There are over two million apps for iPhones and iPads in the App Store and the Google Playstore has just as many choices. With millions of apps to choose from how does one find the app best for him or herself? I have narrowed down the choices for you and I am going to share about some essential Apps for elders highlighting Apps for Seniors living alone as well as a memory App.
Today a smart phone that fits in one hand has the computing power greater than room sized computers of the not so distant past . The first computer called the ENIAC was built 1943 and completed 3 years later in 1946 occupied 1,800 square feet and weighed almost 50 tons.
Like computers smart phones and tablets have a central programming language called the Operating System. Today there are two main Operating systems for smart phones and tablets. Apple iOS is the operating system for Apple iPhone and iPad. By 2020 Apple will release a new operating system for the iPad. Android phones and tablets run Android OS by Google. Unlike iOS that runs only on Apple devices. The Android Operating system runs on several brands of devices, like Samsung, Motorola, LG for example.
Both iOS and Android Operating systems have frequent updates, some major and frequent minor. The updates provide fixes, enhances and often resolve security vulnerabilities. The operating System versions are identified by number followed by a decimal point. The Android OS major version updates are also identified by names of sweet deserts like nougat, and ice cream sandwich.
The Operating System, or OS short , determines what apps will run on a computer, smart phone or tablet. In this article I will refer to a smart phone and tablet also as a device.
What is an App ?
App is short for application. It is a program or utility that accomplishes something. An App needs to be installed on a device to use it. Apps are found and installed from an App store which ironically is an App itself. Apple and Google have their own App stores, Apple’s store is called the App Store. Google calls it’s store Google Play Store. There are millions of free apps that are sponsored by advertisements in the App Apple or Google stores. Apps without Ads can be purchased for typically around ten dollars or less.
Apps for Seniors Living Alone
One of the greatest ways smart phones and tablets benefit seniors, especially those living alone is by using by using for medical related Apps.
It is important to note that the Apps installed on smart phones or tablets are not a substitute for an actual medical identification or medical alert system.
There are numerous types of medical related Apps. Almost every smart phone and tablet come with ICE (In Case of Emergency) Med ID and Emergency Contact capabilities built in. For example, on an iPhone one can set up emergency contact information and medical history in the Apple Health App. For Android users the actual steps will depend upon the version of Android OS. Android’s ICE can typically be set up from the Contacts app under the Groups section. Once set up, the information can be accessed from Apple and Android devices on the lock screen without using a password. This enables emergency personal access to the information about medical history as well as who to call in case of emergency.
Apps for seniors living alone here in Rhode Island like Red Panic Button and Siren GPS enable a person to call for help acting like a medical alert system but require screen to be unlocked to access so if a person is unable to do so in an emergency this could present a problem.
By tapping the Red Panic Button App or widget one can contact 911 and send their location to the police, paramedics, or fire department, even send an emergency message, including optional audio or video file, to any email, phone number or Twitter with a press of a button. Red Panic button also works with the Apple Watch.
MediSafe Medication Reminder is another one of the medical Apps for seniors living alone. The App includes Med reminders, health monitoring by doctors and caregivers, drug interaction info. MediSafe is HIPPA compliant.
Memory Apps for Seniors
Luminosity is an App that offers brain training games that include memory, cognition, math and language games. Like many apps, Luminosity offers a free and paid version. Another App, Words with Friends an online game allows one to play a Scrabble-like game with others online and can help with memory and connection with others.
Music Apps, in addition to being entertaining can be used to improve memory. Apps like Pandora enable one to build music playlists by a specific artist offering a variety of songs from a specific era. Pandora is not considered one of the memory apps for seniors but using Pandora playlists with familiar songs can promote a sing along that stimulate memories. Pandora offers an add supported free version.
Essential Apps Download
In this article I have highlighted just a few best android, iPad or iPhone Apps for Seniors including links to the Apps on the list of Essential Apps for Elders that I mentioned. To locate the App on the list that I have not provided a link for in this article, just type in the App name into a search engine like Google or Bing; or search directly for the App by name in the App store being aware that several Apps by the same name or description may show up.
To download the complete list of ‘Essential Apps for Elders’ click HERE