Even if you are over 60, there is still time to start using the thousands of mobile apps available. We offer a selection of apps that can make your life easier, as well as tips on installing and using them.
Mobile applications or apps are already an essential part of our lives, although, for some older people, they are still something that is “not for them.” While until a few years ago, they were used only by people with the purchasing power necessary to own a sophisticated cell phone, today, smartphones are widely used and reach users of all ages and social classes.
They are no longer just a tool for people who use them to answer an e-mail outside the office but are our first choice when it comes to communicating, informing ourselves, entertaining ourselves, and even taking care of our health.
The development of this technology does not stop with its introduction into our daily lives but goes beyond that. Every day there are new apps or updates of existing ones with new features, and different management options, more intuitive and easier to use, with the goal that the number of users will continue to grow, without forgetting one of the most important parts of society: the elderly.
Why use apps for the elderly?
Very few children, young people, and adults who do not perfectly master a mobile device be it a phone or a tablet, and thus its apps. For many seniors, however, this is all another world that no longer interests them, that they do not like, and that they do not even consider necessary.
Indeed, it is challenging and attractive to become familiar with this technology without having studied or used it similarly, especially if you have lived perfectly well without it for decades.
But if this is the case for you, your parents or grandparents, do not turn away from apps, nor allow them to turn away from you, because they can help you much more than you think.
The elderly of the 21st century are not on the margins of society; they are still active people even if they no longer work and are independent even if they suffer from an illness. Mobile applications fit this social group profile and are very useful. Why?
Read some of the reasons:
- They give you autonomy: Some apps help you get around the city because they work like a GPS, whether you are walking or driving; remembering appointments; banking; running errands; or being found in case of problems without someone having to be with you or accompanying you everywhere.
- They help keep your mind active: You can use your cell phone to learn a language, read books and newspapers, or play mental agility games, which are highly recommended for ages 60 and up.
- Enrich your social life: You can talk, play games, and exchange photos with your friends, children and grandchildren anytime, anywhere-a very important aspect in today’s world, where everyone is very busy or lives thousands of miles away.
- Take care of your health: you indeed have to do your part, but there are mobile apps that are much more practical than a box of pills, helping you check your blood pressure, putting you in touch with a doctor, or telling you what to eat each day to avoid gaining weight, among many other options.
I am over 60. How can I start using an app?
You are over 60, the screen of your cell phone is full of colorful boxes, the use of which still raises certain doubts, but… don’t worry, you already have the most important thing: you want to use the apps, and you have a positive and active attitude towards this technology. From here to your best allies is only a small step; you need patience, help, and practice.
These steps can help you become versed in the world of mobile apps sooner than you think:
1. Buy a smartphone or tablet that you are comfortable using: Ideally, it should be the device you already use so that “everything doesn’t seem new” to you. Otherwise, get information from a store you trust or ask a family member to help you find a suitable device.
2. Don’t be afraid of tablets: Some people have never used them and prefer to concentrate on the cell phone, but the truth is that there is not much difference in using them, and with a larger screen, you can read better on them and play with the applications. If you can use such a device, give it a try.
3. Configure the device according to your needs: It is very important that you can easily read the instructions and information on the screen and hear the notifications and alerts to make the applications practical and useful. If you cannot hear an alert or read a message, lose interest in that application and stop using it.
4. Ask for help: Ask a friend, relative, or grandchild (they will certainly be happy to spend some time with the mobile device) to help you with the first steps to getting started with the mobile applications.
This first step is knowing where to look, find, install, and open the app. If you repeat the process with a few apps, you will find it very simple and always the same. Remember to ask your teacher how to find out which apps are paying, so you can consider that when installing them yourself.
Research online for new applications: Keep going if you’ve been using some apps for a while and like them. Search the Internet for new applications that can make your life easier. In the stores (AppStore, GooglePlay, Windows Phone, Amazon Appstore) where you install apps, they are grouped into categories that can help you find what you need: Travel, take care of your health, read, play, store, check your bank accounts and thousands of other options.
Best Mobile applications for the everyday life of the elderly
Suppose you are an older adult diving into mobile applications for the first time. In that case, we will make your daily tasks more manageable by informing you about everything you can access with a single click from your mobile device with an app. From grocery shopping without leaving the bank, checking your finances without forgetting your way, or taking many trips without missing anything:
1. Mobile phone accessibility
Before you get started with your cell phone, it is important to adjust the screen so that you can see well and have everything at hand:
BIG Launcher: a very useful app for older people to turn the complicated menus of their smartphones into simple interfaces, with direct access to calls from selected family members, messages, and even photos or weather, all with large icons and colorful.
Free for Android.
2. Go shopping
You don’t want to or can’t go out the door, it’s raining, or you want to spend the afternoon with your grandchildren, but you need to fill the fridge, don’t worry. You have the supermarket on your smartphone:
Lola Market: This app assigns a shopper (someone in your area) to store for you. You need to enter your zip code and the market where you want to store (local markets, supermarkets – Mercadona, Carrefour- or health food store) and choose your products. For €4.90, it will be delivered to your home at the specified time for €6.90 if you are in a hurry and want it within an hour.
Free in the AppStore and on Google Play.
3. Post Expenses
Many apps allow you to keep track of your bills and remember your outstanding payments. The downside for older people is that many are in English or contain internal payments that can make us doubt. Therefore, we recommend one of the most reliable ones:
Fintonic: This application helps you keep track of your expenses and income, gives you tips for saving, and informs you about commissions. With this application, you will have information about all your accounts and cards at your fingertips with total security.
Available for IOS and Android.
4. Drive through your city or any other
Most phones come standard with an app with maps and geolocation routes, but other apps can give you a plus for your road trips:
Waze: This app not only acts as a fully updated GPS but also informs you in real-time of any obstacles on your journey (roadworks, traffic jams, accidents), the cheapest gas station, the time needed, and stores your most frequent destinations. The users themselves record up-to-date information about the roads, hence the reliability.
Available for IOS, Android, and Windows Phones.
5. Travel at the best price
The world of travel deals has become a jungle in which it’s easy to get caught without finding what you’re looking for, or, once you’ve found your ticket, be disappointed by the final price difference, so it’s best to err on the side of caution:
Skyscanner: Skyscanner allows you to choose the route and buy the ticket directly. Those who want to complete their trip can also book accommodation and car rentals through the app. If you are interested in a particular flight but want to wait and see if the price drops, you can activate notifications that alert you when the price changes.
Available for IOS, Android, and Windows Phones.