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We live in an incredible age of technology, where an seemingly unlimited number of apps can change our quality of life. There is an app for everything these days, making solutions to the problems of everyday life, a button away. The amazing possibilities are not just limited to younger people who are super tech savvy. Older adults have embraced new tech and found many ways to take advantage of the benefits.
Table of Contents
- Do Seniors Really Use Apps?
- 5 Best Apps for Seniors Living Alone
- Yes, Seniors Use Apps! But what do They Need to Download Them?
Do Seniors Really Use Apps?
As we enter our retirement years, we can all begin to require support. However, rather than leaving their homes and entering a retirement facility, many seniors are now looking to age in place. A home care agency helps to facilitate this, providing that much-needed daily assistance, ensuring your loved ones are able to maintain their independence in surroundings that they know. Seniors have really taken to newer tech, and the plethora of apps they provide access to. In just a couple of decades smartphone use among seniors has risen from 12% to 67% (https://www.easytechseniors.com). Like the ability to be instantly connected to those we love, or the ability to get any information we might need with an internet search, there are many good reasons why older adults are getting on board with new tech and, more specifically, new apps.
5 Best Apps for Seniors Living Alone
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With a seemingly endless array of apps flooding the market, it can be hard to choose which ones to start with. Based on the challenges and needs of older adults living alone, here are the top five most useful apps:
Social Media Apps (Facebook, Tik Tok, & More)
Keeping connected with friends, family, and community is important to our health and happiness. The CDC has reported that loneliness in older adults is a serious public health problem that can increase the risk for dementia and other health conditions (https://www.cdc.gov). This is why services like companion care are so important for seniors living alone.
With the help of various social media apps, such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and others, older adults can stay connected to the ones they love, adn the world around them, easing their loneliness. These apps can make it easier to reconnect with old friends, give us a way to keep up with what everyone is doing, as well as give us a chance to see loved ones who live too far away to visit often (https://www.sageage.com). Along with social media apps, pets are also a great way to ease loneliness in elderly individuals.
Ridehail Apps (Lyft, Uber)
Driving can be dangerous and stressful, especially for those who are dealing with issues such as fading eyesight and slowed reaction time. The road can be filled with impatient and aggressive drivers, not to mention the traffic jams. But transportation services for seniors can be difficult to come-by.
Luckily a safe ride is right around the corner with ride sharing apps like Lyft and Uber. This form of transportation is very convenient for older adults who have given up driving, those with health issues, and those living with a disability (https://www.sciencedirect.com).
Health/ Medical Apps (MediSafe, iBP, MedWatcher, and more)
Apps related to our health are great. They can help us keep track of our goals by giving progress updates, reminders, and encouragement. Some can even track the quality of our sleep, monitor our blood pressure, and help us keep track of nutrition (https://www.seniorlifestyle.com).
To get the most out of these health of apps, they should be paired with a medical alert device. Every year, 3 million older adults are injured in a fall (https://www.cdc.gov). There are many devices on the market that can detect a fall, or irregular vital signs, and notify emergency help right away (for more info, here is a guide covering what to do if a senior takes a fall). Many pair this app with a smartwatch that can also make hands free calls in case of emergency (https://www.mobileappdaily.com), as well as help keep track of heart rate and steps.
Smart Home Apps (Google, Alexa, Apple)
Smart assistants and smart sensors can help us automate many parts of our lives in the home and they can all be connected and managed with apps. Google, Amazon, and Apple provide some of the most popular models of these devices and have easy to use, streamlined apps to go with them. Automatic lights, voice activated electronics, reminders, notifications, and more can all make living at home alone easier for an aging adult, especially those with mild to moderate memory issues.
Entertainment Apps (Netflix, Spotify, Audible)
Another aspect that is critical to our wellbeing is mental stimulation. Music, audiobooks, videos, games, movies, TV shows, and more are accessible through apps such as Youtube, Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify. Access these through any smart device such as a phone, TV, or tablet. Many games such as, Words With Friends, can be played online with other players, helping give an extra bit of social connection.
There are games, like Cognifit Brain Fitness, that are specifically designed and clinically proven to train the brain and help improve cognitive function and ability (https://www.finder.com). Boredom can be one of the biggest downers when living alone. Having many outlets available for entertainment can help pass the time in an interesting way.
Yes, Seniors Use Apps! But what do They Need to Download Them?
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There are many ways to access these apps, making them even more convenient. The most popular way to download apps is on a smartphone, but they can also be downloaded on computers, laptops, tablets, and smart T.V.s.
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