Posts Tagged ‘mobile technology’

Must-Have Apps for the Professional Senior Woman

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Arar Han, co-CEO (along with Shayne Fitz-Coy) at Alert-1.

Whether you’ve owned your own business or have been a loyal employee for years, it’s natural for women to want to step back and enjoy their golden years, even if they’re not quite ready to entirely put their career out to pasture. For many, that means putting in limited hours from home.

Being an independent manager of your home and life can be quite a chore, especially if you are accustomed to working on a team. Fortunately, our smartphones have evolved into capable assistants—if you know which apps are worth your time.

Here are my must-have Apple and Android apps for keeping my personal and professional lives in working order:

Managing your finances: Mint (iOS & Android)Woman with Smartphone

Maintaining a budget is time-consuming and tedious without the right infrastructure. If you’re no longer working with a bookkeeper, Mint is an app that makes taking over your own financial record keeping easy. It automatically tracks your spending and organizes it into categories. The colorful charts help you understand where your money is going. Mint helps you keep your budget on track with email and mobile alerts, free advice and bill reminders. With a reduced income as you begin to live off of retirement savings, tracking your expenditures is more important than ever before.

Exercising: The Official Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout (iOS & Android)

The older we get, the harder it is to motivate ourselves to exercise, it seems. Do you have trouble making time for physical activity? That won’t be a problem with this streamlined app from Johnson & Johnson, giving you custom workouts that, despite its name, can be anywhere from seven to 21 minutes.  Music pumps to motivate you, and your personal trainer shows you how to do the movements correctly. The app gauges your fitness and motivation levels for a personalized experience, and it makes it easy to see your progress. Best of all, you don’t even have to leave the house.

Decorating: Snapshop (iOS)

Have you been putting off the revamp of your home’s décor that you’ve wanted?

Now that you’re spending a lot of time at home, you want your space to inspire you. This app lets you visualize how that couch you’re eyeing will actually look in your home before you buy it! Once you’ve found a piece you love, just hold up your phone and drop it into your room. You can rotate them, position them and even change their color. Warning: This app can be hugely addictive.

Cooking: Yummly (iOS)

Ensure that your grandkids can’t wait to visit by always having delicious treats on hand when they arrive. Yummly is the best way to find the perfect recipe.  You can search Yummly by ingredient and taste preferences and it will give you personalized recommendations. It can even recommend recipes based on their preparation time, difficulty, nutritional value and suitability for diets and allergies.

Don’t want to find a recipe only to not have all of the ingredients? Just tell Yummly what you have in your pantry and fridge, and it will give you recipes that use the ingredients you already have. It’s perfect for the days when you want a healthy home-cooked meal but can’t get out the door to go shopping. Plus, when you are able to make a shopping trip, Yummly will keep track of what you need.

Chores: Home Routines (iOS)

Even if you’ve already led a second career as a mother and homemaker, that doesn’t make keeping up with cleaning any easier. Home Routines is the best way to keep track of chores and tasks that need regular attending to. The app organizes your tasks into day of the week, time and area of your house, and can remind you when it’s time to get down to business. When you finish a task you get a star, and the app keeps track of your accomplishments so you can look back and celebrate how much you got done that day. A built-in timer helps you manage your time, and “Focus Zones” break your home into manageable chunks so you can focus on a specific area.

Games & brain training: Luminosity (iOS & Android)

Exercising an aging mind can be just as essential as physical workouts. Want to read better, react quicker, and remember people’s names—all while having fun? Luminosity combines brain training with fun games that are anything but mindless. If you love quick, yet challenging puzzles, Luminosity is for you. Keep your mind sharp and fresh for the long haul!

To-do lists and note-taking: Awesome Note (iOS & Android)

Are you always losing your handwritten to-do lists, or creating multiple lists that never get completed? Awesome Note is the perfect way to keep track of your tasks and your thoughts. Write tasks on your to-do list and either give them due dates or set them to repeat automatically. You can organize your tasks any way you could want, including by date modified, date created, due date and priority. You can view them as a list for the day or on a calendar to plan ahead.


Now that you’re spending more time than ever at home, these apps can help you simplify and streamline your life. They are both a pleasure to use and leave you more time to enjoy the things you love. Why not have a personal assistant, trainer, designer, accountant and chef all in the palm of your hand?

Arar Han is co-CEO of Alert-1, a personal safety technology and consulting firm headquartered in Williamsport, Penn., with offices nationwide. A Certified Aging in Place Specialist, Arar holds a dual degree in Philosophy and Human Development from Boston College, summa cum laude, and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Originally from Seoul, she currently lives in Palo Alto, Calif., with her family.


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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