Some Amazing Apps Moms (and Everyone Else) Need in Their Lives


Q. My mother has had the same outdated phone for five years now. It is small and slow, and she squints when she tries to read emails, articles, or books on it. She has been learning a lot about technology and things she can do on the phone from her 8-year-old grandson, and has become pretty proficient. So, we think she is ready for the latest technology and some new apps she can use to make her life easier.

Since Mother’s Day is on Sunday, my wife and I are going to surprise my mother with a larger, more up-to-date smartphone. Once we decide on which one, can you recommend some apps we can install for her? She needs help budgeting and organizing her finances, has fallen in the past (and we’d like to know when it happens, so we can help or she can call for medical assistance), loses her car in parking lots, and forgets to take her pills sometimes. She is also really into keeping a diary and would love a way to electronically record and share her legacy with her grandchildren. Thanks so much for your help!

A. Every year, companies are creating more and more helpful and easy-to-use apps, including those that help us manage our finances, find our cars faster, and remind us to take our medications on time. Many apps aid the lives of older adults and give them helpful tools for making everyday life easier.

Since your mother has become more tech-savvy, it is a nice idea to upgrade her phone and install apps to help make her life easier. Here are my picks for some simple-to-download, innovative apps, costing no more than $1.99 each, that seniors can use to enhance daily life:

Waze (free)

Waze, owned by Google, is arguably the best GPS Navigation app available for smartphones, as it uses real-time data reported by over 80 million users regarding traffic, road conditions, accidents, etc. The app has been recently updated with faster search, Amber Alerts, a “Time in Traffic” bar, and a new Parking Location feature, where Waze automatically remembers your parking location so long as you use Waze to navigate to your destination. Waze also recently introduced a “where to park” feature, which suggests parking lots closest to a destination and allows users to navigate there directly.  Waze can also help you get to appointments on time by syncing with your smartphone calendar and reminding you when to leave based on actual traffic conditions.  It is available for Android here.

Goodreads (free)

Recommended by 20 million members, this app allows users to rate their recently read books and give brief explanations of their choices. View other users’ reading history to see how often they read and their typical genre to find out if you share mutual interests. With Goodreads, you do not have to purchase a book based solely on its cover. It is also available for Android here.

Pillboxie ($1.99)

Created by a registered nurse, Pillboxie is an app that will make sure you never miss a dose of your medication again. Input your medications and when you’re supposed to take them, and an alert will remind you when it’s time to take them. No network connection is required, and it will always remind you on time, even if your device is asleep. A similar app, MediSafe Meds & Pill Reminder, is available for android.

Blood Pressure Monitor (free)

Track your blood pressure and weight over time without having to call your doctor or comb through old records. The Blood Pressure Monitor app provides statistical information, periodic health reminders, and allows you to export data so you can share it with your personal health-care provider. This tool is a great way for seniors to oversee their health regimen and stay in shape. A blood pressure monitor, called iCare Health Monitor, is also available for android here.

Magnifying Glass with Light (free and $1.99 paid version)

If, like many people, you’ve ever had trouble reading a restaurant menu and realize you forgot your reading glasses in the car, or if you struggle to read the fine print or a pill bottle even with your reading glasses, download the Magnifying Glass with Light app. This amazing little app actually transforms your phone into a lighted magnifying glass so you won’t need to worry about forgetting your glasses or struggling to see even with your reading glasses. The app uses the camera feature of your phone to enable you to see even the smallest print – zooming up 5x. It is also available for android here.

Fade and Fall Safety (free)

As we get older, the risk of falling increases. Each year, more than 2.8 million older adults visit the emergency room for fall-related injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These two apps, Fade Fall Detector on Android and Fall Safety on iOS monitor your activity and use sensors that monitor sudden movements that may indicate a fall. Each will alert emergency contacts if a fall is confirmed, and can send your location to them. In case of a false alarm, just tap a button to turn the alarm off. Note that the app can only detect falls when you have your phone on you.

Mint (free)

Looking for an app to help you get your finances in order? You can create budgets for different spending categories, track and pay bills, get your credit score and more. Mint was created by the makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks, and uses multi-factor authentication and other security measures, so you know your financial data is safe. It is also available for android here.

Flipboard (free)

Connect this app with all of your social media accounts, and access some of the best news and content sites that interest you. Then watch it turn everything into a digital magazine, in which you “flip” the pages and see everything set up like a magazine, including Facebook posts and tweets. It is also available for android here.

AroundMe (free)

AroundMe lets you search for banks, gas stations, hotels, hospitals, coffee shops, bars and restaurants and more in your area. Whether you’re at home or traveling, find whatever you need with the click of a button in this simple and smart app. It is also available for android here.  Waze, mentioned above, also incorporates this feature.

Military Cost Cutters (free)

If you’re a veteran or active-duty military personnel, you can take advantage of this money-saving app. Just plug in your zip code, and you’ll see a list of local and national discounts and deals (recent examples include 15% off at Jiffy Lube and 20% off at Texas Roadhouse). It is available for android here.

The Living Legacy Project

You asked about a way for your mother to pass on personal legacies. Here at the Farr Law Firm, we offer our clients a way to easily capture and pass on their personal legacies . . . and best of all, we are offering this as a gift to all of our clients, whether you’re a current client, a future client, or even a past client!

The award-winning website and companion mobile app is easy to use and can capture your mother’s memories. With the Legacy Stories App on your mother’s phone, she can compose, organize, preserve, and share her legacy stories with her own Legacy Story Blog; she can curate, preserve and share her highest-priority “legacy photos” in a format that helps future generations learn about their family history; and she can easily scan an old photo, upload it for preservation, and then simply click “record” to share her memories about the photo. Learn more about Legacy Stories here.

Protect Your Digital Assets and Leave Your Loved Ones with Much More

Now, in connection with your Estate Planning documents, The Farr Law Firm can help you leave your loved ones with something much more than just money and assets. If you are a current or former client of the Farr Law Firm and would to create your own Legacy Story, simply email and she will provide you with a link for you to get started. If you are not yet a client of our firm, please contact us to set up an appointment for an initial consultation:

Fairfax Elder Law: 703-691-1888

Fredericksburg Elder Law: 540-479-1435

Rockville Elder Law: 301-519-8041

DC Elder Law: 202-587-2797

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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.


  1. MCC Support Team says

    Thanks for the shout out! We love supporting our military members and our military friendly business owners!

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