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Handy apps for seniors and people with disabilities

Posted on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

For the last decade, mobile applications – or ‘apps’ for short – have revolutionised how we get on in the world.

Want to update your shopping list anytime, anywhere – and share it with the rest of the household? There’s an app for that. Want to add cats to all your photos? There’s an app for that. Want to block your access to apps because you’re using them too much? Yep – there’s an app for that.

For seniors and people with disabilities, there’s a wide range of apps that are particularly handy. Here’s a list of some of our favourites.

Sidenote: While all of this might sound great, if you or a loved isn’t the least bit tech savvy, visit the Be Connected website to browse free online courses and find local help before you get busy downloading. You can also talk to us about e-Learning support for over 65s living at home and people with complex disabilities.

Magnifying Glass With Light

This app is exactly what it says it is. Within the app, you can also take a photo of your magnified text or image and save it to your phone for future reference.

Price: Free
Available On: iPhone/iPad & Android

Be My Eyes

Via a live video call, Be My Eyes connects blind and low-vision people to sighted volunteers for everyday visual assistance, like reading food labels, navigating new terrain or distinguishing colours.

Price: Free
Available On: iPhone & Android

Red Panic Button

Using GPS and a list of your emergency contacts, Red Panic Button immediately notifies your loved ones that you need them, in case of an accident, medical emergency or risky situation.

Price: Free
Available On: iPhone & Android

Evernote

For anyone that’s forgetful or just wants to stay organised, the Evernote app keeps all your lists, reminders and ideas in one place. You can save your notes in text, audio or visual form, and can easily access it from a computer, too.

Price: Free (there’s also a paid premium option)
Available On: iPhone, Android & Microsoft

Medisafe

The Medisafe app makes it easy to keep track of your medications. It lets you know when it’s time to take your dose and sends carers a notification if you accidentally miss a medication.

Price: Free
Available On: iPhone & Android

Audible

If you have trouble reading or getting your hands on a physical book, there are plenty of apps that let you listen to a great story instead. Audible by Amazon has thousands of books narrated by great performers, so you can ‘read without reading’ wherever you are.

Price: $16.45 per month after a free 30 day trial
Available On: iPhone & Android

Kindle

If you’re quite happy reading but you just want better accessibility, Kindle by Amazon also has thousands of e-Books to choose from, with the convenience of enlarged text, adjustable brightness, a built-in dictionary and text-to-speech function.

Price: Free, however you do need to purchase the eBooks
Available On: iPhone & Android

OpenAccess Alerts

For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the OpenAccess Alerts app provides real-time information about what’s going on in the community, that otherwise may have been broadcast on radio or TV.

Price: Free
Available On: iPhone/iPad & Android

Tecla

Tecla is an assistive device that gives people with upper body mobility impairments (like multiple sclerosis, brain injury or spinal cord injuries) better access to their smart devices.

The app integrates with the device, allowing users to interact with technology from their wheelchair during the day or from bed at night.

Price: To use the app, you’ll need the device, which costs $702.25
Available On: iPhone/iPad & Android

Choiceworks

Designed for children and people living with autism and intellectual disabilities, Choiceworks is a visual learning tool that focuses on making task completion fun, improving waiting skills and expressing feelings.

Price: $10.99
Available On: iPhone & iPad

MyTalkTools Mobile AAC

The MyTalkTools Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) app helps people with communication difficulties say what they want to say, using word sequences, sounds and images. You can create a personalised soundboard and press play whenever you need.

Price: Free (there’s also a paid premium option)
Available On: iPhone/iPad & Android

Lumosity

It’s important to keep your brain active, no matter your age or circumstance. The Lumosity app offers plenty of puzzles and games to help keep your mind sharp.

Price: Free
Available On: iPhone & Android

A Better Visit

Developed by Dementia Australia, Lifeview Residential Care and Swinburne University of Technology, this app uses games to spark social interaction and trigger memories between people living with dementia and their visitors.

Price: Free
Available On: Designed for iPad users

Rehab Minder

This ‘handy’ app has hundreds of hand, wrist and elbow exercises to do at home, based on your circumstances and therapists advice. Rehab Minder was developed by a team of occupational therapists right here in Perth, and needs to be set up by an approved practitioner.

Price: Free
Available On: iPhone/iPad

Know any apps that should be added to this list? If so, drop us an email or message us on Facebook!

At Brightwater, we support seniors and people with complex disabilities to live a better quality of life, through everyday support in their homes or in one of ours.

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