Smartphones have officially taken over the world.
The world of apps and smartphones can be overwhelming for retirees and seniors, but they can also be really helpful. There are apps for everything; colouring in, printing photos, saving documents, creating music, and of course playing games and solving puzzles. Helpful apps are hard to find, but once you’ve found one, they’re pure gold.
You might have apps on your smartphone or device to listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks, social networks to keep in touch with family and friends, news apps to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world, or apps that help you budget and save money in retirement. But it’s not all Angry Birds and Instagram; there are apps that can make your life easier as you get older, and even safer and healthier.
Here are our top seven smartphone app picks that might just save your life.
Australia’s leading first aid educator St John Ambulance Australia have created an app that could help you save your own or a loved one’s life in the event of an emergency. It has helpful instructions on administering first aid while waiting for an ambulance or emergency services to arrive. Step-by-step instructions include administering CPR, treating wounds, asthma care, burns, insect stings and bites, how to treat shock, choking and allergic reactions. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
The Emergency Plus app was developed by Australia’s emergency services and their State or Territory Government and industry partners. This app helps you to firstly identify if your situation is an emergency, and which number to call in different situations, including the SES and the Police Assistance line. It has a built-in GPS locator to help you provide critical location information to emergency services staff when calling Triple Zero. The app is free, and available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.
The Healthdirect app was developed by State and Territory Government health authorities to assist you with making the right decisions about your health. Within the app, you can check your symptoms and learn about possible causes, and make an informed decision on your next steps, whether that be self-care or seeing a professional*. You can also search for healthcare providers in your area, including general practice, emergency departments and allied health services. It also has a handy emergency function, which shows you your location coordinates to supply to emergency services staff when you call Triple Zero. The app is available to download for iOS and Android.
*Disclaimer: While the content on this app has been reviewed for clinical accuracy by medical professionals, healthdirect is not a substitute for professional, personalised advice. If you have a particular medical problem, please seek medical attention from your doctor or a specialist.
You may have heard of the Government-created website Smartraveller.gov.au, but you might not be aware of their associated smartphone app. The Smartraveller app has the latest Government travel advice for over 170 destinations around the world, and will help you to make an informed decision about your next overseas holiday. Within the app, you can register your personal information and travel details ahead of your holiday in case of emergency. It’s also handy during your travel, with a list of helpful locations of overseas consulates and embassies you can contact in an emergency.
In addition to emergency information, the app also has practical tips on how to keep safe and healthy overseas, insurance and risk, as well as a holiday planning checklist to keep you organised before your trip. (Update 11th December 2018: Unfortunately, it looks like DFAT has removed the app for iOS and Android. Be sure to check the website for travel advice instead!)
If you have an iPhone, you already have a helpful, useful app on your device that could save your life in an emergency. You can enter details such as your blood type, weight, height, any allergies or medications, pre-existing conditions as well as emergency contact numbers. Select ‘show when locked’ and this information can be accessed even if your device is locked with a passcode. Just hit ‘emergency’ on the lock screen and the details will display. As well as this great emergency function, the app can also be used to track your physical activity, sleep patterns, nutrition and your mental health. The app comes pre-installed on iPhone 4S or later.
Developed by NPS Medicinewise, this app is a useful tool to keep track of any medications you’re taking as well as the data of these medications in case you need it in an emergency. The app can help you avoid taking too much or too little of any vital medications, as well as set reminders of your next medication time or your next GP appointment. You can also create separate profiles for multiple people within the app to manage health information and medication schedules. You can also easily take notes and store questions for your next medical appointments, as well as easily share any information via email with your health professional. The Medicinewise app is available for free on both iOS and Android devices.
Your physical health is not the only thing you should be taking notice of, your mental health is just as important. With MoodMission, you can keep track of your mental health and learn strategies to cope with stress, low moods and other symptoms of depression and anxiety. The information is backed up by scientific evidence and research from psychologists. While the MoodMission app is not a replacement for professional, in-person help from a counsellor or GP, it can be helpful for quick ways to improve your mood and symptoms, as well as to track your mental health over time. The app can be downloaded for both Android and iOS devices.
Smartphone apps can help to keep your mind and body active and entertained, and help you save your own life or the life of a loved one in an emergency.
Using apps, you can track your health data and medication schedules, get help in an emergency, maintain your fitness and nutrition and keep your emergency information in one easy to find location.
Sign up to our newsletter for more news and updates on healthy living in retirement.
Sign up now