You might be more than a little gray on top. Perhaps you’ve even celebrated half a dozen or more decades on this earth. But no one would ever accuse you of being an out of touch senior.
You not only know what Twitter is you have your own account (even if you don’t get what all the fuss is all about.) You know who Beyoncé is and can even sing the chorus of one or two of her songs. And you’ve had a smartphone for years (and the selfies to prove it).
But it turns out you might not be getting the most out of that little pocket computer. Because while your smartphone is fantastic for staying in touch with family, snapping pics of the grandkids and looking up recipes you could be using it for so much more.
Four useful apps for seniors and older adults
Following are four useful apps every senior should have on his or her phone.
1. GoodRx for the best price on prescriptions:
Senior or not, if you ever have to buy a prescription medication you ought to have the GoodRx app on your smartphone. It’s free, super easy to use and it can help you find the best price for your prescriptions.
My parents used this app recently and saved over $50 dollars a month on one prescription alone.
To use it enter your location, the name of the drug you need filled, the dosage and quantity and click the “find the best price” button. This useful app will search the over 75,000 pharmacies in its database and show you where the drug is available and the cost of the prescription at that location.
But the benefits don’t end there. The app also provides coupons which help you get the best price. You simply choose the location with the coupon and show that to the pharmacist when you pick up your meds to get the discount.
Other features include the ability to mark a drug you regularly take with a flag. If that drug becomes available for a lower price at a location near you, or a new coupon becomes available, the app will send you a message to alert you.
The app also includes information on drug side effects, images of pills and pharmacy hours, locations and even refill reminders.
The app is available for Apple and Android phones, simply click on the app store for your particular phone, search for GoodRx and click on the install button.
2. Magnifier to read small type on menus and bottles:
Raise your hand if this has happened to you. You go out for a bite to eat, open your menu and between the dim light and tiny typeface you can’t see a darn thing. Or perhaps you pulled a pill bottle out of the medicine cabinet but couldn’t read the dosage instructions to save your life.
If you’re over the age of 40, chances are reading small type has become a challenge. But it turns out your smartphone can help you with that. There are a number of useful apps available to magnify and light up hard to read type.
One we like for Android smartphones is Magnifying Glass + Flashlight. It’s free, and easy to use. After installing it from the app store you swipe up and down to adjust the zoom, and left and right to adjust the brightness.
You can even have it snap a picture of the enlarged image for future reference. Which could come in handy if it’s something like dosage information on a prescription bottle you‘re looking at.
If you have an iPhone, a similar app that we like is Magnifying Glass With Light. The free version of this handy app allows you to zoom up to five times the size of the original, turns on your light for easy viewing and allows you to capture an image as well.
3. Medisafe to keep track of dosing schedules:
If you take more than one supplement or medication, dosing schedules can become downright confusing. Available on both iPhone and Android smartphones, Medisafe is a headache-free solution for keeping track of your medication and supplement calendars.
This easy to use app will help keep you from missing a dosage or accidently double dosing. Once you install the app from your phone’s app store, you can enter all of your medications and supplements and the dosage information. If the drug or supplement is in the database it will allow you to select the exact brand you’re taking and it even provides an image of the pill if it’s available.
The useful app will then automatically pop up a reminder when it’s time to take your dosage. You can then mark it as taken, ask it to snooze the reminder or skip it.
And Medisafe has a number of other useful, optional features as well. For example you can add a friend who will get a message if you’ve accidently missed a dosage, set up refill and appointment reminders and look at weekly status reports. You can even add your doctor if you like.
Medisafe has collaborated with GoodRx to provide coupons as well. So if there’s a discount for your supplement or medication available the app will inform you.
4. Drugs.com Medication Guide to look up drugs:
If you or a loved one ever has to take a prescription drug, the free, easy to use Drugs.com Medication Guide app is bound to end up getting lots of use.
Using the A to Z drugs button you can look up any drug and get information about what it’s for, side effect warnings, dosage info and pricing estimates. The app also has a handy pill ID guide. If you’ve ever found yourself staring at a stray pill, wondering what it is this feature alone makes this app worth downloading.
And with special features like a symptom checker, an interaction checker to help make sure a new drug won’t interact with ones you’re already taking and even a phonetic lookup which allows you to look up drugs by how they sound this app is sure to get a lot of use.
The less meds you need to be on the better, of course. But for most folks, especially seniors, having to take a prescription drug occasionally is often an unpleasant fact. The Drugs.com app can make managing them easier. You’ll find the app available in the app store on your phone.
Make the most of your smartphone using these four useful apps for seniors.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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