Our thanks to Bash Sarmiento for this contribution to our blog.
With technology becoming more and more user-friendly, it is almost impossible to say that older adults and seniors cannot use a mobile phone or have access to the internet. Both groups have willingly kept themselves up to date with the latest gadgets and already have the technical knowledge to be able to keep up with modern times.
A study by the Pew Research Center (2019) revealed that 60-year-old Americans and older spend more than half of their leisure time in front of their TVs, computers or laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices daily. There is also a significant increase in terms of seniors’ adoption of digital technology. In comparison, only 14% of those ages 65 and older were internet users back in 2000. This number increased to an impressive 73% in 2019. Also worth noting, about 53% of seniors are already smartphone owners.
This is not a surprise especially when technology has made an effort to penetrate the baby boomer and senior markets with gadgets that are useful and foolproof as they can be for their age. Technology for older adults includes high-tech wearables like a smartwatch which can monitor their blood pressure and act as a pedometer to track their steps. Smartphones have become more convenient with screen magnification, talk-to-text, and assistive touch features. Plenty of mobile phone applications are also accessible through various smartphone app markets. Apps that can genuinely make the lives of people from all walks of life, more so, age groups easier and more convenient.
Here is a list of some awesome apps that can facilitate their social interactions, track their health and wellness, sharpen their memory, and others:
Facebook for socials.
According to Statista (2021), a percentage of 11.3 represents Facebook users ages 55 and over worldwide. No matter small, it still provides a digital presence to the baby boomer and senior age. Facebook has been a useful app for keeping in touch with busy friends and family members. With its improved algorithms, it has also become a platform where former classmates, schoolmates, and colleagues reunite. Through Facebook Messenger where they can call, send a message, or video chat regardless of the distance, communication is a sure success. They can enjoy sending messages or just lurk and check the newsfeed to get a glimpse of what everyone has been up to.
Magnifying Glass with Light for Productivity
This app is a great way to enjoy comfortable reading. While most smartphones have the feature to magnify the texts on screen and make screen-reading an easy task, the magnifying glass app uses the phone’s camera to magnify texts of hardbound books, magazines, and other external reading materials. The users just need to position their device’s camera over the text and it will automatically enlarge and brighten the text shown on the screen to facilitate easy reading.
Shopwell and WebMD for wellness.
A healthy diet is crucial in keeping the mind and body in the best shape. The Shopwell app can help in identifying food that can fit one’s health goals and needs. Whether you are following a plant-based diet, carnivore diet, or anything the doctors recommend, this app can help you make a nutritious grocery list that you can take to your local store or market. It will also recommend alternatives to ensure that you are on track with the right options. WebMD, on the other hand, offers an array of researched medical studies and conditions so it is the perfect reference if you want to check symptoms or simply locate the nearest physician or hospital. This app can also identify whether or not meds can be bought over-the-counter or requiring medical prescriptions, their side effects, and uses. You can also put up a reminder for your maintenance medicines. You can also find home remedies and research at-home health services from the same app.
Senior Discounts & Coupons App and Mint for thrift finds and budgeting.
The Senior Discounts & Coupons app may not track your savings but it can help you find discounts and sales. It can help you find out which stores, hotels, and restaurants offer discounts for seniors. Mint, however, lets you monitor your spending as this is a personal finance app where you can sync your bank accounts on one page and check each expenditure. You can also control your spending habits by designating a limit and it organizes your spending into charts and categorizes it into groceries, gas, food, entertainment, etc. It is also a platform where you can pay your rent and other bills so you do not have to go elsewhere.
Words with Friends 2 for leisure.
This is an interactive Scrabble-themed game that older adults can enjoy while maintaining their cognitive health. In this game, a board will be displayed on the screen along with a list of letters that can be used to form words. The game keeps scores and will provide new letters as frequently needed. It can be played alone but it will be more fun and engaging when played with friends or family members in competitive teams.
Smartphone technology has changed over the years and these apps are only the tip of the iceberg. The more older adults are committed to transitioning to the digital world, the more mobile app developers rapidly take action and make these helpful apps readily available. Share this with anyone who might just need this list today.
About the Author:
Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and traveling are translated into his works.