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The Best Mobile Apps for Older Adults

hands holding a phone showing a mobile app on the screen

Who says older adults are dinosaurs when it comes to technology? A fast-growing number of older Americans now own a smartphone. And they’re already using apps to order takeout, chat with family or map out road trips.

But with the bewildering array of apps available, it can be hard to know which apps are the best for seniors. We’ve done the research to put together a fun selection of eight apps that offer real benefits to older adults. All of them are available for iPhone and Android.

Tune Up Your Brain with “Elevate”
This brain-training app, designed to boost your cognitive skills, begins with a quick assessment. The results are shown as a personalized rating in five areas (writing, speaking, reading, math and memory). Then you can play mini-games to improve your score. The free version of Elevate allows you to play three games a day, or you can pay a subscription to access more content.

Solve Puzzles with “Wordscapes”
Promising to give your brain a workout, Wordscapes is all about finding hidden words. If you have five minutes to spare before an appointment or while you’re waiting for a friend, it’s a great way to exercise your mind. The game mixes anagrams with crosswords, moving through increasingly challenging levels. So while it might start off easy, you’ll soon be engrossed!

Organize Your Travel with “TripIt”
Have you ever desperately scrolled through your email in search of a specific travel confirmation? That’s a thing of the past with TripIt. Now you can save all your bookings in one handy place. Every time you make a reservation for a flight, hotel, car rental or tour, you simply forward the email confirmation to TripIt and it’s automatically added to the app.

Learn a New Language with “Duolingo”
Before your next vacation, now is the time to polish your language skills. If you need to dust off your Spanish verbs or figure out how to order sushi in Japan, look no further than Duolingo. Interactive, bite-size lessons help you pick up new phrases in no time. The added bonus? Studies suggest speaking two languages can help stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

Track Your Fitness with “MapMyWalk”
You know an active life is a healthy life, but do you sometimes need an extra nudge to lace up those sneakers and get out to explore Stephens State Park in our backyard? With MapMyWalk, you can set fitness goals, log your workouts and monitor your heart rate. There’s also an in-app community, so you can create challenges and encourage (or get competitive with!) others on the app.

Enjoy Your Favorite Authors with “Libby”
If you love reading, Libby is a must-have app. You can borrow books and magazines from your local library and download them to your e-reader or tablet, all from the comfort of your home. Perhaps you want to turn on an audiobook while you’re cooking or walking. Whatever you choose, your loans sync across all your devices and everything is completely free.

View Masterpieces with “DailyArt”
Imagine learning about a new piece of fine art via your phone daily. The app showcases the artwork by offering a short story with fascinating insights into it. With over 3,500 works from hundreds of museums across the globe, DailyArt gives you a museum experience without the long lines.

Order Groceries with “Instacart”
Instacart is a handy app when you don’t have time to run to the store for groceries because you’re having too much fun at The House of the Good Shepherd.. You choose your favorite retailer, add your items to your shopping cart, and a personal shopper picks out everything and delivers it to your door. A senior support service offers additional assistance to customers over 60.

Inspired by These Apps?
While using these apps are fun, our joyful community at The House of the Good Shepherd offers even more benefits. To learn more about independent living on our picturesque campus, contact us today to schedule a personal tour.