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What are the best mobile phone apps to download?

27th July 2020

From games to social media and reading apps, there are so many apps that can be enjoyed on iPhone and Android phones that will make passing the time a lot easier.

Apps are not just something for teenagers and kids as there are an array of mobile phone apps that are perfect for older people. They can set you reminders, help keep your mind active and even alert you about great deals.

This article looks at the best mobile phone apps older people can download and helps guide you through what they do so you can decide whether it is something you want to use.

•MyTherapy App

•Wheelmap

•VoucherCodes

•Read2Go

•Brain HQ

•Spotify

•Google Maps

MyTherapy App

Cost: Free

Devices: Android and iOS

It is common that as people grow older that they might need some support and this can range from new stairlifts being put into their home or can be something simple like an app to help remind older adults to take their medication.

The MyTherapy app simplifies complex medication regimens into a simple to-do list that helps remind users exactly when they need to take their medication and what its corresponding dosage is. These easy-to-use notifications can also inform you to do things such as record your blood pressure, heart rate, weight, or any other measurement you have to track.

The app allows users to tick off their daily items one by one and the team function aspect of the app means you can connect with family members to share your progress.

Talking about how useful the MyTherapy app is for older people, a spokesperson said: “According to a clinical study by the Geriatrics Research Group of the Charité – Medical University Berlin, older adults using the MyTherapy app were more likely to adhere to their medication plan. Furthermore, patients rated their subjective wellbeing higher having used the app for several weeks. This research was awarded the Silverstar Award in 2014, an advancement award in the field of primary care and/or care for elderly people with diabetes.”

Philipp Legge, one of the three founders of Smartpatient, the company behind MyTherapy, adds: “By evaluating the acceptance of our app among older patients, we were able to clearly refute the myth that smartphones are only suitable for the younger generation.”

The MyTherapy app has had an average of 4.7-star rating and is now used by people all over the world who would otherwise struggle to remember whether they have taken their medication.

Wheelmap

Cost: Free

Devices: Android and iOS

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Wheelmap.org (@wheelmap) on

Wheelmap is an app that finds and rates wheelchair accessible places. Users from all over the globe are able to find and add places to the map and then rate the wheelchair accessibility by using a traffic light system.

The Wheelmap app was launched back in 2010 and since then has been helping older people who struggle with their mobility or wheelchair users to plan their days out in the UK and abroad.

There are more than one million cafés, libraries, swimming pools and other public places that can be found on the map. Wheelmap is also a great mobile phone app to download as it shows you where public toilets can be found and now it even includes real-time data of the operational status of elevators and escalators in some countries.

A feature that has proved useful to users is the fact that you can add new places you come across and now there are over 300 new destinations added on a daily basis all over the world on the app. The app is available in 32 languages.

Talking about its use to older people, Wheelmap said: “Among senior citizens the amount of people with a mobility impairment increases. Today’s assistive technologies and devices including wheelchairs, electric vehicles, walking frames and smartphones help a lot to stay mobile until an old age.

“However, there is a lack of information regarding the accessibility of their environment. Official directories only cover a small selection of places and areas, which are hard to find and lack simple user-friendly interfaces with a data collection that cannot easily be updated or extended. That’s the gap that Wheelmap tries to close: an online map based on crowdsourcing and showing information collected in all parts of the world. Active seniors who are familiar with apps use Wheelmap a lot for finding places but also for rating places in their spare time.”

VoucherCodes

Cost: Free

Devices: Android and iOS

Everyone loves a deal and to save some money and with VoucherCodes you can. It is the go-to app for the UK's best voucher codes, discounts, deals and savings for thousands of leading brands you love.

The app is created by leading discount site VoucherCodes.co.uk and the app allows users to find the best savings they can make from leading retail and restaurant brands.

Some of the popular features of the app include its location services which show you the savings available for brands near you and its simple to use ‘save’ function which allows you to mark an offer as ‘saved’ to revisit later.

VoucherCodes explains why the app is easy-to-use for older people: “The VoucherCodes app has also been expertly designed for maximum accessibility. Its large icon layout means that each deal has large, clear text and a handy image for maximum clarity. The app also features a simple landing page with easy to use scroll functions, allowing those less familiar with mobile apps to easily explore the deals.

“Each category is clearly labelled with a jargon-free heading such as ‘exclusive offers’, or ‘women’s fashion’ allowing for easy navigation and less time searching for the deal or brand you are looking for. Additionally, the search button at the bottom of the app screen brings up a large search tool which can be used to quickly find a specific discount.”

Read2Go

Cost: £19.99

Devices: iOS

Read2Go from Bookshare is an accessible eBook reader app that lets you read books on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

You just need to find a book you want to start reading, download it and then with Read2Go you can customize your reading experience. You can listen to the words read aloud, highlight the words as you read them or as they are read out, enlarge font sizes, adjust reading speeds and colours and even read with a braille display if you are blind or have poor eyesight.

Bookshare is an initiative of the non-profit technology firm Benetech and it is the world’s largest library of accessible Ebooks for people who can’t read standard print. There are currently more than 550,000 titles including literature, bestsellers, non-fiction, vocational manuals, and much more.

Brain HQ

Cost: Free

Devices: Android and iOS

Brain games are known to help older people improve their memory and while there are a lot of brain games out there, Brain HQ has become one of the most popular as it has proven to work.

Talking about their app, on the Brain HQ website they say: “Think of it as a personal gym, where you exercise your memory, attention, brain speed, people skills, intelligence and navigation instead of your abs, delts, and quads. Just as our bodies require care and exercise over the course of life, so do our brains—especially as we age.”

Something that has separated the Brain HQ app from other brain training apps is that its brain training program has been created following 30 years of research in neurological science and related medicine. It has also been designed by a team of neuroscientists from around the world that has been led by Michael Merzenich, who has won the Kavli Prize laureate and was the co-inventor for the cochlear implant.

There are lots of games and exercises you can try on the app and can adapt them to suit your needs.

Spotify

Cost: Free or £9.99 per month

Devices: Android and iOS

There is no need to buy vinyl, cassettes or CD’s now as for a monthly subscription you can listen to over 30 million tracks on the move via the Spotify app.

The app has all the golden oldies and the songs that have only just been released. On the app, you can search by artist, song name and more as well as having the ability to create playlists with all your favourite tracks in it.

The free version of the app means you will have to listen to adverts.

Google Maps

Cost: Free

Devices: Android and iOS

Google Maps comes pre-installed if you are using an Android smartphone such as Samsung or HTC, but if you have an Apple iPhone it is a useful one to download.

This digital atlas allows you to get from A to B quickly with step-by-step directions and live departures of buses, trains and other transportation.

With Google Maps you do not need to buy a SatNav as the free-to-use app will do all of the groundwork.

Miles Waghorn, the founder of TechSilver, says: “The days of adverts with a silver-haired couple walking down the beach to target seniors are over. 70 is the new 50 and it's no longer acceptable to put all seniors in one category due to their age. Some older people are extremely active and run marathons, others may be in to travel or culture, the only thing they have in common is their age group!

“Google Maps is more than just navigation, ideal for discovering places like 'restaurants with a view near me' or 'top rates museums in Paris'.”

These are just some of the mobile phone apps that older adults can download. As you will have seen from the above guide, there are apps that can help inform people who need home stairlifts and struggle with mobility problems about accessible places they can visit in the UK and abroad as well as brain training apps that help improve your memory.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.