Because A Loving Company understands and supports the idea that seniors want to age in their homes, we are excited by anything, including technology, that helps make that easy, engaging and safe. Last week’s story presented a variety of Smartphone apps for seniors which can help with their safety, health and care. This week, we have information on different apps, which can assist with productivity, functionality and communication. While some of these apps are designed specifically for older adults, others have been developed for the general population but have characteristics particularly well-suited to seniors.
Among the most ingenious apps for Smartphones is Phonotto. This app hides the bells and whistles of a Smartphone: SMS, surfing, music and other features which make the Smartphone attractive to some, but confusing to less tech savvy individuals. Buttons and fonts can be enlarged and options simplified. Importantly, the senior is able to switch back to full Smartphone functionality by pressing the home button.
SEE IT, HEAR IT, SPEAK IT
There’s a variety of Smartphone apps to enhance visibility for the user. EyeReadermagnifies and illuminates small print on items including but not limited to menus, playbills, books, etc. SilverSurf is a web browser designed with high contrast buttons and zoom capabilities to facilitate navigation, a feature that’s extremely desirable to older adults. For seniors with auditory problems, SoundAMPR is an app which, when used with in-ear earphones, dramatically amplifies conversations, music, or television dialogue, and if desired records, while reducing background noise. An instant replay feature permits the user to hear what has been said without having to ask for it to be repeated.
Dragon Dictation is widely used by business people, writers, students and other who find it more productive and easier to talk than to type. The user speaks, and the app types what is being said. On the flip side, Speak It! is a text to speech app which facilitates communication for non-verbal seniors by reading what they type, out loud.
In Case of Emergency (ICE)
HeyTell is a location-aware app that permits the user to instantly talk with friends and family by simply pushing a button and talking. Especially important for isolated seniors, the app also permits the user to share his or her location.
A quick push of a button can help alert first responders and or family in case of an emergency. First Responder also notifies those receiving the message, of the location from which it’s being sent.
As seniors and their families and caregivers research technology and apps for Smartphones, be sure to check ElderGadget.com. This excellent resource provides information about new senior-friendly consumer electronics.