Posts Tagged ‘mobile technology’

Elder 411/911! Cool Smartphone Apps for Baby Boomers

As more than 8,000 baby boomers turn 60 each day, many find themselves caring for an older relative or loved one while also struggling to balance their own retirement, health, jobs, family and aging concerns.  With generations living longer than ever before, I believe we are on the verge of an “elder care tsunami” that has the potential to drown us all.

We are in an era of government cutbacks on much-needed social services for our senior population. At the same time, individuals are dealing with their own property values, savings and retirement funds diminishing.  All told, people are in dire need of practical solutions for dealing with elder care issues – saving their precious time, energy, financial and emotional resources so they can continue to keep their life in balance.

Caregivers and our senior population are in desperate need of information, direction, resources and practical “how to’s” to expedite their needs, so I partnered with Presto Services Inc. (, developer of a computerless email service, to launch a pair of elder care applications for the iPhone and iPod Touch – and Both applications are FREE! I divided the eldercare information into two separate apps because they serve two very different purposes. Let me explain: is specifically for emergencies like a fall or sudden illness, putting critical tips and information in hand to help immediately navigate the complexities of a crisis. Amidst the panic and stress of the situation, you will have access to expert advice on what to ask the doctor, planning hospital discharge and life after the initial event.

Both iPhone applications have videos, audio and text that are easy-to understand-and practically presented. They also feature things like interactive checklists, the ability to add personal notes to content, and more. is a comprehensive database of elder care information providing you access to my tested and proven solutions to caregiving problems as you encounter them.  It’s great for accessing on-the-spot caregiving information, and for planning ahead. More than 500 pieces of practical advice are organized according to my ten steps to make elder care easier. It covers the full spectrum of caregiving issues – talking about tough subjects, keeping the home safe, managing financial and legal needs, considering housing options, and more.

The need to care for an aging parent creates unique and intensive demands on our time and resources. It is my goal to make sure no ones goes through it alone. These two iPhone applications will help caregivers gain instant access to critical caregiving advice directly from their mobile iPhone.

This post was written by guest contributor Dr. Marion Somers.  Dr. Marion has been working in the field of elder care for over 40 years as a geriatric care manager, caregiver, author, speaker, teacher of all things elder care. More information on Dr. Marion and the apps can be found at

Silver Surf & Dragon Diction!Cool Smartphone Apps for Baby Boomers

Trying to navigate through the thousands of apps to find the ones that will help make your life easier? This week we are suggesting you check out Silver Surf and Dragon Diction to make using all your mobile and touch screen devices easier.

Silver Surf

For anyone who wears reading glasses and struggles to read your iphone/ipad or other smart device, you need to get this app, Silver Surf.

Silver Surf is a free app that is designed to make your electronics easier to read and use.  Some of the features it includes are:

  • Large navigation buttons
  • high contrast mode
  • dynamic text zoom (with a slider instead of the tap and pinch)

The App has recently been updated to include things to make it easier for people with arthritis in their hands or simply less mobility in their fingers.  Some reviews say that the app is still developing, but many find even the current tools it offers to be worth adding it to your phone. Plus its free!

To read more about it check out: Silver Surf or search for it on your app store.

Dragon Diction

Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application powered that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.

  • Voice-to-text transcriptions that may be sent as SMS, Email, or pasted into any application using the clipboard
  • Submit update to Twitter & Facebook
  • Convenient editing feature that provides list of suggested alternatives
  • Voice driven correction interface

Dragon Diction gets a 4 star rating at the App store.   Many users remark that it is a great product but you do always need to double check what it writes after you dictate.  If you would like to learn more about the app check it out here.

Dragon diction also offers other products that you can use on your PC.

Cool Apps for Caregivers

Smartphones aren’t just for business executives anymore. As Droids, iPhones, and BlackBerries have saturated the mainstream market, hundreds of thousands of applications (apps) have emerged, running the gamut from productivity trackers to calorie counters to an app that shows you all the constellations in the night sky based on the direction you’re pointing your phone. Among the thousands of useful — and some not so useful — apps are more than 8,700 health-related applications, according to The Wall Street Journal. Health-related apps simplify caregiving

A few standouts can help make the task of caregiving easier by simplifying medication management, keeping tabs on an aging loved one, and more. Here’s a look at just a few of the top caregiver apps.

1. Tell My Geo (for the Android phone, $9.95 per month): This app is an excellent tool for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients which allows caregivers to easily track an elderly loved one who may have wandered through a GPS-tracker. The caregiver must also have the app downloaded in order to be able to track another person. Of course, the app is useless if the wanderer does not have the phone on his person.

2. Personal Caregiver (free for iPhone users): This app allows caregivers to track the medications of up to three people. Recall alerts from the FDA and detailed medication information is available with the premium edition, $9.99 per month.

3. Pain Care (free for Android, iPhone, and available soon for the BlackBerry): My personal favorite, which solves an age-old dilemma: determining the pain level of a patient who cannot communicate verbally. Medical staff are trained in interpreting non-verbal cues, but this app makes it easier for aging loved ones to clearly convey how they’re feeling by identifying an image that most closely matches how they feel, including location, duration, and mood. This app won a Project HealthDesign Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California HealthCare Foundation.

A recent study conducted by AARP found that 79% of people age 50 and over report owning a mobile phone, and about half of respondents say they’re interested in using mobile technology to support and manage their health. As interest in mobile health technology flourishes, applications that simplify the role of caregiving will continue to emerge.

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