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Why Apps Matter for Seniors

Finding and learning to use new smartphone apps may seem daunting, but the right apps can make a world of difference in staying healthy, connected, and engaged in your golden years. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explore the top apps enhancing senior lives – how they work, expert-recommended options, real user reviews, and tips to get started. Let’s dive in!

As senior-focused apps gain popularity, their benefits speak for themselves:

  • 70% of older smartphone users rely on apps for key daily activities. (Pew Research Center)
  • Seniors who use health apps are 40% more likely to take medications properly and schedule doctor checkups. (AARP)
  • Games and online communities help combat senior isolation, improving mood and cognition. (University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • Accessible technologies like reading apps enable those with age-related impairments to stay informed. (Perkins School for the Blind)

While adopting new technologies has a learning curve, I hope opening your mind to the possibilities of senior-friendly apps leads to new connections and improved quality of life. The key is finding apps tailored for you. Let‘s explore some top categories and options…

Thanks to intuitive video chat and social media apps, it‘s never been easier to stay in touch with loved ones near and far. I‘ll share the most senior-friendly options:


With accessibility features like text enlarging, voice dictation, and screen readers, Facebook helps you effortlessly connect over life updates, photos, events and more. The familiar news feed makes it easy to follow kids and grandkids without the stresses of more complex platforms.

Sue K, 72, says: “Facebook allows me to keep up with family I can‘t see often. I love commenting on new baby pictures and videos!”


WhatsApp‘s group chat function keeps extended families and circles of friends seamlessly connected. You can create groups for sharing updates, photos, planning gatherings, and also make international voice and video calls for free over Wi-Fi.

John W, 80, says: “Having everyone on Whatsapp makes coordinating with my kids so much easier. I can even call my daughter abroad at no cost!”


If you have an iPhone, FaceTime makes video calling incredibly easy. Simply tap a saved contact and catch up face-to-face. FaceTime works great for short, impromptu chats to show off new haircuts, outfits, home decor and more to those you love.

Debra S, 68, says: “I use FaceTime almost daily to video chat with my granddaughters. It‘s so easy – just like making a phone call with video!”

Managing medications and health conditions can be stressful. These apps will be your personal assistant, offering reminders and resources around the clock:

Medisafe: The Medication Management App

With setup help from a caregiver or family member, Medisafe provides medication reminders and optional pillbox integration to help you remember and track dosages. Other handy features include refill reminders, symptom and mood logging, and family oversight options for peace of mind.

Susan W, 79, says: "Medisafe gives alerts when it‘s time for my pills and also when I‘m running low. Such a big help in keeping up with my medications!"

WebMD: Symptom Checking and Health Info

Don‘t waste time guessing your symptoms – use the trusted WebMD app to quickly check common issues, learn about conditions, research treatments and find doctors in your area. The highly accurate symptom checker offers peace of mind. Plus, you can browse health topics and wellness tips from leading medical experts.

Fall Safety Pro: Alerting Help Instantly

Unfortunately, falls are a real danger as we age. The Fall Safety Pro app uses your smartphone’s built-in motion sensors to detect falls and automatically send alert messages to emergency contacts if you are immobile after a fall. Having a safety net for getting help fast provides protection and confidence.

Don‘t let eye problems interfere with your enjoyment of books, news and magazines. These apps convert text into clear, natural-sounding speech:

Audible: The Leading Audiobook App

With over 200,000 audiobook titles ranging from bestsellers to classics, Audible is sure to have books you‘ll love. Use the app to enjoy them on all your devices, pick up where you left off, change narration speed, and easily search their vast library. This top-rated app makes reading possible again!

Libby: Free Library Audiobooks & eBooks

This free app lets you borrow ebooks and audiobooks from your local library without ever leaving home. Libby‘s user-friendly system makes browsing, borrowing, listening and reading digital books effortless. Enjoy bestsellers, discover new authors and save money over buying books.

Voice Dream Reader: Customizable Text-to-Speech

Having any text read aloud as high-quality speech is a gamechanger. Voice Dream Reader converts web articles, ebooks, PDFs, docs and more into natural narration. Customize reading speed, voices and more for maximum listening comfort. This app unleashes the written word for those with visual impairments.

Fun mental exercises provide stimulation and may help strengthen memory and focus. Try these top picks:

Lumosity: Science-Based Brain Training

Lumosity uses science-backed games targeting memory, attention, flexibility and problem solving. Their personalized training programs have shown improved performance on standardized cognition tests in multiple studies. Challenge yourself across word games, spatial puzzles, memory tasks and more in 5-15 minute daily sessions.

Elevate: Boost Focus, Speaking, Reading & More

Elevate takes a “personal training for the brain” approach with quick, intensive games designed around skills like focus, processing, speaking, reading and writing. Track your performance gains through in-depth analytics. Push yourself safely – Elevate adjusts difficulty to keep you challenged.

Solitaire Games: Enjoy Classic Fun & Mental Exercise

Familiar solitaire and matching card games provide an easily enjoyable form of mental stimulation. Digitally enhanced versions assist through hints, highlighted viable moves and automatic card placement to allow smooth, frustration-free gameplay. Apps like Solitaire City and Microsoft Solitaire Collection offer hundreds of unlimited free games.

Ride services like Lyft and Uber provide affordable, safe transportation without the need to drive yourself. Their senior-friendly options will get you where you need to go with ease.

Uber: Customizable Rides

The Uber app lets you request rides in minutes in most locations. Split fares with family members, schedule future rides, track your driver‘s arrival, and customize preferences for your comfort and needs. Use accessibility features like low hearing and vision support. Review safety and sanitation policies.

Lyft: Travel Comfortably

Similar to Uber, Lyft allows ordering rides through their smartphone app. For seniors, Lyft offers extra assistance from drivers, priority pickups, and ability to add preferred routes. Split the cost by adding others to your route. View safety and cleanliness protocols.

Transit Apps: Navigating Public Transportation

Unsure which bus or metro to take? Transit apps provide real-time maps, routes, schedules and arrival times to simplify use of public transportation. Many allow mobile ticketing so you never need to worry about having cash on hand. Popular options include Moovit, Citymapper, Google Maps Transit, and Metro Transit.

Forgetfulness comes naturally with age, but reminders and calendar apps can help. Here are the most senior-friendly choices:

Google Calendar: Easy Event Creation & Sharing

Google Calendar allows quickly making events with custom reminders – perfect for coordinating appointments, gatherings, schedules and more. Set reminders by email, pop-up notification or audio alert. Easily share your calendar with loved ones and caregivers who can help keep you on track.

Reminder Apps: Customizable Alerts

Simple reminder apps like, Reminder, and Todoist make it easy to set recurring alerts, location-based reminders, voice-input to-dos, shared lists with family, and more. Great for remembering daily health tasks, upcoming events, grocery items to get, household chores and everything in between!

Medisafe: Your Medication Reminder

In addition to Medisafe‘s robust medication management features, its configurable reminders ensure you never miss a dose. Link reminders to multiple daily medications for a single prompt. Share reminder data with caregivers monitoring your regimen. Easy pill scheduling and tracking gives peace of mind.

This guide only scratches the surface of how apps can enrich senior lives. With some guided set-up and practice, you‘ll be video-calling loved ones, managing health needs, continuing beloved hobbies, and staying sharp in no time. Don‘t let inexperience deter you – connect with a tech-savvy relative or friend help get you started. Approach new apps with an open mind and sense of adventure. The possibilities to connect, learn and engage are endless.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.