Think that seniors don’t know how to use mobile phones? Think again. 60% of seniors in Singapore, those aged 75 and above, use smartphones, according to a 2020 IMDA survey.
These days, there are a wealth of mobile apps designed for seniors, whether it is to stay active or feel connected to the community. There are apps that enable them to call for help if they need it, as well as those that keep a senior’s mind active and engaged in the world around them.
Seniors also get exclusive discounts when it comes to telco plans. For instance, M1 Silver Benefits offer 25% off mobile plan subscription and more for seniors aged 60 years and above. For only $18.75 per month, seniors can sign up for a no-contract plan that offers 30GB of data, 1,000 minutes of talktime and 1,000 SMSes. That’s more than enough for them to view their TikToks and call their kakis!
Best of all, Senior Go Digital plans also come with complimentary three-month Viu Premium and TVBAnywhere+ subscription, which seniors can use to binge watch their favourite Korean and Taiwanese dramas.
So, you’ve gotten the best seniors’ telco plan for your parents, grandparents, or perhaps yourself. Now, what are some apps that seniors must download? Here are some of the 10 best apps for seniors.
Red Panic Button app for seniors
An easy-to-use app for seniors living alone, Red Panic Button looks like its name. All your elderly loved one has to do is hit the red button on the app which then sends a panic SMS or email to their emergency contacts with your address and location.
But first, you’ll have to add the numbers and emails to the app first to set it up. It allows you to set up an emergency number that will be called once the panic button is pressed.
Let your loved ones know that they can use it to reach you in times of need – such as a medical emergency or if they find themselves immobile – without having to remember your phone number.
This app also comes in handy especially if the senior is outside alone and you need to find him or her. The app is able to send you their location based on GPS. It also allows users to record a video if they are somehow unable to speak, which can be very useful in an emergency.
CARA SG app for dementia patients and caregivers
As many of us get older, we have to deal with not just our ageing bodies but our ageing minds. CARA SG is an app for seniors with dementia and their caregivers. An initiative by Dementia Singapore — CARA, which stands for Community, Assurance, Rewards and Acceptance — is a digital dementia care companion that houses a resource hub of information about dementia.
To access it, both the caregiver and patient have to first sign up for free membership. Once approved, you’ll then get an e-CARA card and physical card mailed to your house.
The card identifies you as a member of CARA and allows you to use it to access the support on the app. The physical card also has a QR code which contains important information such as the patient’s name and address, and contact details of the caregiver, in case the patient ever gets lost outside.
CARA also partners organisations across Singapore that are committed to helping dementia patients by providing support and helping them feel connected to the community. These include F&B merchants, attractions, retail and services that offer a range of different benefits to members.
Outside app for elderly
Developed by start-up Outside Technologies, the Outside app helps seniors living alone with the tasks that they are unable to do on their own.
Originally developed for those who needed help to run errands, the app was designed during the circuit breaker period. Those in need would just pay a small fee to those who wanted to earn a little cash on the side.
But there is no fee for seniors who want some errands done. The company works with non-profit organisations to put volunteers in touch with seniors or other underprivileged folks in the vicinity.
Seniors can request for volunteers to help with errands such as grocery shopping, buy food or clean their homes.
A must-have for all Singaporeans, this is also a must-have for seniors. Singpass is your digital identity on your mobile phone. It’s great for seniors who need to access their NRIC and don’t want to carry out their physical card in case they lose it.
It also has a document wallet that contains all official documents from participating government agencies such as HealthCerts (PCR tests, Antigen Rapid Tests, Pre-departure tests certificates).
Another handy feature is that it has shortcuts to all the important government websites, allowing you easy access to your CPF, HDB, IRAS, ICA, HealthHub — great for seniors who just need the one app to rule them all.
For the active senior who takes their fitness seriously, the ActiveSG app is a must have. It allows you to conveniently book your usual sports facilities at your convenience, sign up for fitness classes and access ActiveSG gyms.
We all know how competitive it is to book badminton courts even before the pandemic, so the app can come in handy when you need to do so. Paying for facilities is also made more convenient with the Active Wallet integrated in the app. Not only that, you can also use it to scan and pay at over 1,000 F&B outlets and sports retailers.
All you need is to sign up to be an ActiveSG member if you’re new or just log in to your existing account on the app.
HealthHub / Health Buddy
Need anything related to your health? Just check HealthHub! The government app is one of the most useful apps for seniors and caregivers. It may be slightly laggy at times but it has come in handy for many who need to check their vaccination and Covid-19 test results. And it’s not just for Covid-related stuff.
With the HealthHub app, you can easily access all your health records of any health screenings done, immunisations, medication and prescription records, and even check the records of your family members whom you are providing care to.
There’s even a button at the top right of the homepage that allows you to conveniently make an appointment for your elderly at their designated clinic.
Alternatively, download the Health Buddy App (singhealth.com.sg), which lets you keep track of and manage your medical appointments. You can order your medicine via the app, set reminders to do so and make payment for it. Caregivers can also access the in-app resources such as checking on the usage of medicines, any side effects and other info about medical conditions, symptoms and treatments.
It also serves as a handy clinic locator where you can find the nearest GPs, Singhealth hospitals, specialist centres and polyclinics. Not only that, Health Buddy has a feature that lets you track how many patients there are before you in the clinic queue on the day of your appointment!
What’s the difference between HealthHub and Health Buddy?
HealthHub allows you to book appointments for all public hospitals and clinics in Singapore, except the National Skin Centre, as it is under MOH, but for Health Buddy, you can only book appointments for hospitals and clinics under the Singhealth cluster, as it is an app under Singhealth. Note that for Health Buddy, caregivers need to be registered by presenting identity cards at the clinics’ registration counters, whereas HealthHub allows caregivers to simply enter their NRIC numbers.
Vintage Radio app (Singapore)
Bring back the nostalgia of yesteryears for your seniors at home with the Vintage Radio app. The app developed by a local social enterprise by media veterans including former DJ Mark Richmond and Aloysius Tan, is designed primarily with seniors in mind.
You can listen to music from the 1950s – 70s by renowned singers such as Barry Manilow, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, The Beatles and much more. Seniors can also tune in to shows hosted by famous radio presenters such as Brian Richmond, singers Rahimah Rahim, PN Bala and Patrick Kwek, as well as shows in dialect such as Cantonese opera and a Penang Hokkien podcast.
It’s more than just a digital radio service though. Vintage Radio is designed to help seniors comfortably navigate the digital realm with its user-friendly interface, share music with friends, and even listen to podcasts on a variety of topics such as health, financial literacy and even comedy and horror.
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