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5 helpful apps for senior citizens

Sanjana Ray
3rd Nov 2016
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My grandfather is a proud man. A man of medicine, he witnessed our country’s fight for independence from colonial rule as a young man and has told us many a story about an India we never knew. He tells me about the times when a five rupee coin was considered a small fortune, about hiding in the car during a police-naxalite shootout and being called upon by villagers for whom he would perform free health-checks, for a supposed exorcism of their daughter. He is a highly educated man, and has an incredible stamp and autograph collection, the latter including personal messages from the likes of Lord Mountbatten, Charlie Chaplin, Satyajit Ray and Prithviraj Kapoor and many more.

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

Quite simply, my grandfather is a man of letters. But with all his children and grandchildren spread out across three different continents, the romantic notion of a letter or a telephone call to stay in touch doesn’t quite cut it anymore, especially as the world becomes more digitally-inclined every second. To this end, my uncle bought him a smartphone and after a lot of hard-lined convincing by us, he decided to give it a go and spent many an hour writing down ‘a guide’ to using the said app, while I narrated each step.

Today, after an hour-long conversation with him on a WhatsApp call, I realised that the convenience of a digital world doesn’t just remain restricted to millennials. It can very well be extended to the lives of the senior citizens as well, making precious communication and time all the more enriching.

Keeping this in mind, we present to you a list of apps that you should encourage and teach the elderly in your family to use – for safety, communication and, most importantly, fun! The list has been designed according to the apps that have received the best ratings and reviews on both Android and iOS platforms.

Skype

Android – 4.1/5

iOS – 4/5

This is possibly one of the most important apps for senior citizens to use. Today, a lot of the world is living away from their parents and grandparents.As a result, the latter tend to miss out on some of the most important events of your life.With increasingly busy professional schedules, it usually becomes difficult to visit them more than once or twice a year, and while you manage the distance by staying extremely busy, for them you are their world and not being able to see your face trulysaddens them. But with Skype, they now have the option of free video calls,allowing them to see your face and surroundings anytime, making them feel involved and updated and making the physical distance secondary. You can create an account for them and then teach them how to make calls and add people, and before you know it, they’ll be teaching you stuff!

MediSafe

Android – 4.5/5

iOS – 4.5/5

It is a common notion that as you age, your memory doesn’t remain as sharp as it once was.There is a tendency to forget simple things like where you kept your glasses, your phone and, most importantly, taking your medicine. The MediSafe App works as a personal assistant and friend, where users can load in their list of medications and set reminders for when they need to take them. They can even make status reports, so they can see how well they’ve stuck to their medicine regimen. It also assures safety and they can be rest assured that their personal medical information will not be disclosed to any second-or-third party medium.

Lumosity

Android – 4.1/5

iOS – 4/5

This app is a favourite among elderly Android and iOS users, according to the reviews because it serves a two-fold purpose. First, it helps reduce the chances of diseases like Alzheimer’s and forms of dementia because it provides an array of quizzes, puzzles and games that help keep your memory sharp and brain active. Secondly, it’s a great way to pass time and have fun with the simple and light content it provides, giving them a great mental boost when they get things right.

Audible

Android – 4.3/5

iOS – 5/5

One of the harsh realities of life is the fact that after a certain age, your eye-sight starts to dim and hence words like ‘cataract surgeries’ start filling in your dictionary. Senior citizens often have a problem reading things in small font – digital or on paper – and hence cannot keep at it for a continued periods of time because of the strain on their eyes. This poses a problem for the voracious readers, who have to then limit their reading to the daytime and for considerably short periods. However, Audible provides an answer to their problems.It provides access to over 1,80,000audiobooks toits users,allowing them to just listen to the story at a go instead of having to seek spectacles and time to read the same book.

Calorie Counter

Android – 4.6/5

iOS – 4.5/5

We all have that one grandfather who has a massive sweet tooth and bribes us with chocolates to bring him the forbidden piece of cake. However, chances of diabetes, coronary attacks and even obesity become great risks at an advanced age. To counter this, it is necessary for senior citizens to maintain a balanced diet, limiting the amount of calories that are in taking in a day. To this end, this app created by MyFitnessPalis perfect, because it keeps a steady check on your weight by telling you the calorie count for any kind of food or drink you have consumed in the day – from an apple, to a toast with butter, to even masala oats. You can then check the total number of calories you have consumed at the end of the day and keep a record and work around it accordingly, to keep within an estimated amount.

A healthy life is a happy life, and these apps help to bring about your mental and physical best to achieve the same.

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