Senior Center

13 Great Health Apps For Older Adults

By KellyRose McAleer - November 3, 2014

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Staying fit is a vital part to taking care of yourself as you grow older. Being healthy means a lot of things: exercising, keeping track of the exercise, eating right, etc. It's a lot to keep track of, but when you need assistance there are now numerous health apps available to guide you.

Urgent Care (Free on the Android and iPhone)

Urgent Care is a medical app that allows you to connect with registered nurses 24/7. It also comes with a Symptom Checker, a medical dictionary, and provides service in Spanish or English. It can also put you in touch with a board-certified doctor if the situation demands it, who is there to give advice, diagnosis, or prescribe common meds over the phone. In case of a medical emergency, it’s nice to have access to health professionals in hand.

Argus (Free on the iPhone)

Argus is a charming mix between your personal trainer and your stalker. The app tracks almost everything you do throughout the day and night: every step, snore, bite, and cycle. While the app takes in your daily routine, it produces a comprehensive health chart to help you reach your health goals and improve your overall wellness. With Argus acting as your personal health journal, you might find some unhealthy tendencies you weren’t even aware of.

Relax Melodies (free on the iPhone and Android)

As our bodies get older, it becomes harder to get a good night’s sleep. Sleeplessness can range from tossing and turning to suffering from insomnia (LINK TO INSOMNIA POST), and disrupt your daylight hours. The Relax Melodies app was made to make falling asleep easier. With the app you can choose an assortment of different soothing sounds and create a mix to listen to as you fall asleep. You can create thousands of different white noises and relaxing melodies, or choose from one of the eight that comes with the app. The timer system turns the mix off for you at the allotted time so you can fall asleep without worrying about getting up again to turn it off.

Whole Foods Market Recipes (Free for the iPhone)

Part of staying healthy is making sure you’re getting the right nutrients into your system, and avoiding the unhealthy options. Figuring out what healthy foods to make a meal of can feel constricting, but the Whole Foods Market Recipes app has over 3000 recipes to browse through. You can search by course, cuisine, or special diet. If you find a recipe you like, you can save it as a favorite, rate it, and even add your own photo after you make it. The app helps you make a shopping list for the ingredients, or find recipes based on the food you already have at home. Maintaining a healthy diet is a lot easier with an app that brings the recipes to you.

Lumosity (Free for the iPhone)

Like any other muscle, the brain needs to be exercised. During your senior years, the brain needs to be additionally stimulated to help with memory and focus. Lumosity is the app to do that. Designed by neuroscientists, the app uses seven games to improve your cognitive abilities such as attention, processing speed, flexibility, and problem solving. On your “brain profile” you can track your progress through games like “Penguin Pursuit”, which only take 15-20 minutes a day to complete. With Lumosity, you can play games on your phone that actually make you smarter.

Symple ($2.99 for the iPhone)

The invention of the internet has done nothing to help hypochondriacs – now anyone can look up their headaches and sneezes online and find a terrifying illness to correlate with them. But what about when our symptoms might be a real concern? It can be hard to keep track of the random headaches and shoulder pains, which is where Symple comes in. Symple keeps track of your symptoms, allowing you to keep track of up to 20 at once. You can organize your notes, photos, exercise, and the medications you are taking. Once you’ve gathered enough data, the app can export the information on to your doctor.

Garmin Fit ($0.99 for the iPhone and Android)

Exercise is a great way to keep you various systems in check: heart, lungs, immunity, etc. The Garmin Fit app helps you keep track of your daily exercise routine. The app keeps a record of how long you run, how far the distance, the calories you have burned, and your speed. After looking at your running history on the app, you’ll be more motivated to keep up the routine. The app also comes with a soundtrack for your runs, and a map of your exercise route. With Garmin, you’ll have all of the encouragement you need to keep up a healthy routine right in your pocket.

Calm (free on the iPhone and Android)

Calm is a meditation app that will guide you through meditations sessions lasting anywhere from two to twenty minutes. Meditating is an important skill to aid in focus, sleep, and combat stress, which can have a detrimental effect on the immune system. If you’re looking for a way to add some tranquility to your day, the Calm app will help. The app is beginner-friendly, so don’t worry if you’ve never meditated before. It also includes ten “immersion nature scenes” to help you relax and improve your mood.

Red Panic Button ($2.99 on the iPhone and iPad)

The Red Panic Button app is exactly what it sounds like: basically Life Alert for your smartphone. When an emergency occurs and you are home alone and unable to get to a phone, this app can save you. If an injury or emergency occurs, you simply tap the big red button. The app then sends a panic text and email an alert to a medical contact that you previously selected, giving them your GPS coordinates.

MedCoach (Free for the iPhone and Android)

If you are taking a variety of pills with different dosages, it can be confusing to keep track of what to take when and how many. MedCoach is an app to help you keep track of your medications and vitamins. This app serves as a reminder, sending you notices as it’s time to take your various pills. The app also reaches out to your pharmacy when you need a refill on your medications. The app makes it simple to see a list of your medications, make a pill reminder, or look through a library of prescribed and over-the-counter meds.

Pocket First Aid & CPR ($1.99 on the iPhone and Android)

The Pocket First Aid & CPR kit is your best friend in an emergency. The app is an emergency guide on your phone: it tells you about First Aid Basics, how to perform CPR on children and adults, work an automated external defibrillator (AED). The information tells you what you need to know on handling a minor emergency, whether it’s medical, an injury, or environmental. You know you’re in good hands because the information is provided by the American Heart Association. You can also use it to store your own insurance, doctor, and allergy information. Unlike MedCoach you probably won’t need the Pocket First Aid on a daily basis, but when an emergency strikes you will be prepared.

Moves (Free on the iPhone)

Moves is here to fight against the average person’s sedentary lifestyle. People spend a lot of their time sitting on the couch, or at the office, or in the car. Since exercise is such a vital part of staying healthy as you grow older, Moves is an app to help you keep track of how much distance you cover by bike or foot. Your routes will be highlighted on an on-screen map, which also informs you the calories you’ve eaten and how many steps you have taken. With your progress regularly charted, Moves challenges you to do better each day than the day before.

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock ($0.99 on the iPhone)

Have you ever woken up at the regular time but somehow felt like you were woken up in the middle of the night, even if you went to sleep at a decent time the night before? Odds are, your alarm woke you up in the middle of a REM cycle. The REM cycle is the deepest phase of sleep, when our mind goes over the day’s memories and gets work done. It’s also the most important phase, which we experience about every 90 minutes, or 4-5 times a night. The Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock app helps by monitoring you as you sleep. By keeping track of your movements, it knows to wake you when you are in your lightest sleep phase. If you want to know more about your sleep schedule, the app also takes notes and statistics on your sleeping habits. By setting your alarm within a 90-minute window, you won’t have to worry about oversleeping or disrupting your REM cycle again.

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