Great Learning Apps For Seniors (11 Options For Learning Something New)

Continuously learning something new will help keep the mind sharp, especially in the case of older adults. And now, many apps are available to start your learning journey. Keep on reading to discover some of the great learning apps for seniors to try now.

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
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Learning Apps For Seniors
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Product recommendations are based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. 

Learning is a lifelong commitment. The world is constantly changing – and the pace of change continues to accelerate. If we do not make that extra effort to keep pace by learning, we soon find ourselves left behind – increasingly puzzled by the world around us.

Learning can also, in and of itself, be tremendously rewarding. There is enormous satisfaction in knowing more about the world and improving ourselves.

The best learning apps help you learn in fun ways and can even serve as entertainment apps while also teaching you new things.

One of the ways learning can be fun is through the use of apps that are available for download on many smart devices.

Best Learning Apps For Seniors

Here are some of the best learning apps for seniors.

1. Lumosity

Lumosity is perfect for tailoring its learning-based offerings to the specific abilities of the users. It first offers a baseline test and then supplies a variety of games that are both entertaining and stimulating.

The games range from those focusing on spatial processing to general reasoning – but the emphasis is always on having fun. The algorithm tracks your progress and can calculate when you are getting better, which ups the challenge incrementally.

The user can also track their progress. Ideal for seniors who want to keep sharp across a whole variety of mental skill sets. It’s available for download on both Apple iOS and Android phones and smart devices.

2. Words With Friends

Words With Friends remains a firm favorite among seniors. Think of it as an app-based version of the evergreen Scrabble. You go up against others online to build words.

The best thing about it is that users can choose to play someone that they know or take on a stranger, so there is an element of socialization. It’s wonderful for encouraging creativity and logical thinking. It’s also available for Apple iOS and Android devices. 

3. Guggenheim or MoMA 

For seniors who love fine art, this app allows for an online exploration of two of the greatest repositories of art in the world. Seniors can explore exhibits or take an audio tour.

Research has shown that learning new things is a great way to combat memory loss – and these museums certainly deliver on the learning part – and expose those using the apps to some of the most beautiful artwork on the planet.

It’s definitely a win/win situation. Users of both Android and iOS devices can download the app.

learning apps for seniors Elevate
Challenges in the Elevate app focus on improving cognitive functioning through games.

4. Elevate Brain Training

Elevate allows seniors to improve their skills in a variety of mental areas. – primarily speed of thinking, memory, and focus. The point of the challenges is to improve cognitive functioning through games that train the brain and are also fun.

The app is personalized and tracks performance, allowing the user to see how they are improving over time. Skills such as match, reading, comprehension, speaking, and writing are all targeted. Available for both Android and iOS. 

RELATED: Best Music Apps for Seniors & Elderly

5. NeuroNation

NeuroNation first analyzes a senior’s strengths – and then creates a personalized brain training program to help the user meet their potential. You can get it at the App Store or at Google Play.

There are over 30 original brain exercises – and there are also 250 levels of those exercises so the user can grow their skills over time.

Psychologists and scientists have designed the games to improve memory, improve the speed of thinking, aid concentration – and perhaps, as importantly, reduce stress levels. New content is made available regularly. 

6. Mensa Brain Training

Mensa seems to have a reputation for only catering to the super bright. But that’s simply not true – at least as far as this app is concerned. It’s for seniors who want to maintain or improve their mental skills in the areas of memory, concentration, agility, perception, and reasoning.

The experts at Mensa and their partners/industry experts have honed in on these skills because age tends to harm these mental abilities. The design of the app makes it incredibly easy to navigate. It’s available from the App Store or on the web.

7. BrainHQ

BrainHQ will work on any device and has been designed by neuroscientists to take online learning to entirely new levels.

It’s based on 30 years of cutting-edge research and will help to rejuvenate and train a senior’s brain in areas such as memory, intelligence, attention, navigation, brain speed, and people skills.

It’s another one of those apps that learns as it gets input – and then adjusts difficulty levels so that the user is always being challenged. There is a monthly subscription fee – but you can try it out before you commit.

8. Memorado Brain Training Games

Studies have shown that memory is among the most problematic areas of mental function for seniors. Memorado (which again is available for Android and iOS) is designed to enhance synaptic connectivity, which has been proven to help maintain a healthy memory.

Both short and long-term. That enhanced connectivity also helps seniors master new tasks more easily, focus, and cope with novel situations (as well as enhance overall intelligence).

It’s more focused than some other apps in that it offers tasks and games that are memory-centric. It is no quick fix – nor does it promise to be one. It is designed to be used over a longer period of time.

Users set goals for themselves and then interact with content based on what they want to achieve. It also has a valuable tracking feature so seniors can see how they perform over time. 

9. CogniFit Brain Fitness

CogniFit is another app that can be used on both iOS and Android devices. It is also one that has been designed with the help of professional neuroscientists. Brain challenges, memory puzzles, education and intelligence, and learning games are enormous fun.

Of course, like many of the other apps aimed at seniors, it also allows the user to evaluate their progress. It claims to be able to “rehabilitate” mental function – and here’s where it does differ.

It allows the user to compare their results with others in their peer group. Rather than making this frustrating, it adds to the fun.

learning apps for seniors language
Learning a new language opens up new opportunities for socialization.

Language Apps for Seniors

There is mounting evidence that learning a second language can be enormously beneficial. In fact, a study by York University in Toronto showed that, on average, seniors who made an effort to become bilingual delayed the onset of Alzheimer’s by up to four years.

But learning a new language not only reinforces synaptic connectivity but also opens up new opportunities for socialization – and that is also incredibly important when it comes to staving off depression. Interacting with others is key – and a new language can make that so much easier. 

1. Duolingo

This app (it’s also available on the web) is free and has built an incredible reputation for helping people master a second language.

Daily reminders and easily mastered phrases and words help ease the path toward mastery of another language. Lessons can take as little as 5 minutes a day.

It’s customizable – and Duolingo creates a personalized experience that addresses the user’s particular challenges. 

2. Memrise 

Memrise is interesting. It takes language learning to a whole new level by allowing the senior to learn about cultures, science, and history.

It still uses the by-now well-known memorization and flashcard style learning experience – but it adds a dash of fun. Seniors can even compete against others in the knowledge stakes. 

RELATED: Best Bible Apps for the Elderly

In Summary

It’s not all about content. Many apps, such as those offered by the Smithsonian Institute, National Geographic, and many others, offer opportunities to learn about specialized areas. The best apps for seniors are ones that help them learn something new in an entertaining way.

The most valuable learning apps are those that allow seniors to maintain memory and brain plasticity. The ability to learn new things – and retain information. Without that, learning becomes frustrating.

It is of very little use to expose yourself to knowledge if you can’t retain it – or speak to others about what you have learned. Many of the above apps are designed to help seniors on that learning journey. And that might be the first step toward a better quality of life.

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Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional

Scott Grant has spent more than 20 years serving seniors and the elderly in the home medical equipment industry. He has worked as a manufacturer's rep for the top medical equipment companies and a custom wheelchair specialist at a durable medical equipment (DME) provider in WV. He is father to 4 beautiful daughters and has three terrific grandkids. When not promoting better living for older adults, he enjoys outdoor activities including hiking and kayaking and early morning runs.

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