the app industry for smart devices. The market is chock-full of limitless applications and possibilities: there are apps for entertainment, health and well-being, and even apps that are just handy to have in your pocket. Though the rapid adoption of technology can be confusing, many seniors have found that with the right repertoire of apps, life can be easier and more interesting.
Right now, there are tens of thousands of apps on the market and more coming out daily. Trying to find the right app can feel like trying to find a needle in the haystack: overwhelming, near impossible, and tedious way to spend the day.
To make it a little easier, here are six apps that we think seniors should have on their phones and tablets.
1. Park ‘n’ Forget
We've all experienced the confusion of not being able to find our cars when we come out of a building at some point or other. Using this app allows you to avoid the hassle of walking around a vast parking lot or garage looking for your car. You’ll never forget where you parked. Plus, Park ‘n’ Forget does more than remembering the location of your vehicle; it also monitors the amount of time spent. Gone are the days of having parking tickets due to expired meters. Here's how it works: when leaving your car in a parking deck, pick the color or number associated with the deck level to pinpoint your location.
As we age, we become more susceptible to diseases that affect memory, such as Alzheimer's and other dementias. One way to keep your brain sharp is by exercising it regularly. Learning and brain training apps like Lumosity is a great tool available to stay mentally active. Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity is proven to benefit memory recall and information retention. The app cleverly disguises its memory improvement objectives by using hundreds of well-designed games and puzzles.
Another app designed to function similarly is CogniFit Brain Fitness. This app works to improve cognitive abilities, such as memory and concentration. What makes CogniFit Brain Fitness different from Lumosity is that it is adaptive to your knowledge. The app adapts each game’s difficulty to your profile and gives you recommendations based on your results.
Apps such as Lyft and Uber are valuable for seniors to have in their app arsenal. With ride share apps, both service and payment transactions are consolidated into one digital location. In addition, most transportation apps even offer customization options. For example, Uber allows you choose from different sized vehicles to accommodate the number of people in your party. For seniors looking for ways to stay independent, transportation that’s convenient and easy is a must.
Grocery delivery services are growing in popularity. For seniors, they're another way to reclaim independence. One of the most popular grocery delivery services right now is the Shipt app. Using Shipt is easy: after you've signed up for a membership, open the Shipt app on your phone or desktop. Then, select your items, choose a payment option, pick a delivery time, and place your order. What makes them unique is they’ll unpack your groceries and put them away, and the groceries are from the stores you love.
If you're a movie lover, you’ll love the Netflix app. For a reasonable price, you have access to hundreds of your television shows, movies, and documentaries from basically anywhere. Netflix is also producing a number of noteworthy original series. You might find using this app is more valuable than having cable. A bonus feature of the app is it can be used on multiple devices. Many seniors find the mobility of this app useful during workouts or travel.
6. Blood Pressure Monitor
There are a variety of apps available for monitoring health. An app to consider adding to your phone is The Blood Pressure Monitor. You’ll have the ability to track your blood pressure and weight over time without having to call your doctor or rummage through old records. The Blood Pressure Monitor app also provides statistical information, periodic health reminders, and allows you to export data. This is an ideal function if you want to share it with your health care provider.
Harnessing technology for all of its capabilities isn't just for the younger generations. Seniors are also capable of embracing all the possibilities that the digital age has to offer. With that in mind, apps are a great starting point for enhancing senior living. By equipping your phone with these helpful apps, people of all ages can benefit from a little extra independence and enjoyment in their lives.