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8 Free Learning Apps for Seniors and the Elderly

Learning new things and challenging your brain is an excellent way for seniors to stay mentally sharp, according to neuroscientist Dr. Denise Park. Her studies suggest that “sustained engagement in cognitively demanding, novel activities enhances memory function in older adulthood.”

Adults of all ages love to play games, attend classes and read books to remain lifelong learners. But for seniors, finding a convenient and uncomplicated way to experience new ideas, learn a new language or practice games that enhance logic and learning can be challenging. The increasing popularity of e-learning apps has changed that.

With a quick download to your smartphone or tablet, apps can be accessed anywhere, at any time, and on virtually every topic imaginable. We’ve curated a list of 8 apps that give seniors the chance to learn something new, challenge their brains and have a little bit of fun.

  1. 1. Bloomberg Connects: MoMa and Guggenheim Museums

Senior art lovers may not be able to visit museums in person, but the Bloomberg Connects app links users with two of the world’s most famous museums: the MoMa and the Guggenheim. The single app offers two museum experiences for seniors to explore the art and artists featured in these venerable art locations as well as learn about the history surrounding different artistic eras. 

  1. 2. CogniFit Brain Fitness

This app creates a community of users by allowing seniors to compare their progress and results with others. Cognifit Brain Fitness offers brain games, puzzles and learning opportunities that can be selected based on cognitive skills like memory, perception, reasoning, coordination or attention. Users can even choose their challenge to learn new classic games like mahjong and sudoku.

  1. 3. DuoLingo

Learning a new language can be exciting at any age and with DuoLingo’s user-friendly app platform, seniors can jump right in with a quick download. Based on bite-sized lessons, DuoLingo lets seniors pick how much time to commit to e-learning and rewards users with fun milestones to help track progress. This app includes speaking, listening, and writing lessons to engage seniors in a low-stress, informal learning environment.

  1. 4. Khan Academy

For seniors who want to learn a lot about a subject or a little bit about just about anything, Khan Academy’s app provides the perfect learning experience. Users access a huge library of videos and tutorials on thousands of topics through the app and then practice their new skills with activities, games and interactive articles.

  1. 5. Memrise

If learning a language from a local, native speaker has been your dream, the Memrise app is the perfect solution. Immersive experiences are the best way to learn a new language, so the Memrise app takes that concept and brings users to the culture instead.

Unlike Duolingo, Memrise offers a non-linear lesson structure that allows users to choose the topics and types of language lessons they want to experience, producing an authentic experience that makes trying out a new language exciting and challenging.

  1. 6. Audubon Bird Guide

Staying connected with nature can be harder for seniors and elderly people with mobility challenges or fewer opportunities to get outside. But the Audubon Bird Guide app brings nature and a love of everything aviary right to the palm of your hand. Users can explore the extensive field guide of over 800 species to learn about birds from every part of the world.

The Bird ID area helps you to identify birds you have seen or remember viewing as well as a way to track real-time sightings of a species, share and view pictures of birds and even learn about conservation efforts in the birding community.

  1. 7. Spotify

The popular music streaming app Spotify is a fantastic place to listen to music from any era by the thousands of artists on the platform. But seniors can enjoy learning on Spotify, too, through their extensive podcast offerings where seniors can search by podcast topics, the podcaster, or the podcast channel for themed shows

Many offerings on Spotify are less than an hour long, making this learning app a good alternative to reading new information on a small screen since the experience is purely auditory.

  1. 8. Words with Friends

For those that love word games, Words with Friends is an ideal learning app for seniors. Users test their word choice and spelling skills in short games against other users or even alone. The app provides the opportunity to connect with other users as seniors increase their vocabulary and play interactive brain games. This wildly popular app is simple to use but offers a big brain boost for seniors who enjoy online word games.

In brief, this sampling shows that you can find whatever you fancy to tickle your brain with one or more of the innumerable apps online.

At Meadow Lakes in East Windsor, NJ, you’ll find plenty of opportunities here to expand your mind and your social group. The beauty of our Life Plan Community is that life here never slows down. You’ll be as active as you wish, whether that’s intellectually, socially, or even physically. Contact us to schedule a visit today.

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