retirement

Smartphone apps for seniors and caregivers

Keeping in touch
Keeping in touch © Jim David/Shutterstock.com

Keeping in touch

For seniors who aren't ready to engage the brave (and often bewildering) new world of social media, the Tapestry platform offers a user-friendly alternative, says Marcie Rogo, head of U.S. operations. The app, developed in Australia, is available to English-speaking users of Apple or Android smartphones and tablets anywhere in the world; it can also be accessed via desktop or laptop computers as well.

Although it's free, the company suggests a monthly donation of at least $5 to cover costs, $20 for the whole family.

Tapestry enables email, photo sharing and storage, and other functions common to social networking on one secure site. It's designed for seniors with concerns about privacy, security and complexity. "You won't find anything you put there posted to a public website," Rogo says. "The site has clear tiles and a modern design, and is easy to use without being patronizing."

Rogo says that Tapestry enables seniors to participate in "real-time sharing and conversations happening all day long among other generations," even if they don't want to get involved in Facebook.

Although the app was originally designed for individual use, Rogo says, senior living facilities are showing interest in using it as a way for residents to become more engaged. A pilot institutional version is in the works.

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