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Best Apps for Grandparents (Happy National Grandparents Day!)

By: Nancy Kalish and Benjamin Cappello

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According to Nielsen, people over 55 are snapping up smartphones faster than any other age group. That’s no surprise, especially with the slew of new apps that can make it easier to boost everything from your brain to your golf swing with a tap of your touch screen. So, just in time for National Grandparents Day on September 9, here are our picks for those apps that deserve space on your smartphone or iPad -- or the device of a special senior in your life.

1. Words with Friends
This addictive, Scrabble-like game, which you play with others, is a great way to keep your mind sharp while staying connected to friends and family. Plus, you have days to make a move, so you can play at your own convenience.
Works with:
iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android
Cost: Free

2. Swing by Swing
An amazing, easy-to-use -- and free! -- tool for golfers. It uses GPS to show your current distance to the center of the green as well as any obstacles on the course, with an accuracy rivaling similar devices retailing for hundreds of dollars. It also includes a scorecard that keeps track of your shots in stats and graphs so you can see if you improve over time.
Works with:
iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android
Cost: Free

3. How to Cook Everything
Enjoy cooking? It could take your entire retirement to make all the 2,000 dishes in this electronic version of Mark Bittman’s award-winning cookbook -- and most of them are gems. Plus, you get excellent how-to illustrations and plenty of information on ingredients. You can even email your favorite recipes to friends.   It’s especially easy to browse recipes and search by ingredients. 
Works with:
iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
Cost:
$4.99 (a more limited version is free)

4. NPR Mobile
This app is like the best, most powerful portable radio ever for fans of fantastic public broadcasting. It gives you unlimited access to NPR news and music anytime, anywhere, including podcasts of shows you might have missed. You can even create a playlist of stories to listen to while driving or doing another activity.
Works with:
iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Compatibility with Androids varies by device
Cost: Free

5. Pocket Yoga
Yoga is great for improving flexibility and lowering stress levels. Whether you’ve never tried it before or have been practicing for years, this app will make yoga easier and fun. In addition to step-by-step illustrations, there are detailed voice instructions to guide you through every pose, including each inhalation and exhalation. It comes with 27 different yoga sessions and includes three different difficulty levels. And you don’t need to be connected to the Internet to use it.
Works with:
iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android
Cost: Free

6. RxmindMe Prescription
This app makes it easy to remember to take your meds with reminders that are simple to set up and flexible enough to accommodate meds taken at different time intervals. Another great feature is Prescription Quantity, which counts down the number of pills you have left so you know when it’s time for a refill.
Works with:
iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
Cost: Free

7. iTriage
Created by two ER docs, this app helps you quickly figure out if those symptoms you’re having are caused by a medical condition and if you need to get treatment. If so, iTriage finds the nearest hospital, emergency room, urgent care facility, pharmacy and more -- then provides maps and directions for how to get there. Having this on your phone could literally be a lifesaver.
Works with:
iPhone, iPod touch and iPad
Cost: Free

8. Skype
If you don’t already have this incredible app, you should. It lets you make high-quality video or voice-only calls to your grandchildren -- or anyone else. It’s free if the person you’re calling also has the app, or dirt cheap if they don’t. For international calls, rates are shockingly low.
Works with:
iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android (as well as Macs and PCs)
Cost: Free

What are your favorite apps? Tell us below!

Read more about: Lifestyle

Nancy Kalish and Benjamin Cappello Nancy Kalish is the managing editor of Completely You. She is a certified health coach, and an editor and writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has covered health, nutrition and oral health for Prevention, Health, SELF, Real Simple, The New York Times and more. Benjamin Cappello is a professional researcher.

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