Best Communication Apps for Seniors (Texting, Messaging, Video Chats and More)

Certified Senior Advisor®
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Communication Apps for Seniors

Today, many apps make communication easier for their users. And such apps are beneficial for connecting the elderly to their loved ones as well as conducting business and getting information.

Communication Apps for Seniors
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Income Disclosure: 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. Learn More.

At times, seniors may have difficulty communicating, reaching out, and staying in touch with those important to them. Fortunately, various apps are available to help ease communication.

Each app solves particular communication challenges. It is crucial to understand the dynamics of a communication challenge. Doing so will help you pick the best app.

Communication apps are a necessary category of productivity apps for seniors because so much of our communication is done via mobile devices today. Using mobile devices for communication is an important skill to learn because an older adult can quickly get lost in all the zeroes and ones.

Texting Apps for Seniors

When seniors need to communicate, they want to do more than just send a text. Is your senior having trouble getting an appropriate app to use?

Here is a great list of apps to consider.

1. WhatsApp

This app was created to help people send messages using a connection other than an SMS. This app allows seniors to send videos, photos, and voice messages.

The videos have to be below 100 MB. Group chats allow up to 256 participants. This app also offers end-to-end encryption.

Seniors love the app’s distinctive look and feel. It uses one checkmark to show that the message has been sent and two checkmarks to show that it has been delivered. Seniors will love the freedom to customize this app.

You can change and rename groups, change the chat wallpaper, and set custom alerts. WhatsApp also allows seniors to make video calls and voice calls with other users.

All calls are end-to-end encrypted, and seniors can make phone calls with up to 4 people. You can download this app for free.

2. Telegram

This app is considered the most secure texting app. Seniors can use it to send text messages, files, photos, and videos. It allows the creation of groups with a maximum of 200,000 participants.

Telegram stores conversations in the cloud. This means you can retrieve all conversations at any time. All chats are end-to-end encrypted.

If seniors download chats, they become decrypted. This app is the fastest texting service seniors can access. You will love its busy and decorative backgrounds. It has an open API that will allow you to use it to develop your unofficial apps. You get access to the app for free.

3. Wickr Me

This app provides you with standard messaging for a single person or a group of up to 10 people. It can only securely send files of up to 10 MB. It also offers you end-to-end encryption. All messages sent expire six days after the day they were delivered.

Deleted messages are overwritten by shredder, making restoring them close to impossible. Seniors do not need phone numbers and email addresses to start using Wickr Me. They only need a username and a password.

Seniors will have all their chats locked by default. You can allow quick access or choose to put in passwords every time you access the app. It also offers you a “Burn on Read” timer and an “Expiration Timer.” This app is available to seniors for free.

4. Signal

Seniors will have an easy time using this app. It has a single compose button and screen for all chats. It is a good alternative for seniors who are not in a position to use WhatsApp. It uses the WhatsApp style double ticks. It allows seniors to call other signals for free.

Signal allows seniors to share photos, voice messages, videos, and documents. All your messages are secure through end-to-end encryption. It allows the user to set an expiry date for a conversation.

The app is available for free. It also allows you to send regular SMS except if you are an iOS user.

See more texting apps for seniors in this guide.

communication apps for seniors simple
Here are some of the apps that can help seniors have an easier time using their smartphones.

Simple Phone Apps for Seniors

Is your senior having a hard time using a smartphone? The following apps could help them have an easier time using their smartphones.

1. Simple Launcher

This app presents a very simplistic and friendly design. It has enlarged fonts that help seniors use their phones without glasses. It uses a safety lock to make sure a senior does not change the positioning of apps accidentally. 

Simple Launcher (available on the Google Play Store) also allows seniors to create shortcuts that they can use during emergencies. It helps them access contacts quickly whenever they are in dare need of help.

2. ICare Launcher 

The app has an alarm screen where seniors can quickly set alarms. It has an SOS screen that allows a senior to save two emergency contacts. Seniors can send predefined messages or call any emergency number with just a click. The ICare Launcher is available on the Google Play Store.

3. Grand Launcher 

Grand Launcher removes all complicated features from the phone and replaces them with large and condensed shortcuts on the screen instead.

Its distinct buttons and fonts allow seniors to navigate easily. It also allows seniors to add their favorite apps to it.

4. Help Launcher

This app (available on the Google Play Store) was specifically designed to help the visually impaired and elderly. It has big icons, bold colors, large fonts, and simple menus that are quickly accessible. The different colors help seniors easily associate a specific color with a specific icon.

5. Senior Homescreen

This app was made to help seniors use their smartphones by using a few apps. The app (available on the Google Play Store) always has three apps configured by default. It is suitable for seniors who find it challenging to handle too many apps.

6. Simple Mode

The app (available on the Google Play Store) has large tiles that are easy for seniors to trace on the screen. Better still, the tiles are translucent, allowing seniors to view the background theme.

A parent tile allows seniors to group several similar apps. It helps to dedicate tiles to favorite contacts and grants quick access settings. 

These simple phone apps for seniors and the elderly make it easier for older adults to do away with multiple customizations that complicate usage. They tweak the device’s interface, making them easier to use for seniors.

RELATED: Best Finance Apps for Seniors & the Elderly

Video Chat Apps for Seniors

Video chat apps are a great way to help seniors keep in touch.  It is a way they can communicate with doctors, loved ones, or anyone they wish to see. Here are some of the best video chat apps that are both effective and easy to use. 

1. Skype

Skype works with computers, smartphones, and tablets. You require to use an email address to sign up. You add contacts to the app using a personal phone number or user name.

When calling, all you need is to click on the username. It gives seniors access to subtitles if they have a hard time hearing.

2. FaceTime

This app is readily available on Macs, iPhones, and iPads. It offers seniors an easy-to-learn and use interface. It only allows you to communicate with another Apple device user (available on the Apple App Store).

3. WhatsApp

This app is available to seniors for free. Not that you must have connectivity to make video calls using WhatsApp. It has excellent privacy settings that your senior loved one will enjoy using. It’s also available in different versions for Mac, Android, and iOS.

4. Oscar Senior

This app is available on all tablets and smartphones. Oscar Senior works as an all-in-one software. It offers seniors large texts that are easy to find. This app helps you have a quick way of checking on your senior. It also allows you to keep track of essential care data.

5. Facebook Messenger Lite

This app is a smaller version of Facebook Messenger (available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store). It eliminates most features that could cause seniors confusion when using Facebook Messenger.

Seniors have the privilege to use this app even where they do not have a Facebook account. More than 36 million individuals in the UK make use of Facebook Messenger.

Help your senior have an easy time with video calls by choosing from the list. It is okay to have more than one of the apps as long as it offers them convenience. Video chats are an excellent way to check on seniors or other friends and relatives.

communication apps for seniors messaging
Messaging apps allow their users to communicate to one another from the comforts of their homes.

Messaging Apps for Seniors

Messaging is the most common mode of communication today. At least 54% of the total population in the US uses messaging apps. Messaging apps guarantee you quick communication.

Here are some messaging apps seniors should take be using.

1. Skype

This app is used in many other ways but was mainly made for messaging. It is compatible with most devices and platforms. Skype offers seniors an easy setup. It gives you a list of groups and individuals immediately after opening the app.

2. WhatsApp

This app can be downloaded on both mobile and tablet devices. It requires a senior to go through very little training to be in a position to use it. It also allows seniors to send and receive photos as they send messages.

WhatsApp allows seniors to use voice messaging if they have difficulty typing. Most recently, it has added the video call feature.

3. Zoom

It is an app that seniors will quickly get comfortable using. It can be downloaded on any device. It offers a free version that is perfect for communicating with family, friends, and caregivers. Zoom supports both typed and oral messaging.

4. Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is easy to use for seniors. It can be installed on all smart devices. It allows both audio typing and voice typing. Seniors might need help installing and learning how to use the app. After learning, seniors will have the opportunity to enjoy its simplicity.

Most messaging apps have extra audio and video call features. These easy-to-use features make it easier for seniors to use the apps more effectively. Messaging apps are the perfect way to help seniors who do not love leaving the house communicate.

RELATED: Best Ride Share Apps for Seniors

Make Communication Seamless with the Best Communication Apps for Seniors

There are apps to help seniors, their loved ones, and caregivers have ease communicating. Apps have no limit to the amount of communication between individuals. Try using video apps to communicate and enjoy a better and more personalized experience.

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Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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