Apps and Technology Helping the Elderly

Technology is often seen as a young person’s pursuit. However, it’s actually elderly people who might stand to benefit the most from advancements in mobile apps, as there are now plenty of ingenious technological solutions to many of the challenges people face as they get older.

Of course, we know that everyone’s situation and needs are different. Therefore, not all of these apps will be suitable for everyone. That’s why this list is not meant to be a comprehensive look at every app which can help elderly people but rather a quick summary of what’s out there. So, just because you don’t see a specific app in this list, that doesn’t mean it isn’t out there. There’s usually a pretty good chance that there’s some kind of mobile-based solution available for you.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five of the top apps that are helping the elderly in various ways. 

  • Skype

This may be an obvious one to start with but that’s with good reason. The world’s leading video calling app has been bringing people together for many years now. What sets this apart from other similar apps is really simple: you can call anyone in the world for free, without any need for even a mobile phone number or a SIM card. If a person has access to the internet through a tablet, computer or mobile device, they can keep in touch with their loved ones in a more personal way than your average phone call without needing to worry about the bills.

This is a great app for helping to improve a person’s social life when meeting up face-to-face isn’t practical. As we know from research, loneliness can have a devastating effect on mental health, with AGE UK considering it as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

  • Crossword Puzzle Free

Speaking of mental health, keeping our minds active is one of the most vital things we can do at any age to prevent the onset of issues such as dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. Games like Crossword Puzzle Free can really help to give our minds a workout using a classic formula that virtually everyone understands. Plus, aside from that, it’s also tons of fun.

It is available on Android and iOS devices, although unfortunately, you will have to sit through the odd advert in order to enjoy it for free. However, with so much content to enjoy, we think it’s more than worth that inconvenience. You can even download puzzles, so you don’t have to stay online when you want to play.

  • Words with Friends

Bringing together some of the best features of both of our last examples, Words with Friends is the most popular mobile word game. It can be best understood as a modern day version of the classic Scrabble board game. Most importantly, it allows you to play both individually and with family and friends, meaning you can get all the benefits of socialising while helping your brain stay fit and active.

  • Dictation Tools

More than 10 million people in the UK live with arthritis and other join-related conditions, and although it can affect all ages, it is more common in older people. This can make things such as typing next to impossible. Thankfully though, mobile or online dictation tools makes it possible to write once again.

The reason we’ve not chosen any specific apps here is because there are several offerings available, both free and for a cost, which may be better suited to each individual situation. For instance, the type of computer you are using may mean you have different options to choose from and, of course, whether or not you are willing to pay for greater accuracy depends on how often you intend to use the app. Regardless though, there are plenty of dictation tools out there, meaning the ability to write can be maintained even with arthritis.

  • Amazon Kindle App

While the Amazon Kindle is a device, it is also an app which is available on Android and iOS devices as well. While many people turn their noses up at digital books, they actually have a lot of benefits for older people.

Studies have shown that older people were able to read text on digital books more quickly and with less effort, with no negative impact on their understanding of the text. This is believed to be due to the increased contrast between text and background, which older people are less sensitive to. Aside from that, they can be a really convenient way of having a lot of different books at your disposal for the avid reader.