Research indicates that the majority of emergency hospital visits could be avoided with timely access to health information. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best emergency apps for seniors.
Whether you’re a senior yourself or are caring for an elderly loved one, these apps for your mobile device can help you stay safe and healthy in case of an emergency. Keep them handy on your phone or tablet so you’re prepared for anything!
In today’s connected world, seniors are turning to smartphones and tablets for more than just communicating with loved ones. These medical alert systems work to contact friends, family or medical professionals in case of an emergency, a medical need or even to alert caregivers if their senior loved one has wandered away due to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
With GPS Location features on some of these devices, it’s just the best way to help to keep older adults with conditions that include cognitive decline safe.
That is why many companies offer senior friendly apps so you get the most out your device no matter what stage of life you or a loved one may be at!
An medical alert app on a cell phone is normally used to alert family, friends and/or emergency services that you are in need of help and that the situation you are in is an emergency.
An emergency app could be used for multiple purposes. This could mean anything from using the app as a medical alert, using the app to notify you of emergencies such as hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. Or using the app to alert someone that you’ve been attacked or injured in some way.
When it comes to emergency preparedness for seniors, there’s no question that having a good emergency app on your smartphone is key. Such an app can provide you with vital information in the event of an emergency, and can help you stay safe and connected even when disaster strikes.
With so many emergency apps available, it can be difficult to find the one that’s right for you. To help, we’ve put together the following list of essential apps designed with seniors in mind. These are tried-and-true apps that have served their users well through many natural disasters and other emergencies, so you can be sure they will be good stewards for you in times of need.
What To Look For In An Emergency App?
Here are some tips on what to look for when choosing an emergency app or medical alert app for your senior loved one (or yourself).
- Ease of use
- A good long battery life
- Low battery alerts
- Emergency button options
- An affordable monthly fee
- Good reviews in recent years
- Extra features such as fall detection if needed
Read our recommendations for the most useful apps for senior caregivers.
Best Emergency Apps To Help Older Adults
The very important emergency apps for seniors are the ones that can be used to alert others and / or authorities (i.e. 911) or an emergency call center that the user is having a medical emergency. These are called Medical Alert Apps.
Medical alert apps are the new way for seniors with medical conditions to stay safe and independent, even if they can’t reach a medical alert system. With these apps, your family can quickly be notified that you need help, saving crucial time in an emergency situation.
Some apps below will also send a text message – I recommend that you upload as many emergency apps as needed depending on your situation and location.
These include the following:
LifeFone Mobile Alert – an app that can be used on the phone to call for help when it’s needed.
The LifeFone service offers many great features and for an extra $10.00/month it can be GPS enabled meaning that it can be used outside the home.
Other Emergency Apps Include:
MyGuardian App that works with your Medical Guardian medical alert device.
MobileHelp App is another app that works with your MobileHelp medical alert device.
Lifeline Hotline App is a stand alone app that is available for Android devices from Google Play. It can be used to contact physicians and EMT’s (Emergency Medical Technicians).
Senior Safety App is another stand alone app.
Earthquake Notification Service (ENS) is an emergency app that is appropriate for all age groups. It can send an email and/or text message to you when an earthquake affects your area. You can customize the magnitude that you will get an alert for.
Other types of emergency apps include those that can notify the user about an impending event such as hurricane warning, tornado alert, thunderstorm activity, etc.
There are many emergency apps on the market, but not all of them are ideal for seniors. The best features to look for in an emergency app for older adults is one that is easy to use, provides quick and accurate information, and can be accessed from anywhere.
These include the following:
Some of the most popular emergency apps include the American Red Cross’s First Aid App, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready App, and the WeatherBug App.
American Red Cross First Aid App
The American Red Cross’s First Aid App is a comprehensive first aid app that provides information on how to handle common emergencies. The app includes step-by-step instructions for first aid procedures, videos demonstrating how to perform first aid techniques, and emergency contacts.
The app has an easy-to-use tabbed interface that lets users quickly access information on how to handle medical emergencies, including CPR; bites and stings; broken bones; heart attacks; electrical emergencies; drowning; bleeding; sunburns, heatstroke, and other weather-related issues like lightning strikes. It also includes a search function that allows users to access information quickly, and an illustrated glossary of medical terms.
The American Red Cross’s First Aid App also includes a feature called “My Family, My Plan,” which allows users to designate people in their lives—such as family members or neighbors—who can help in the so that users event of an emergency or if they are unable to contact first responders.
The app also features information on what to do in the event of a missing child, earthquake, tornado, wildfire, hurricane, and terrorist attack. For emergencies with pets, there is even a feature that allows them to be added as “family members” in an entry.
FEMA Mobile App
Another is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready App. This app is also free and helps users create a personalized emergency plan. In the event of an emergency, the app provides users with information on what to do and where to go.
Ready also sends notifications about emergencies in the user’s area and allows them to check the status of loved ones in affected areas.
When it comes to emergencies, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. That’s why seniors should download one of these emergency apps on their smartphone today. They may just save a life.
This app is a must for seniors living in areas that are susceptible to extreme weather conditions. The WeatherBug App provides information on weather alerts, storm tracking, and hazardous weather warnings.
Medical Alert Apps
After years of working with older adults as an Occupational Therapist and being acquainted with many seniors in my circle of family and friends, I am well aware that many elderly refuse to wear medical alert devices. Many of these are managed with a smartphone app on a cell phone.
It’s extremely frustrating for adult children and caregivers who care for seniors with a medical condition. These devices and apps can provide peace of mind if emergency calls are necessary. After all, help is just a press of a button away with these devices!
Also, some are now equipped with automatic fall detection in case of a fall! I suspect this will be a feature that will be more common in the near future.
But, although I understand that it’s difficult to convince your loved one to use a wearable help button, I do want to mention them in this article.
There are quite a few medical alert devices on the market these days and more being introduced as the population grows older and older. I’ll mention a few here.
Medical alert companies are constantly updating and upgrading their devices to meet the needs of seniors.
Here’s a warning about the older devices that run on 2G or 3G networks: Those are shutting down by the end of 2022. 2G and 3G networks will no longer function for anything after 2022. If your aging loved one has such a device, now is the time to upgrade or replace it. Manufacturers likely make this easy by offering newer versions, but don’t count on your aging parent to follow up on any letters sent to them about this.forbes.com
Wrapping It Up
When you need help in an emergency situation, your smartphone can be a lifesaver. Especially if it’s equipped with emergency apps. It can contact friends, family and emergency responders. Some of the latest devices on the market offer much more than just an alert, they also offer fall detection which can be a lifesaver for older adults.