How To Choose Suitable Apps For Seniors

best apps for seniors

Suppose you have an elderly loved one living far away that you want to keep in touch with more than just a daily phone call. You would probably want to check if they take meds on time, eat well, have time to walk the dog, or don’t have trouble finding their car in the parking lot. What’s more, you also want to ensure they’re safe and notified in times of emergency. 

Thanks to technology, there is a pocket-size solution for this—a senior-friendly app. An app is a software installed on a computer, tablet, or smartphone with a specific function. 

They can make life easier with the click of a mouse or a tap on the screen. You know how convenient they are first hand; your senior family member will probably benefit from them too. 

But with countless apps available for download and most for free, how can you find what’s suitable for them?

Choosing Apps For Seniors 

A recent survey from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) shows that senior adults already have a computer, smartphone, tablet, or any combination of these gadgets. 

But before you load their mobile devices with apps, make sure to check if the apps are senior-friendly with the following tips.  

Find Apps According To Their Needs
Although seniors are lumped into a single category, they have different needs and abilities. When choosing which apps to install, make sure to choose one or several that provide them a sense of independence and provide much-needed support at the same time.  

Some of their needs include assistance for day-to-day activities—taking meds on time, staying connected with family, meeting new friends, and managing senior finances

Apps can also help ease their boredom by keeping them entertained through games, videos, or music. Some apps keep them busy with hobbies, help them learn new things, or keep them fit.  

Aside from apps that keep them productive or amused, apps can also help them manage their health and keep track of their medications. Some of these may even connect them with health professionals.  

Other apps help them with their retirement plans or even help them with estate planning. You can turn their smartphone into an instant life planner by choosing apps that suit their short-term and long-term needs.

Check For Compatibility
You should also consider if the app you wish to download for them is compatible with their phone or tablet. 

Besides checking that it’s suitable for Android or iPhone, you also need to know how much storage they need. It will ensure apps run properly and there is enough left for software updates.  

Compatibility affects both app and phone performance. In choosing apps for seniors, make sure they don’t take too much space to keep the app from lagging or causing other phone issues. 
Look For Adaptive Features 
Although seniors may own one or more mobile devices, some may experience difficulty using their devices. Deteriorating vision can affects reading or colors and objects to distinguish. Also, impaired hearing hinders them from noticing sounds from notifications.  

They may even experience decreased sensation on their fingertips or the so-called ‘leathery finger’ that hinders them from using touchscreen phones. Some may even have other health issues that make smartphones challenging for them.   

best apps for seniors android

When you’re looking for a potential app, check if it has adaptive features such as bigger texts, clearer images, or audio-activated prompts to confirm actions. You can also check if they can easily swipe or tap from one page to the next or if it has audio-activated features so they can use apps better.

Ensure Security And Privacy 
Security is another thing to consider. Apps that require personal details or financial information should have protective measures such as passwords, one-time passwords (OTPs), and even biometrics.  

In addition, apps should also have privacy policies that inform you and your senior loved one how user information is stored. 

Seniors need assurance that sensitive data is protected and must be explained in the app’s policy. While they tend to read the fine print, it is best to help them understand the terms before clicking on the ‘I Agree’ button.

Consider Linking Apps In Case Of Emergencies 
Apps can benefit seniors in many ways; they can also give you and your family members peace of mind if you’re not with them. 

Link apps so you can receive notifications once they miss taking their meds. You can also use apps to track their location or their driving habits.  

In case that your senior loved one encounters an emergency, apps can provide important information regarding their medications and healthcare providers so first responders can properly assist them. They can also alert you with messages in case something happens to them. 

You can improve your elderly loved one’s quality of life with carefully selected apps based on the criteria mentioned above. Apps can do more for seniors and your family. More than entertainment and instant connection, apps can assist them in their daily activities and keep them healthy, happy, and secure.

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