elderly people huddling around mobile phone

Smartphones have truly taken over, and although though the younger generation has grasped them, some of us still haven’t. However, they can be a great tool for your lifestyle, for helping out with big and small tasks and a great way of staying in touch with family and friends too. Here is a list of the useful apps that you should know about.

Wheelmap (IOS & Android- Price: Free, also available on desktop browser)

Wheelmap is probably the most important app on this list for us and that’s why we have started with it. Wheelmap is a priceless tool for anyone on mobility scooters, wheelchairs, anyone that suffers with mobility issues and even parents with prams and buggies. This fantastic resource is a community updated tool recording the accessibility of different amenities all over the world. As well as a free app, this is service also available online.

 

On Wheelmap’s website they talk a bit more about their background and the inspiration behind the app: “Wheelchairs, elevators and ramps allow people with mobility impairments to get around independently to a great extent. But frequently the last meters decide whether the trip to the cinema, beer garden or supermarket is worth the effort.”

“Just one step at the entrance can be an insurmountable obstacle. And this is where Wheelmap comes into play: Users provide information for other users on how accessible a location is. Thereby, the map contributes to an active and diversified lifestyle for wheelchair users. People with wheeled walkers or buggies benefit from this tool as well. Furthermore, the aim of Wheelmap is to make owners of wheelchair-inaccessible public places aware of the problem. They should be encouraged to reflect on and improve the accessibility of their premises.”

The apps keeps the information simple and easy to use, it uses a traffic light system for all the places that have been rated, anywhere that hasn’t been reviewed yet is grey. This is a fantastic resource for planning trips, days out or just knowing what is available to you anywhere in the world. It is also a great way to record your experiences so other users don’t run into the same issues as you, and so they can experience to the great places you have found.

Wheelmap meeting

As well as just the traffic light system, Wheelmap will show you a street view of any amenity or building, photos provided by users, the closest parking spots and toilets, and even any extra notes users have added.

Wheelchair user stuck at door with no ramp

 

Medisafe Medication Reminder (iOS & Android- Price: Free)

A brilliant and simple app that helps you, and your loved ones stay on top of your medication. Medisafe is free to use, and simple to set up. It will give you the independence of being able to stay on top of your medication without needing anyone else to manage it for you.

Medisafe app screen examples

Brian Carr, Vice President of Medisafe told us a bit about how the app started: “Two brothers experienced what it’s like when a loved one goes off course on his meds. When Omri and Rotem Shor’s father accidentally took an extra dose of insulin in 2012, putting him in a dire situation, the brothers quickly learned how common their frightful experience was to so many other people. With only 50% of patients correctly following their regimen and non-adherence causing a death every 4 minutes in the U.S. alone, they knew they had to act. From that near-tragedy came Medisafe, the leading app and medication adherence platform helping millions worldwide take their medication on time and as prescribed.”

Medisafe will take the stress from your schedule and means you do not need to worry about missing or over-taking any medication, and if you do miss a reminder Medisafe can send a message to your chosen point of call to make them aware. You can even add notes to your pills, so, for example, if you must take them with food that can be saved right there in the app.

Medisafe app screen examples

 

The simple layout of this app makes it easy to use, and can be set up by either you, or a loved one if you prefer. The app can handle complicated dosing schedules, track dozens of measurements such as blood pressure, weight and glucose, create progress reports that can be sent to a doctor or nurse, give you refill reminders so you don’t run out of medication and much more. The app is constantly developing and learning from its users to know how to provide the best service, and what people need.

Brian Carr also told us the mission of the app: “No one who takes medication should feel like they’re on their own. Our mission is to give people the tools, support and information they need to take their medications the way they’re supposed to. Medisafe gives them and the people who care about them complete peace of mind.”

 

Be My Eyes (iOS & Android- Price: Free)

Be My Eyes aims to add virtual assistance to those who are visually impaired, great for anyone whose eyesight isn’t up to scratch or who just can’t find their glasses. This app will link you up to a live volunteer via a video connection who will help you to sort your query. If you are struggling to read an expiry date, want someone to explain a menu to you or even just want someone to help you look at pictures, you can use Be My Eyes to connect with a volunteer who wants to help.

 

One of the best things about Be My Eyes is it has volunteers of all languages, and it has 10 times more volunteers than impaired users, which means you don’t need to worry about limited resources. The app will match you with someone who speaks your language and is in your time zone, so you don’t need to worry about disturbing anyone. The volunteers are people who want to help, they answer most calls within 45 seconds and the large size of the volunteer base means you can request assistance 24 hours a day.

 

Pocket Physio (iOS & Android- Price: Free)

Pocket Physio is a mobile app by Care UK aimed at bringing physiotherapy into your home. The app provides simple exercises you can do at home to build up muscle strength. Once you first download the app you will need to download some videos so make sure you are connected to the internet, but after that you are good to go.

More than just suggesting exercises, the app will also allow you to create your own exercise regime and will remind you to stick to it. It includes a range of advice from breathing exercises to techniques for getting in and out of the bath easily.

Although these exercises are meant for pre and post-operative regimes, they are also a great way of strengthening problem areas or just a simple way of exercising. A lot of people use the app to target pain, aches, or just as a way of getting familiar with some achievable exercise.

 

Facetime/Skype/Duo (Facetime: iOS, Free. Skype & Duo: iOS & Android, Free)

All of these apps are brilliant ways of connecting with your loved ones, and although not the only apps of this style, they are the most popular. Facetime is built-in on all Apple phones, Duo is the Google equivalent of Facetime available for iOS and android, and Skype is a cross-platform application.

Elderly man on facetime

All of these apps serve the same purpose, they allow you to make video calls around the world just using your phone and the internet. It’s a brilliant way to stay connected with loved ones and friends wherever they may be. If you find yourself making phone calls wishing you could see people’s faces, or just wanting a better way to stay in touch then video calling is the perfect solution.

 

Audible (iOS & Android- Price: £7.99 a month after 1 month’s free trial)

Audible is an audiobook service provided by Amazon. With over 200,000 titles it’s a great way for people to continue reading, even when their eyes or schedules don’t allow it. Listening to books can help to entertain yourself and can also be a great way to relax and unwind. You can listen to them by yourself, or if you prefer you can start a digital book club and have listen along evenings.

book plugged into headphones

Audio books are a great way to stimulate the mind, and combat loneliness. The simple companionship of another voice can be enough to make sure people don’t feel alone, and the fascinating stories will capture your attention. Although Audible does require a paid subscription, you can always try the free trial first to see if it is a fit for you!

 

Uberwav (iOS & Android- Price: Free, pay for use)

You’ve probably heard of Uber by now, but if you haven’t it is a ride sharing service that allows you to get taxis through your phone. Uberwav is a new project started by Uber, created to link mobility scooter and wheelchair users with wheelchair friendly drivers and rides. This means you will be able to know for sure that the person who is picking you up is expecting someone with lower mobility and is prepared for that. Sometimes it can be hard to find a taxi that can take someone with a mobility scooter or wheelchair, Uberwav aims to fix this problem.

uber screen on phone

Uberwav is currently not rolled out to all areas of the country, but if you are in a large city it is worth looking into it as it may be an option for you. Uberwav is a selection within the original Uber app that you can select when ordering a car, you can also see a list of all of Ubers accessibility steps on their website.

 

Lumosity (iOS & Android- Price: Free)

Lumosity’s aim is to help accelerate cognitive research and help cognitive training. The app is filled with small games and tasks made to help with brain training. You’ll get daily brain workouts that will challenge your memory, attention and more.

lumosity app screen examples and logo

Lumosity is accessible to people of all ages and can help users stay challenged. The scientists behind Lumosity take common neuropsychological and cognitive research tasks and turn them on their head to create the apps cognitive games.

 

Kindeo (iOS & Android- Price: Free, soon to be £9.99 per 3GB of storage)

Kindeo is an iPad app made to act like your family’s memory box. It is a digital storage system, that connects all generations of the family and allows them to share photos, videos and tips with one another with ease.

After losing relatives the creators of the app wished they had known so much more about, they envisioned Kindeo. The app is designed to make it as user friendly as possible for anyone of any age, and it employs simple questions made to prompt stories about your life. Kindeo is one of a kind and is a great way to share your own history and life with your family, whilst also hearing more about theirs.

Now grab your phone or tablet and start downloading, or if you need some help ask a loved one or friend. All of these apps are great for helping with small or big issues in your life and are a great way of being more independent, staying more connected and improving your lifestyle.

 

Competition

As you can see there are a lot of benefits to becoming active online, and this month to add another we are running a competition for someone to win one of the rise and recline chairs from our new range. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is to enter the competition.

 

Image Credit: Medisafe, Andi Weiland|Wheelmap.org, woodleywonderworks, Bright Flower.

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