Today, older adults are often just as tech-savvy as their younger peers. This ability to download apps and interact successfully with technology, when paired with technological advancements that directly benefit older adults, means that seniors can find apps or online programs for a variety of needs. From medication administration assistance to fall prevention technology to cognitive exercise, technology has stepped into the spotlight for older adults.
Technology offers a variety of options for today’s older adult, including plenty of ways to exercise the brain. Check out just a few of our favorite apps that will give your brain a workout.
For some seniors, memory-loss issues can increase when stress or anxiety goes unchecked. Our first app gives users a one-way ticket to relaxation. Available for Apple iOS and Android, the Headspace app gives listeners the chance to try meditation and progressive relaxation. The app has different options for choosing an experience that best suits you, and users can even use the app on a computer or other device.
The Lumosity app, available for Apple iOS and Android, offers an ability-based intellectual experience that is unique to each user. After you take an initial baseline test, the app gears fun and entertaining games toward your specific abilities and challenges. The app features games that cover all aspects of thinking, from spatial processing to reasoning. Even better, the software recognizes when you are getting better and adjusts in order to challenge you accordingly. You can monitor your progress, too, which can be especially helpful for seeing how far you have come.
Words with Friends
A virtual take on Scrabble, the Words with Friends app is a great way to work on critical thinking while having some fun on your phone. This game, available on Apple iOS and Android, pits players against one another for a word-building experience. You can choose to play someone you know who also has the app, or someone you don’t know. In either case, you’ll have the chance to exercise your brain throughout the day when you pick up your phone or tablet.
Guggenheim or MoMA
Explore internationally renowned museums from the comfort of your couch with these excellent apps. Free to use and available for Apple iOS and Android, the Guggenheim and MoMA apps allow users to explore photos of current exhibits, as well as take audio tours via their phone or tablet. New learning is a well-researched way to slow the progression of memory loss, and what better way to learn something new than to visit a museum?
Staying connected to friends and family members is an important part of keeping a senior mind sharp and engaged. Using Skype or another videoconferencing app is the perfect way to take a telephone call to a new level.
The Five Minute Journal App
Available on Android and iOS for a small one-time fee, the Five Minute Journal app is an easy way to incorporate daily writing into your routine. Whether you choose to write down three things that you are thankful for daily, or three thoughts you want to document, you can do it easily and at any time with this app.
Your smartphone or other favorite device has never been so useful, thanks to a variety of apps designed to keep your brain in shape. Try to use your favorite brain-boosting applications a few times per week to see the benefits more quickly.
Though cognitive boosting technology can certainly help keep your mind sharp, it does not prevent dementia. If your memory loss is affecting your daily life, it is time to make an appointment with your physician for additional testing.
This post was updated in April 2020.