Top Apps for Seniors

Recent studies have shown that over 40 per cent of seniors own a mobile phone. With digital devices become more prevalent among older Canadians so too are apps.

There are several apps that should be on every senior’s phone or tablet including apps that provide security, those that help stay in touch with family and friends over the miles to those that help keep the mind sharp and entertained.

Here are some of the top apps on the market that prove invaluable to older users.



Skype provides an affordable way to connect with family and friends that live far away. The app is capable of making both voice and video calls, which means you can watch the grandkids grow or simply call to catch up. Some other features of the Skype app include instant messaging (IM) capabilities, group calling as well as the option to send recorded video messages or photos.



Make tracking your finances easier with the Mint app. This app can sync all your bank accounts and track your spending. With Mint, you can create a budget and set alerts that will warn if you start spending over your budget. It also offers a quick view that categorizes your spending so you can easily see where you spend the most money – groceries, restaurants, etc.


Easy Facebook for Seniors

A simpler, cleaner version of the social media titan. With this simplified app, it is easier to stay connected with friends and followers without getting bogged down with all the advanced features that Facebook offers to users. You can quickly view photos and posts from your connections. While you have the option to like posts from others, this scaled-down version of Facebook does not allow users to leave comments. This means you can avoid the hassle of trying to type with your smaller smartphone device.



Make walking alone even safer by using the bsafe app. Users are able to send alarms including video, audio and location details to their friends or family. Your connections can also monitor your movements while you are out and about through a live map. Another bonus feature is a timer that can alert your connections if you have been gone too long.  


Red Panic Button

An app that provides peace of mind for caregivers and seniors alike. If a senior is on their own and needs emergency help they simply need to open the app and hit the red button.  Anyone that has been listed as a contact will be notified that of the situation. The app will also send out your address to those on the list so they know where to find you. Alerts can be sent out via SMS or e-mails and you can send photos, videos or even a short audio message regarding the nature of the emergency.


Car ride apps (Uber, Lyft)

Modern car ride services are also a boon for older individuals. Companies like Uber and Lyft have been revolutionizing urban transportation. Whether you need a lift to the grocery store or an appointment car ride services can make it easier and more affordable to get out. Unfortunately, these services are not yet available in every city. However, the companies have been aggressive about growing so it is only a matter of time before they add more North American cities.


Magnifying Glass with Flashlight

This easy to use app can zoom in on small writing to make it up to eight times larger. It also comes with a flashlight, which helps illuminate the words, empowering older individuals to read items like menus, prescriptions or even newspapers.



Get free access to hundreds of audiobooks that are read by volunteers. The app has nearly 15,000 books you can either listen to now or download to hear later. Moreover, developers continue to add new books daily. They also cover a wide variety of genres and subjects, including classic fiction and non-fiction favourites. You can search the database for a title, author or even a reader that you prefer. The audiobooks are available in 36 different languages.



Do away with all those scrap notes and loose papers on your desk and table. Evernote is an easy-to-access notetaking app that can help clear the clutter in your home. You can make yourself lists, notes, videos, pictures or audio recordings and even share your messages with others.



Tired of trying to remember all the different login user names and passwords you have created? 1Password makes it easy to save them and gain access with just one click. One of the best parts is you can share the important details with trusted family members in case you need them to help out. The app allows you to save more than just passwords: credit card details and other important notes and information can be secured with 1Password.


Tile app

Never lose your keys again – or any other valuable item. The tile app allows you to locate the missing item quickly by attaching tiles to items that have a tendency to go missing.  Using the smartphone app you can easily track them down. It even allows you to share details with other Tile users who can then help you track your missing valuables. An added bonus is that Tile can even help you locate your phone if it gets lost. So go on, put it in a safe place.



As the digital world continues to expand mobile apps are becoming more and more a way of life. While these are just a few of the top apps out there to help make life easier for older Canadians we’d like to hear about your favourite ones. Send us a Tweet or an e-mail and let us know which app you can’t live without.


Written by Chandra Lye

Find Senior Housing

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