Seniors with a smartphone

Though technology can be daunting for many seniors, a recent study by the Pew Research Center shows that tech use among seniors is on the rise. Internet use by seniors has increased 6% in the past year, and 77% of adults over age 65 now report owning a cell phone. Many tech companies have responded to this growth in stride with these simple senior-friendly apps:

1. Web MD (free)

WebMD is almost like having an in-home doctor. With 24/7 access to a vast medical database, the app offers a first aid essentials guide, a pill identification tool that helps seniors recognize their pills by size, shape and color, and a symptom checker.  Though the symptom checker cannot replace an actual doctor, it’s a great tool for gauging whether your symptoms may require immediate medical care.

2. iBP Blood Pressure ($0.99)

For seniors who want to monitor their health, this app offers a quick-view of your blood pressure, weight and heart rate.

3. Motion Doctor ($14.99)

Motion Doctor was designed by a physical therapist to help provide basic exercises and stretches for various parts of the body. The instructions are simple and accompanied by videos to keep it easy.

4. Lumosity (free)

Lumosity was designed by scientists to provide mental exercises through games that test and develop cognitive skills. The games are need based and increase in difficulty along with the player so that seniors with memory deficiencies can track their progress over time.

5. Skype (free)

Saying ‘hi’ to the grandkids or chatting with friends across the country is simple with Skype’s free face-to-face video calling.

This app is great for reading at night or in dimly lit rooms. Turn it on and voila, that tiny text is suddenly legible.

7. Big Calculator ($0.99)

As the name implies, this app is a giant pocket calculator with large, easy-to-read buttons. There are no intrusive ads and the app requires minimal memory space (1.1 MB). Great for simple, quick math like adding up bills or calculating tips.

8. Dragon Dictation (free)

For those times when typing an entire email seems tiring, don’t worry, Dragon Dictation will do it for you. Simply speak and Dragon Dictation will translate your spoken words into text.

9. Red Panic Button ($1.99)

The Red Panic Button serves a similar function as services like Life Alert, by allowing you to hit a large red button in case of emergency and automatically send a text message and email alert with GPS coordinates to a select list of contacts and medical personnel.

10. Pillboxie ($0.99)

Pillboxie provides a simple way to keep track of pill-dosage and provides reminders whenever it’s time to take your next dose. Scheduling a reminder is as easy as dropping a pill in a box.