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5 apps to help seniors navigate the coronavirus pandemic

Things are pretty up in the air for everyone right now, thanks to COVID-19. It’s a challenging time in general, but it can be more challenging if you’re not even allowed to leave your home.

People over 70 are one of the most vulnerable groups, so you’re encouraged to be as isolated as possible. This can make anyone miserable, since it can be lonely. But safety comes first.

Don’t worry, there are lots of things you can do from home. Tap or click here for the 10 best video games for people over 55. And there are apps that can help you pass the time and even explore the world around you. Let’s start with an app that helps you set and meet goals.

1. Any.do

Most activities outside of the house have been cancelled due to the pandemic, and most businesses are closed or are operating by delivery only. This interrupts many of our daily routines, which can be difficult to adapt to.

Breaks in routine can throw off the whole day. That means something as simple as not going out for your morning coffee could result in you forgetting to take the medication you normally would after your beverage is ready.

This is where Any.do can help. Any.do is a reminder app that can help you stay organized and keep track of daily tasks — like taking pills. Here’s a quick overview:

Tasks are easy to add and simple to set on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The app is also free and can be used on a computer, smart speaker, Android or iOS device.

Use the app to remind yourself to take medication, walk the dog at certain times, meditate, exercise, garden — whatever you want to fill your day with.

The best part? You can create a grocery list to share with children, grandchildren or neighbors so they can run to the store for you. Download the app here to get started.

Follow the onscreen prompts and allow it to send you notifications. This way, you won’t have to constantly look at your phone to see if you’re forgetting anything. Once you sign in, choose whether you want to start with list view or calendar view.

The onscreen prompts will then walk you through the steps to add tasks. When you name a task, tap anywhere on the screen to see your options. Set reminders, share the task with one of your contacts, save it as a personal note, add subtasks and more.

From here, simply tap the section reading “Tomorrow, 9:00 AM” and it will bring up the option to delete it. Instead of deleting the time, tap “Tomorrow, 9:00 AM” again and set when you’d like to be reminded of a task. Tap Set to confirm, then Save on the top right corner.

If this sounds like too many steps, you can always tap or click here for ways to use your iPhone’s native Reminders app for help. Or you can tap or click here if you want to use reminders on your Android.

2. CDC

A lot of apps are popping up in the App Store and Google Play as “news sources” for all things related to the pandemic. The App Store and Google Play are shutting many down, though, as they’re spreading misinformation.

To avoid being tricked, use the most reliable app: CDC Mobile.

This app is full of information on the coronavirus, social distancing, self-isolation, what to do if you’ve been exposed, how to take care of yourself if you do have the disease and more.

The app updates with new information as it comes out. Articles can also be filtered by what you find most important. Make sure to get your news from a trusted news source. You can download CDC Mobile for iOS here and Android here.

3. Google Hangouts or Skype

Social distancing and isolation can be, well, isolating. But you don’t have to be alone. Try using video chat apps like Google Hangouts or Skype with your computer, smartphone or tablet.

Not sure how to use these apps? No problem. Tap or click here to learn how to connect with people via video chat apps.

4. Lumosity

So much time at home doesn’t just make you feel lonely, it can also make you feel bored. But one great app to help stimulate the mind is Lumosity. It’s full of games geared toward improving your memory, sharpening your focus and other mental benefits.

This free app is available for your desktop computer, iOS device or Android device. Work your way through puzzles, do some math, do some problem-solving and more.

5. Pandora or Spotify

Another way of staving off boredom is to listen to music. With Pandora or Spotify, you can stream songs you like and get recommendations for similar tunes.

Spotify and Pandora both generate mixes and stations to cater to your musical preferences. Pandora can access live radio as well, and Spotify can add podcasts.

Speaking of podcasts, listen to Kim’s podcast episodes to stay up to date on all things tech. Tap or click here to access her free podcasts.

Since both Spotify and Pandora sound like good choices, it can be tough to decide which is best. If you need help choosing which one is right for your lifestyle, tap or click here for our comparison between the top music streaming services.

This is a challenging time for everyone. But we don’t have to think of spending so much time at home as a bad thing. Try these apps and stave off both loneliness and boredom.

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