The 15 Best Apps for Seniors and the Elderly

By: Scott Grant, Certified Senior Advisor®, ATP, CRTS®

Technology is quickly becoming easier for more and more seniors. Many elderly people are beginning to use tools like laptop computers and even tablets and smartphones. Having the right software and apps on these devices is very important. Here are the best apps for seniors.

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors.
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Elderly people are rapidly turning to new technology to help them with many activities in their daily lives. And, software developers have realized this. They are now creating more smartphone and tablet apps that are targeted at engaging the elderly in a fun and convenient manner. Several apps do the job of keeping the seniors busy. Others keep loved ones updated about their safety and well-being of their parents. Here are my recommendations for the best apps for seniors and the elderly.

This list of my favorite apps are the ones that seniors should have on their smart devices at all times. Some of these are purely for entertainment. Others are for information. A few are important for health reasons. Some of these apps may be free for basic features. Some though may charge a fee for more useful features. Make sure you understand the costs of the app before downloading them.

Health & Wellness Apps

#1 – MediSafe

Many elderly people (and some not so elderly too) have a difficult time remembering to take their medicines at the right time of the day. Medisafe is a clean and simple to use medical manager. It helps you manage your medicine list, set reminders, and even keep a track of blood pressure and other health measures. You can also share your reports with your doctors and family members.

Available for iOS and Android devices

#2 – Web MD

WebMD is one of the most trusted apps for health and medical related information. The app offers physician-reviewed information on healthy living. It also offers access to medicine and treatment information. It has a useful feature by which you enter your symptoms and it will tell you about potential health issues you may have. Of course, a doctor should always be consulted before forming a diagnosis. It also has a lot of articles on several health-related issues. These articles are written by specialists in that particular field.

Available for iOS and Android devices

#3 – bSafe

This is an ultimate safety app. It is filled with features that are designed to keep you secure at all times. This is perfect for elders who may have felt unsafe when they are walking alone at night. It is also helpful for seniors who are all alone at home. Through this app, the senior can let somebody to know their exact location (GPS location sharing) and even what is happening (video).

Available for iOS and Android devices

#4 – Luminosity

This is a popular brain training program. It offers over 30 brain games to engage the user and keep them intellectually stimulated. And, it does this in a fun way. Research has indicated that elderly people who keep their minds challenged are able to protect themselves from Alzheimer’s and dementia for much longer. Most elders will find this app very addictive and may not want to give up playing this for long hours.

Available for iOS and Android devices

Easy Communication

#5 – Senior Phone

Senior Phone replaces the standard Android screen with large colorful buttons with easy to understand icons and text. Basically, this app gets rid of everything not needed from the main screen. It also has an SOS button which sends a Panic SMS. It even identifies your location in case you get lost.

Available for Android devices

#6 – Skype

This is one of the most popular video conferencing apps available. Once you install this app on your smartphone or easy to use tablet for seniors, you can have a face-to-face video chat with your family and friends using Skype. No matter where they are in the world. Why ‘plain talk’ with your loved ones, when you can have a face-to-face conversation with them? You can also use Skype to send instant text messages to other Skype users.

Available for iOS and Android devices

#7 – Communication Tool

This app is great for people who have limited communication abilities as a result of from Stroke, Dementia or general bad health. This app has over 500 pictures which are easily selected to communicate with caregivers. These icons communicate the user’s choices, feelings, needs or more. It is even possible to add your own images in the app for more meaningful communication with people.

Available for iOS

#8 – Facebook

Everybody you know is already on Facebook, so why aren’t you? This is one of the best ways of sharing news and views. It is a great way to stay updated with what’s happening in the lives of your loved ones. No matter where they are in the world. If you want to know what your favorite grandchild is up to, chances are you can find out on Facebook.

Available for iOS and Android devices

News, Entertainment & Utilities

#9 – Flipboard

Want one single source for all popular news and articles? Don’t know where to go for them? Try using Flipboard. This award-winning service brings together news, stories, and conversations about things that interest you. And it puts them in one spot. Make your own customized large print magazines by collecting stories that interest you. With everything in one place, reading, collecting and sharing stories becomes so much easier and more fun.

Available for iOS and Android devices

#10 – Yesterday USA

This is for all the fans of the great radio shows of the “good ol’ days”. This app broadcasts popular shows from the 1920s – 1950s, all day, every day.

Available for iOS devices

icon showing various app logos

#11 – Spotify

You can listen to millions of songs using Spotify. And it also allows you to share music with your friends and You can even create your own radio stations. The free version of this app plays the occasional commercial. But, if you don’t want any interruptions to your music sessions, you can always upgrade to the premium version. The premium version plays no commercials.

Available for iOS and Android devices

#12 – Kindle

If reading is your favorite thing to do, download the free Kindle ebook reader. Then you will have access to a vast collection of ebooks available online. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money on books either. There is a large selection of free ebooks available online. But, to make the most of your Kindle, you can also purchase and download the latest eBooks from Amazon.

Kindles also have the ability to play audio books too!

Available for iOS and Android devices

#13 – Magnifying Glass and Flashlight

This simple app is a boon for those who find it difficult to read the fine print like on prescription bottles and even hotel menus. This helpful app magnifies the print and makes it larger and easier to read. It also incorporates a flashlight lighting up what you want to read at the same time.

Available for iOS and Android devices

#14 – LibriVox

The LibriVox app gives you access to over 15,000 free audiobooks read by volunteers. It is ideal for senior citizens who are unable to read as well as they once could. The app uploads new books on a regular basis from genres ranging from classic fiction to literature to non-fiction stories.

Available for iOS and Android devices

#15 – Red Panic Button

This is a great app for elderly people living on their own. Especially those who are worried about falling down and not having anybody around to help them in times of injury. Red Panic Button summons help when it is needed most. Just by tapping on the big red button, a text message is sent to a pre-selected list of contacts.

Available for iOS and Android devices

Final Words

Technology is quickly becoming easier for more and more seniors. Many elderly people are beginning to use tools like laptop computers and even tablets and smartphones. Having the right software and apps on these devices is very important.

I hope you like these apps and found them useful or interesting. I think you can see why I believe these are the best apps for seniors and the elderly. There are thousands of other apps which may be useful for elderly people in some way or the other. Don’t be afraid to explore these apps more.

Tell me which mobile apps are your favorite. What apps do you recommend to make seniors and elderly safer or their life easier? Please let me know in the comments below.

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