13 Best Smartphone Apps for Seniors Aging in Place

Advice For Seniors

13 13 Best Smartphone Apps for Seniors Aging in Place

 

With the high cost of senior living facilities, it has become more common for aging Americans to spend their golden years within the comforts of their own homes. While aging in place certainly has its advantages, there are some aspects of this lifestyle choice that may cause concern for both the family members and the senior citizens.

Family members may ask themselves: “What if mom forgets to take her pills?” “How will dad get his groceries or get a haircut?” or “What will happen if my parent falls, and he or she can’t reach a phone?”

The senior may wonder: “How will I spend the long days by myself?” “How will I get to my social engagements?” or “How can I feel safe while living alone?”

Thankfully, technology has made it safer than ever before to age in place. Not only are there fall detector buttons and watches, but it’s also very affordable to install cameras within a senior’s home, so family members can monitor what is happening there.

If the senior is somewhat technologically savvy, he or she can also use the following apps to stay safe while living alone.

 

1. Uber/Lyft

Although it seems as if there has been a lot of bad press involving Uber or Lyft lately, it is still a safe way to run errands. If your loved one is relatively mobile, but he or she is not able to operate a car safely, consider teaching your loved one to use a rideshare service.

Your aging family members will not only feel somewhat independent, but they will also be able to run errands on their own timeline.

 

2. Tracking App

If your aging senior is still getting out in the community, you may talk to your mom or dad about installing tracking software on their phones. There are many choices for tracking apps from which to choose. Considering giving several members of the family access to the app’s log-in and password so that everyone can check in on mom or dad throughout the day.

 

3. Grocery Delivery App

Perhaps your loved one still enjoys getting out for a once a week trip to the grocery store. But what if there is inclement weather or your mom comes down with a bad cold? Having access to a grocery delivery service is not only convenient, but it may also be necessary.

 

4. GrubHub or UberEats

One can’t live on stew alone. If your aging family member enjoys a meal from a local restaurant, he or she would probably enjoy using either GrubHub or UberEats meal delivery services.

 

5. Pill Reminders

There are plenty of pill reminder apps available. If you are concerned that your aging parent will forget her pills, find an app that would work well for your parent. Phillips even makes a sophisticated system that will disperse tablets at the specific time of day they should be taken. If the pills aren’t retrieved, an alert is sent to the senior as well as a family member.

 

6. Magnifying Glass

One doesn’t have to be particularly old to utilize a magnifying glass app on their phones. In fact, those in their late 40’s or 50’s may be able to put off buying “readers” by using the magnifying glass app to read pill bottles or menus. The magnifying app also turns on the flashlight, so the text that you are trying to read is well lit.

 

7. Weather App

For some reason, aging seniors love to talk about the weather. Show your mom or dad how to create a list of “favorite” cities across the country, so he or she can check the weather at each family member’s location. Don’t be surprised if your mom starts sending you texts reminding you to take an umbrella or jacket to work that day.

 

8. Audiobook App

Although Audible is the standard app for audiobooks, you may be able to find apps through your local library that enables you to listen to books for free. Also, check out Librivox, which offers free audiobooks that are available through the public domain.

 

9. Old Time Radio App

There are also plenty of apps that offer old-time radio show broadcasts for free. Perhaps listening to classic radio broadcasts of the Lone Ranger will remind your dad of galloping around outside, pretending he was riding Silver. Your mom or dad will love listening to Fibber McGee and Molly or Burns and Allen.

 

10. Video Chat App

Although you prefer texting as your main form of communication, a person who lives on his or her own may miss face-to-face talks. If you can’t be there, a Skype chat is the next best thing. Schedule a daily or weekly call with your family members who live on their own. This may be the only communication he or she has all day.

 

11. AARP

Who doesn’t love getting a discount? The AARP app will not only tell your aging family members about the senior event in his or her area, but it will also list any discounts that are available for being a member of this organization.

 

12. Ancestry

Although the app on the computer works better than the app on the iPhone, Ancestry is also a great place for your loved one to share old photos and family history. Your mom or dad may also be able to connect with a long, lost cousin who is organizing the family tree from another part of the country.

 

13. Facebook or Instagram

Although social media programs initially were utilized for teenagers, older adults were quick to jump on the bandwagon. Show your aging family member how to connect with other family members and friends by using social media. Consider checking out Tapestry. It is easy to use and allows your aging family members to connect with others across several social media networks.

Although these apps may help keep your loved one safe and entertained, nothing can replace the face-to-face interaction that only you can provide. Visit your mom or dad as often as possible. Aging in place may be the most comfortable and affordable option out there, but it can be incredibly lonely.

 

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