Technology became an integral part of our lives and no one can deny it. The older people are usually not the first one to adjust, yet they too live with the times. Some see smartphones and tablets as something inevitable and only tolerate their gadgets in order to keep in touch with their friends and families, while others are absolutely thrilled with the new possibilities they discover each day.
Whichever camp you or your older family members are from, you will certainly find each one of these apps a great help and yet another reason to befriend technology.
Senior Phone (Android)
This app is created to replace a standard screen on the Android-operated devices. Instead of multiple small icons of uncountable and unnecessary apps, a senior user will see large color-differentiated buttons with understandable icons and clear text, which lead to the essential functions of their phone. There is nothing superfluous, which is particularly good for a partially sighted person. Apart from handy “Call” and “Text” buttons, there is an option of sending a panic SMS with one click of an “SOS” button. It will also help you to identify your location if you got lost. There is a possibility of adding new modules, if necessary, such as calculator, music player and magnifier.
Magnifying Glass with Flashlight (Android and iPhone)
This simple app will help with reading a small print, whether it is a restaurant menu or a prescription bottle. Apart from easy-to-navigate digital zoom it also provides additional lighting (turning a flash from your camera into a torch) to make the text even more readable.
There are many digital magnifier apps out there; this one, however, is notable by combining magnifier with flashlight options.
Kindle (Android and iPad)
Although many of us are familiar with Kindle the gadget, there is also a mobile app that turns tablets into convenient e-readers enhancing them with Kindle functionality. Seniors will appreciate the possibility of enlarging the text, adjusting the brightness of the screen, built-in dictionary, text-to-speech function, and easy access to large selection of new books.
For darker hours of the day, the app also provides an invert mode (white text on a black background) to keep reading without straining the eyes.
LibriVox (Android and iPhone)
This app provides access to more than 15,000 free audiobooks read by the volunteers. You can either stream the books you are interested in or download them for later listening. This is perfect for older people, who find that reading becomes a more challenging task than it was.
New books are uploaded daily and the entire catalog includes all genres from the timeless classic fiction literature to non-fiction novelties.
MedWatcher (Android and iPhone)
This is a handy mobile reminder that will help to schedule medication and exercises. The app also gives access to drug descriptions, medical uses, and known side effects.
It was developed in collaboration with FDA, and thus allows reporting a side effect of any drug directly to Food and Drug Administration, and it’s functionality is tested and approved.
Evernote (iPhone, iPad, Android, desktop)
Even the best of us tend to forget some small, yet important things from time to time. Evernote is an ultimate replacement for all those recipe scrapbooks and shreds of paper lying all over the place. It will save grocery lists and grandchildren’s wish lists, store all kinds of reminders – written notes, voice memos, pictures, videos.
What is even more important: all the lists can always be reached through the variety of interfaces, which means, you can type a list on your desktop and then check it in your phone at the store.
Silver Surf (iPad)
This free iPad app was created to optimize web surfing for older users, who might struggle with reading small text and have trouble navigating. It has many customizable features like adjusting contrast and font size.
Instead of “pinch-to-zoom” option, it offers simple zoom slider, which is much easier to perform for people suffering from arthritis.
This app is created with the focus on people with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairment.
It offers a treasure trove of quizzes, games, and brain-teasers for exercising one’s mind and special features to help navigation, like big buttons, voice command, robotic assistant MYIRA that can provide any information at a vocal request, and many others.
Prismatic is one news application for all the news on the Internet that can be tuned and adjusted to match your interests. It is easy to use and has a clear interface, which is very convenient for older adults.
This newsreader shows you news you would like to see, but which you would not probably find without its help. The longer you use it, the more in tune it is with your demands for information.
Yesterday USA (iPhone and iPad)
This is an internet radio, broadcasting retro music and popular shows from the 1920s to 1950s. It is free and is operated by volunteers willing to preserve the history of radio. As it immerses the listeners into the peaceful old-time atmosphere, the app can be recommended not only for grandparents, but also for the entire family.
Though this list is by no means full, for there are many other nice and handy apps for senior users, I am sure you will find here new favorites for you and your dear ones.
Featured photo credit: Degan Walters/Flickr via flickr.com