So, what’s a hashtag (#) and do apps grow on trees? The language of technology is taking over our world and it is growing increasingly difficult to keep up. “Selfie,” the act of taking photos of oneself to share on the Internet, is officially a new word in the dictionary. Learning new Internet lingo might not be worth all of the time and effort required, but many of the new apps (applications that are often free or inexpensively accessed on a Smartphone or tablet device) can, in fact, positively impact the lives of seniors.
Many programmers and organizations are making apps with seniors in mind. So many, in fact, that I can’t list them all but will share a few of my favorites to whet your appetite.
Skype: You’ve probably heard about it, but are you using Skype to communicate with your children and grandchildren? It’s easy, free, and an amazing tool to stay in touch with your friends and loved ones.
Dragon dictation: If your fingers have trouble with the keys, speak your e-mail or note and it will be translated into text for you!
Music resources: Spotify and Pandora are fabulous programs (with corresponding apps) that allow you to access and listen to any genre of music you enjoy, from Sinatra to the Beatles to Lady Gaga…. It’s all there on your phone!
Museum apps: If you have to miss out on a trip to the museum, or if you’re looking for a unique and educational way to occupy your time, look no further than your smartphone or tablet for a virtual museum tour via apps. The Museum of Fine Arts and many other national museums have invested in apps that allow you to view their art collections and learn all about them from the convenience of your living room couch.
iBridgePlus: Need to learn or brush up your bridge game? Download the free iBridgePlus app and play against a computer opponent. Your friends will be amazed at how skilled you’ve become!
If you don’t know where to begin, grab a young person (relative, neighbor, volunteer) to teach you. If you live in a Hebrew SeniorLife community, we can find one for you! He/she can teach you on their device and perhaps convince you to get your own! Kids are your best resources in figuring out how you can benefit from the emerging world of technology.
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