Best Apps & Accessories to Aid Seniors with Technology
According to the Pew Research Center, an estimated one-third of Americans age 65 and above aren't confident of their ability to use electronic devices in order to do online activities. Here are some apps and accessories that help seniors gain confidence and get the most out of their technology.
This technology accessory helps seniors who have a hard time typing on a smartphone’s on-screen keyboard. Logitech’s full-size wireless keyboard can be connected to your phone. It’s a straightforward device that’s great if you have arthritis or prefer a real keyboard instead of the one on your phone. Most phones and tablets can be situated in the keyboard’s integrated cradle.
“I like this keyboard for the various operating systems I can pair the Bluetooth with, the ease of pairing AND the deep keys that accommodate my arthritic hands,” says a reviewer. “Great value, perfect for writing.” Plus, here’s how to make a home safe for older folks.
For seniors who struggle to see the small print on their iPhone, the BigNames app provides large, high-contrast text so they can browse through names and numbers easily.
“My wife has poor vision, but BigNames allows her to see her contacts!” says a reviewer. “She is not a techie, but it is easy to use. She loves BigNames. We are awaiting any other apps from xinsight to make her iPhone more useable.”
Amplified smartphone accessories are a great way to overcome volume that’s too soft for seniors with hearing loss. The Tweak Focus+T Digital Hearing Amplifier features telecoil functionality. When the telecoil function in a hearing aid is activated, sound sent through the loop system is triggered, while background noise is canceled. This telephone-specific setting provides seniors the ability to hear well in phone conversations. There’s no better time than the present for seniors to find ways to stretch their retirement dollars. Here are some discounts and free things available to seniors.
A stylus is a great accessory for seniors unfamiliar with touchscreen technology. The pen provides better control over the screen, allowing you to press on-screen buttons with ease.
“The stylus moves easily on the screen,” says a reviewer. “Great functionality having the stylus and pen in one. The pens come in great colors! I like the slim design of the pen. I have them all over the house and at work. I actually just bought them for my grandparents who just purchased their first smart phones and tablets, and they love these stylus/pens too. I’ll be buying more.” Tech isn’t just for the young. Now aging-in-place technology allows seniors to live in their own home happily and safely.
This app is a great invention for seniors who are intimidated by the idea that technology now allows you to read news on tablets, phones and computers. You simply connect the FlipBoard app to all of your social media accounts and it will connect with the top news and content sites you like. The app then turns everything into a digital magazine, so seniors can get their news all in one place, even “flipping” pages just like a magazine or newspaper, including Facebook posts and tweets! See how to build a wheelchair ramp for better accessibility.
This app is great for seniors who aren’t used to all the innovative apps that allow you to take notes and make reminder alerts. With Evernote, you can replace to-do lists, grocery lists, grandchildren’s wish lists, and all sorts of reminders from written notes to voice memos, pictures and videos all in one place. You’ll love that you can type a list on your desktop and it will be available on your phone!
Seniors may also love using a full-size wireless keyboard to type on their tablet or smartphone. It’s especially helpful for those who suffer from arthritis. This portable ultra-thin wireless Bluetooth keyboard features a magnetic foldable design that allows you to easily fit it into a purse, bag or pocket.
Seniors with low vision quality can download the TapTapSee app to identify objects they encounter in their daily lives. You simply double-tap anywhere on the screen to take a picture. The app can photograph any two or three-dimensional object at any angle. Then, the app speaks the identification back to the user. It’s a great way for seniors to use technology in a way they never could before. Here are some other smart products that can make life easier while aging in place.
Smartphones may have bigger screens than ever, but for seniors, there may be discomfort and visual fatigue caused by extended focus on the screen. This screen magnifier solves the problem, magnifying the smartphone 2 to 3 times to make it easier to watch movies or video and to read news on their phone.
Stepping in and out of the bathtub can be a slip hazard for older adults, so converting a typical bathtub-shower combo to a more accessible design with seating and a lower lip is beneficial. This projects features both.
While Apple’s Siri and Google’s inbuilt voice-to-text service allow users to search the web, text and more with their voices. However, seniors may find it frustrating if they are new to this type of technology and consequently have long pauses while speaking. Third-party apps like Speechnotes are perfect for longer dictations, because they keep listening after longer pauses. With this guide to choosing and installing motion sensor lighting, older adults will be able to navigate outside pathways safely—even with their arms full.
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