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Health apps for older adults

You want to know your relative is safe and well. Even with an appropriate home care plan, there will undoubtedly be times when they’re alone. For greater peace of mind as a carer, try some of these apps to help you feel better connected.

A medical condition, a recent fall, or memory problem are all causes for concern. One of the most useful apps to install is WebMD, available onGoogle Play and iTunes. Use it to check symptoms, get First Aid information, find the nearest hospital or even identify pills.

And there’s more…

Reminders

It’s not uncommon for an older person to forget to take prescribed medication. That’s why you’ll find plenty of apps to help keep on top of their schedule:

MyPillBox Free on Android. Set reminders for different pills and organise them by name,colour, or the condition they’re used to treat. The app tracks medicines that have been taken; backup this data to show a doctor. Also add notes, for pills that must be taken with food or under the tongue, for example.

Pillboxie £1.99 on iTunes. Reminders on Pillboxie wake a device, even if it’s asleep, and you don’t need an internet connection. This is helpful for older adults who don’t use their phone a lot.

MedCoach Free on iTunes. This app gives reminders but also connects to the pharmacy; order your next batch of medication online.

Emergencies

Red Panic Button Free on Android. If your relative is in trouble, they can use this app to send you a text message. There’s no need for them to remember your number, since it’s programmed into the app. They don’t even need to know where they are. The app automatically alerts you to their exact geographical location using the phone’s GPS signal. Also free on iTunes.

Fade: Fall Detector Free on Android. If motion sensors inside a device detect a possible fall, an SMS and email are sent to a key contact. Alerts are triggered by sudden movement, but an app of this nature should never be considered 100% reliable.

Getting an older person online

Older adults may struggle to use mobile devices if their vision or coordination is poor. If they’re keen to give tech a try, use these apps to overcome the issues:

Simple Senior Phone Free on Android. Use this app to carry out basic tasks, like making calls or sending messages. It has large, colourful buttons that are simple to use.

Google Handwriting Input Free on Android. Use this app to write or draw with your finger to share fun messages and pictures with others.

Dragon Anywhere Free on iTunes. If your relative has unsteady hands, they can use their voice to send text messages and emails. This app is called Dragon Mobile Assistant on Android.

If your relative enjoys their device, try out other useful apps like Magnifying Glass With Light (Magnifying Glass + Flashlight on Android). This makes printed text in books or newspapers larger and more visible.

Also install news or games apps to keep an older person entertained whilst you’re not there.

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