close

Best Apps for Seniors in 2021

As the saying goes, There’s an app for that––and I can’t disagree. With nearly five million apps available between Apple and Google’s stores, it’s hard to think of a function that falls outside of their purview. Shopping, banking, gaming, and even medication reminders can all be accomplished through these handy pieces of software, and I find that many of them can be particularly helpful to seniors.

Millennials are no longer the only smartphone-slinging generation. More and more of the older adults who I work with are making use of the latest in cellular technology. In a matter of seconds, I can equip my clients with tools to easily keep up on the news, stay in touch with loved ones, or have some plain, old-fashioned fun. Here are some of my favorites:

Most Useful Apps for Seniors

Find My iPad for iOS
Find your iPad, iPhone or iPod with this App

Find My iPhone

If you have a habit of misplacing your phone, then the free Find My iPhone app is a handy tool worth installing. Using your smartphone’s built-in GPS capabilities, it will track the geographical location of your phone, allowing you to detect the exact location of a device even when it’s powered off.

For example, one of my clients worried that someone had stolen her new iPhone, for which she’d just paid nearly $1,000. Using the app, she logged into her account on my device, and we traced the location of her phone to her daughter’s house. This app is a real time-saver.

Price: Free
Availability: iOS

AARP Now (Free)

Run by its titular organization, AARP is a trustworthy source for senior-focused news, recipes, reviews, and membership information. To take full advantage of this app, you’ll need an existing AARP membership, which costs $16 annually. Whether you are a member or not, the app also runs an exciting rewards program that earns you points for taking quizzes and watching educational videos. These points can be redeemed for the likes of sweepstake entries, local deals, discounted gift cards, and donations.

Price: Free
Availability: iOS and Android

Life360

The Life360 app allows a user to share their location with a network of caregivers. Similar to a medical alert system, this app can be programmed to send alerts to loved ones when it detects movement to or from certain areas. It also gives users access to Life360’s 24/7 emergency response team. While the base plan is free, if you want features such as 30 days of location history, battery monitoring, and priority customer support, make sure to subscribe to the platinum plan.

Safer Driving: Life360 helps caregivers keep an eye on their loved one’s driving behavior, showing you their top speed and whether or not they’re texting while driving, ensuring that they demonstrate safe driving practices.

Price: $4.99 – $19.99 per month
Availability: iOS and Android

Lyft

If you live in a metropolitan area, then there’s hardly a more convenient way to get around than through a ride-hailing service like Lyft. Detecting your location through your phone’s GPS, Lyft allows you to schedule a pickup and dropoff to any location where a car can go, which is especially convenient in areas with limited parking.

In my experience, it usually takes less than fifteen minutes for a ride to arrive, and my drivers have always been skilled and courteous, often offering water and advice on the surrounding area. With the Lyft app, you can also schedule rides for other people. This comes in handy when one of my clients needs a quick pickup from the grocery store.

Price: Free to download; The cost of each ride will vary.
Availability: iOS and Android

Park ‘n’ Forget

This GPS-based car finding app is ideal for those of us who have trouble remembering where we parked our cars. Whether at the mall, grocery store, or anywhere else, Park ‘n’ Forget tracks your movement from the car to your destination. Upon departure, the app’s built-in map helps you retrace your steps. If you’re parking in a metered place, the app will even update you 15-minutes before your parking ticket is about to expire, saving you from the frustration of parking fines.

Price: $0.99 per month
Availability: iOS

Sciddy

Who doesn’t love a good discount? Older adults, especially, can benefit from using this free senior discount app. If you are 50 years or older, the app presents to you a range of great discounts on everything from food to home services and health. To find discounts, you can either search for a certain type of business, or you can activate alerts. With Sciddy alerts, I receive a notification on my phone any time I enter my local movie theater and pizza parlor, two places that offer senior discounts.

Price: Free
Availability: iOS and Android

Today Weather

For those of us who like to keep tabs on the weather, the easy-to-use Today Weather app is a must-have. It presents detailed, hourly, local forecasts from reliable meteorological sources. It even shares updates about the air quality, UV index, and pollen count. Often, I turn to this app before planning any of my outdoor activities.

While the full app can be used at no cost, this free version requires you to view ads periodically. The premium version of this app comes with no advertisements for a smoother experience.

Price: Free with ads; $2.99 per year or $6.49 for a 6-month subscription (ad-free)
Availability: iOS and Android

Mint

If you’re retired and living on a fixed income, then it’s imperative to budget carefully. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through a financial app like Mint. Mint allows you to monitor your bills, bank accounts, credit cards, bills, and investments, all in one place. Depending on your spending habits and savings, it also helps you budget for your monthly/weekly expenses, giving you suggestions on what to cut-back on.

For example, with Mint, I was able to see that a majority of the prior month’s expenditures were on restaurants and takeout, letting me know that I could cut back on this area of spending.

Price: Free
Availability: iOS and Android

Magnifying Glass with Light

By the age of 65, one in three people will have some sort of issue with their vision. Be it reading the text on medicine bottles or checking to see if your makeup is on right, the Magnifying Glass with Light app can help. Using your phone’s camera, this app magnifies (6x) the visual and also shines light on it in case the ambient light isn’t bright enough.

I find this app particularly helpful in dimly lit restaurants while reading the small text on menus. This app’s base features can be used for free, you need to pay for advanced features such as an image stabilizer and high contrast modes.

Price: Free; $1.99 for the premium version
Availability: iOS

Review of T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+ plan (Spoiler, it's a great deal) 1
© Can Stock Photo / duiwoy55

Best Health and Fitness Apps

Lumosity

This personalized brain training app can be a real boon for the 5.8+ million older adults who are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in the USA. Through fun games and tasks, it helps you improve memory, attention, and processing speed.

After a 10-minute screening, this app will recommend a variety of brain games that will best suit your cognitive needs. These games usually involve matching, memory, and other puzzle-like activities that are as fun as they are beneficial to your brain function. Some games are available for free, but for access to the full suite of activities and personalized training, you will need to pay a subscription fee.

Price: $11.99 per month or $59.99 per year
Availability: iOS and Android

Don’t Panic: Remember that WebMD’s symptom checker provides you with a list of possible––not definite––conditions. Always be sure to consult a physician before undertaking any sort of treatment or medication.

MediSafe

If you don’t want to invest in an automatic medication dispenser, then you should consider the MediSafe app. Using this app, you can set reminders for each of your medications. It can also alert you of upcoming refills and doctor’s appointments.

You can also keep a log of each of your medications and share it with your physician. A feature that I felt was particularly useful was that you could add Medifriends (or caregivers) who will be alerted in case they miss a dose. The premium plan allows users to add unlimited Medfriends and access to several health measurements and reminder sounds.

Price: $4.76 per month or $35 per year (premium subscription)
Availability: iOS and Android

GoodRx

GoodRx medication savings card for seniors.

Did you know that over 10 percent of older adults spend around $5,000 per year on prescription drugs? Instead of clipping coupons to save at the pharmacy, you can use GoodRx, our favorite prescription discount card service. To use this app, you simply type in any of your prescribed medications. It will show you how much it will cost at a variety of pharmacies near you, and then you select one. To receive your discount, you simply bring your phone and show your coupon to the pharmacist. In my experience, generic drugs often cost less using GoodRx than they would through insurance.

Price: Free
Availability: iOS and Android

Map My Run

Older adults can really benefit from exercises such as slow running. The Map My Run app tracks both the distance and duration of your runs, which can come in handy for those of us who are trying to get in shape. In fact, when I tried the app personally, I found that it really helped me track and stay motivated to hit my fitness goals. I was able to find local places to run, connect with other like-minded runners via a fitness community, and share run-related updates on social media.

If you choose to upgrade to the premium plan, you can unlock features such as heart rate analysis, personalized training plans, and even get real-time audio coaching on GPS-tracked runs. Also, don’t let the name fool you; Map My Run can also track your walks.

Did You Know: Map My Run can even sync with Under Armour smart shoes to collect data about your run.

Price: $5.99 per month or $29.99 per year (premium plan)
Availability: iOS and Android

Blood Pressure Companion

The Blood Pressure Companion app provides an easy way to track blood pressure. Simply, enter each blood pressure reading and the app offers up a graphical and historical analysis of your heart’s health. These reports and measurements can be backed up on your device or computer. You can even create reminders for measuring blood pressure and visiting your doctors.

Price: $0.99
Availability: iOS and Android

Best Entertainment Apps

Pandora

If you are looking for a music app with great radio offerings, then Pandora is the one for you. It also has a wide range of podcasts and music by your favorite artists. With just a few clicks, you can create personalized stations based on mood and activity. Personally, I like the Golden Oldies station. While the basic version of Pandora is free to use, their premium versions offer higher quality audio, ad-free listening, and unlimited skips of songs.

Price: $4.99 – $9.99 per month (premium plans)
Availability: iOS and Android

NPR

In terms of news apps, my personal favorite would have to be NPR. Much like their titular radio channels, the NPR app gives you access to a 24/7 feed of news both local and national, making it great to listen to while driving. Separating it from the radio, however, is how this app provides on-demand streaming of local stations, in addition to NPR shows and podcasts.

Price: Free
Availability: iOS

Audible

If you’re partial to audiobooks, then Audible is the perfect app for you. This app, owned by Amazon, lets you buy, stream, download, and listen to thousands of books that span every genre, from fiction to history and even children’s books. If you don’t like the book you purchased, you can actually exchange it for another. New users get a 30-day free membership, after which you need to pay a monthly membership fee for access.

Price: $7.95 to $14.95 per month
Availability: iOS and Android

Old Time Radio 24

A surefire way to transport yourself to the good ol’ days is by listening to radio mysteries, dramas and comedies from your youth. From classics such as My Friend Irma, CBS Radio Mystery Theater, and Amos And Andy, there is plenty of nostalgia to go around on the Old Time Radio app. This app is a must-have for hours of free entertainment in the form of more than 70 shows.

Price: Free
Availability: iOS and Android

Best Social Apps

Skype

Especially during the pandemic, with stay-at-home orders in place, everyone could use a safe and affordable way to stay connected with their loved ones. Skype, the free video, voice, and messaging app Skype offers exactly this. While Skype-to-Skype calls are free, users will be charged for calls to landline or mobile phones.

Price: Free
Availability: iOS and Android

Facebook

Lost touch with your friends from the past? With the Facebook app, you can easily find them and stay abreast with their life events. You can also message them and share your photos and updates with a circle of friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Another great Facebook feature is the groups that are formed there. These communities engender a feeling of belonging and enable you to discuss different topics such as aging in place, senior travel, and health.

Price: Free
Availability: iOS and Android

Words With Friends

Boardgame nights can now be virtual thanks to the Words with Friends app. This multiplayer wordplay game lets you challenge your friends and family for a fun evening at home. You can even engage in virtual banter throughout the game via the chat feature. Alternatively, if you just want to improve your mental dexterity then you can play the game in the single-player mode.

Price: Free
Availability: iOS and Android

eHarmony

Gone are the days when you had to wait for love to strike. eHarmony lets you find meaningful relationships via your cell phone. What I particularly like about this dating app is that it first gets you to fill in a relationship quiz before sending you matches to review. To find the partner of your dreams, you can review a bunch of curated profiles (with similar values and lifestyles), choose from a ready-made set of ice-breakers, and tailor your profile details so that you make a great first impression. This app is free to download but can only be used by members.

Pro Tip: The eHarmony app comes with a video date functionality so that you may comfortably have face to face meetings with your match without stepping out of your home.

Price: $44.90 a month for a 6-month plan, $14.95 a month for 12 months, and $10.95 per month for 24 months (premium)
Availability: iOS and Android

In Closing

Be it securing senior discounts, finding your phone, or booking a cab, you can use your phone to do it all thanks to mobile apps. The apps listed here are some of my current favorites; however, there are thousands more that wait to be tested.

If you’re looking for something else, then I’d recommend browsing the app store. With a large number of apps coming at no cost to try, there’s no reason not to peruse.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know if an app is free or not?

    When installing the app from Google Play Store or Apple Store, if you see a clickable “Install” or “Get” button, the app is free to download. If it costs money, the same button will feature the cost of the app.

  • What are the best free health apps?

    WebMD and GoodRx are two completely free health apps that you can download and use on your iOS and Android device.

  • What is an in-app purchase?

    Many a time, you don’t have to pay to download and install the app. However, after a trial period, you will have to pay subscription fees or make a one-time payment. Other in-app purchases can be of credits (app currency) that can be used within the app to purchase/redeem benefits.

  • What are the best paid entertainment apps?

    Pandora is a music app that is free to download and use. For ad-free music, you need to pay $4.99 to $9.99 per month. Meanwhile, Audible offers you a 30-day free trial and then you will invest in a subscription of $7.95 to $14.95 per month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.