Useful apps for Silversurfers

iPads and tablets are brilliant for elderly family members – they are intuitive and easy to use even when fine motor skills aren’t what they used to be.

From entertainment to learning and staying in touch, an iPad is an ideal alternative to a computer and can help them feel connected at a time when technology changes come with increasing speed.

If you’re setting up an iPad or tablet for someone you love, here’s some of the most useful apps for the elderly worth downloading.


Skype for iPad is a free video messaging service that you can use to stay in touch with friends and family anywhere in the world. If you’re setting up an iPad for an elderly parent, you can create an account for them and leave the settings to online so they can always receive video calls and see who is online.

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer makes it possible to watch TV from anywhere and catchup on programmes from the last 30 days. It’s free to download and use, and a simple navigation and search function means you can easily find your favourite shows.

BBC News

News apps are a great way to stay on top of the news without needing to navigate from website to website. BBC News is free to use – as is the Guardian. Many newspapers also offer digital subscriptions – like the Times for example – where you can log in and read all the stories from the printed edition.

National Trust

The National Trust app is a free app and a brilliant tool to help you find and plan days out. With guides to its 550 different locations around the country, you can use the app to learn about different locations and see upcoming events. It’s also easy to save your favourite places you’ve visited or want to go to – and you can save everything offline to use on the go, too.


Games are a great way to keep an elderly relative engaged and entertained. You can find digital versions of classic games like Scrabble which let you play online and offline, alone or with friends. Other puzzle games like Sudoku and crosswords can also provide hours of entertainment.


From online cooking shows to nostalgic music videos, the sheer volume of content on YouTube is staggering. It can be very fun for elderly relatives to browse the site from an iPad – you can look up everything from old movie clips to useful video tutorials. The best part is – it’s all free!


MindMate has been specially designed to help people over 50 get fitter, improve brain health and stay independent for as long as possible. It’s designed to help you reduce the risk of cognitive decline and is perfect for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s too. It has games to stimulate the mind, plus thoughtful features like My Life, which you can use to store personal information like preferred food and music when memory problems are already existent.

Do you use an iPad or tablet? Share your favourite apps in the comments below!

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Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

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20th Oct 2017
Thanks for voting!
If I could, I would have mindmate on my macbook, but sadly its only for IoS.
19th Apr 2017
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18th Apr 2017
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Best app is 'words with friends'. you play against friends and family , and can send messages to keep in touch.
18th Apr 2017
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I would like to try the mindmate app, but the link only takes me to the Apple app store! Not everyone has an iPad, so, is this available for Android, and if not is there any similar app?
18th Apr 2017
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Very interested in the apps for silver surfers. Must go now and start downloading.
18th Apr 2017
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I use my kindle all the time I would be lost without it,and the features bring back so many memories
18th Apr 2017
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Another wonderful app is the simple and free voice recorder. I started writing songs at the age of 58 and now nearly 72 they are still coming thick and fast. I use my iPad every day 100s of times for a variety of reasons. Dropbox is a way of sharing files, music, documents, and or photos rather than trying to send them in an email. This helps when the file is too large for an email. There is a free version but because my lyrics/melodies have to travel to other countries for singers to record I pay a small monthly subscription for unlimited capacity. If anyone is interested you can listen to over 100 of my songs, of all genres, country, easy listening etc., for free at
18th Apr 2017
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I would be lost without my iPad use it for games information of all sorts and keeping tag on what the family are up to!! Use it all the time.
18th Apr 2017
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18th Apr 2017
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If you like playing scrabble you need look no further than words with It runs a monthly KO tourney and a daily tourney! Lots of different people to chat to and pit your game against! A lady called Debby runs it - you can always mention my user name milmead so she knows how you arrived at the site. Hope you join up and I look forward to playing you!

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