These days we can access just about any information we need through our computer, tablet or phone. But are you really making the most of your internet access? We want to share 44 helpful online tools and resources for older people. We’ve rounded up some of the best videos, apps, websites and everything in between to help you tackle some of the challenges that come with ageing and entering retirement.
We’ve covered money management, mental health and wellbeing, entertainment, physical fitness and health, healthy eating, communication, staying safe online, and generally helpful websites and apps.
When it comes to managing your money, it’s a good idea to stay informed when it comes to things like avoiding scams, understanding your rights and entitlements, being familiar with the benefits that may be available to you and keeping on top of your pension. Here are some helpful money management resources for older people.
List of Benefits and Entitlements for Seniors
This list of benefits and entitlements available to seniors comes from the Age UK website and is a handy go-to if you would like to find out if you’re entitled to any financial help. The NHS also provide a similar list.
If you’re planning to retire soon, this pension calculator from the Money Advice Service can help you get a better idea of your pension situation which can, in turn, help you with financial planning.
Which? Your Consumer Rights
Have you received faulty goods? Had a flight cancellation? Or any issue related to a product or service you’ve paid for? Which? have provided this resource to give you help and advice with your consumer rights.
Mental health and wellbeing
It’s important to look after your mental health and wellbeing, especially as we age. This is because it’s common to experience big changes when adjusting to life as a senior.
The Age UK website has an abundance of useful resources for older people. This ranges from information and advice on money, legal issues and finding later life care to information on befriending and handyperson services. You can browse their health and wellbeing section to find useful articles and advice on looking after yourself.
The Silver Line
The Silver Line is the UK’s only confidential, free helpline for older people. It's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. 225,000 older people often go an entire week without talking to anyone, so if you’re feeling lonely, you want to share a problem, a thought or simply talk about your day, The Silver Line is there for you when you need it.
Mental Health Foundation
Headspace Meditation App
There are plenty of physical and mental benefits of meditation but meditation is a skill that takes practice before you can reap the benefits. If you would like to get started with meditation, The Headspace Meditation app can be downloaded onto your phone. You can use their free trial option to try it out before you decide to commit to the paid version. The app provides a variety of guided meditations that cater to different needs such as sleep, stress management, mindful eating, social anxiety and stretching.
TedTalks - Talks to Make You Feel Good About Getting Older
TedTalks is an excellent resource for watching “talks” from experts on different topics. They’ve put together this selection of videos that will help you feel good about getting older such as Life’s Third Act by Jane Fonda and Older People Are Happier by psychologist Laura Carstensen.
Action for Elders
Action for Elders is a charity organisation that aims to end loneliness among older people by providing local support with physical, social and mental programmes for seniors.
Tricia Cusden - Look Fabulous Forever
Sometimes when we feel good on the outside, we feel better on the inside. Tricia Cusden has a popular YouTube channel with over 35k subscribers and her own makeup brand for older women. Tricia believes in taking the focus away from anti-ageing, by celebrating getting older instead. Her channel is a fantastic resource if you would like to know more about makeup and “looking fabulous forever”.
Lumosity has over 60 cognitive training games available to you today. These games can help you stay mentally sharp as the years go on. The more we engage our brain with cognitive exercises, the healthier our mind is. You can focus on memory, attention, problem-solving skills, speed, flexibility even math and language training. You can download Lumosity as an app on your phone or tablet or you can access the training through their website.
Dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder
This guide on dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder from the NHS offers advice on how to beat feelings of depression brought on by the change in seasons come autumn and winter. This can be a handy resource to have on hand due to the effects of Covid-19 restrictions on mental health with the added burden of cold, dark winter days.
Physical fitness and health
Keeping fit as we age can help our bodies stay healthy and flexible* However, it’s important to make sure that we choose manageable exercises for our ability and fitness level. We’ve put together some easy-to-follow exercises and fitness/health resources for you.
Physical Activities Guide for Older Adults
As our bodies change, it’s important to make sure that the exercise we’re doing is on par with our physical capabilities. This physical activities guide for older adults can answer a lot of your fitness-related questions.
Healthy Eating for Older Adults
You’ll need lots of nutritious food and vitamins if you want to stay fit and healthy. Here’s a guide from the NHS on healthy eating for older adults.
Holland & Barrett Multivitamins for Seniors
If you’re interested in taking multivitamins or supplements, Holland & Barrett have put together some options for seniors, all of which are available to order online through their website. If you would like to find out more about taking multivitamins, speak to your GP about your options.
Pill Reminder Pro
Speaking of multivitamins, if you can be a bit of a scatterbrain, then you might find yourself forgetting to take vitamins, supplements or medication every now and then. If you’d rather keep on top of this, then you could download this handy app which will send reminders at a time of your choice.
The NHS Older People News
The NHS have shared a downloadable practical guide to healthy ageing. This guide is easy to follow, offering practical steps to help you take better care of yourself as you age.
Eating well can play a big part in staying fit and healthy as we age. Unfortunately, we’re not all natural-born chefs and cooking can come with its own challenges. If you want to start eating better, here are some recipes and ideas to help you get started.
Batch Cooking Recipes
Batch cooking is when you make one large meal that can be eaten over several days or frozen for later use. This method of cooking can save you time and money. Here are some tasty batch cooking meal ideas.
Cheap and Healthy Recipes
Eating well doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. You might think that a frozen dinner or something cheap and cheerful can save you money. In reality, it could be more affordable to pick up the ingredients for a healthy stew or a pasta dish that will last for days. Not only that but eating healthier meals will help with your energy and general wellbeing. Here are some cheap and healthy recipes.
Meal for One Recipes
Cooking for one can be tricky, you might find yourself cooking too much food and wasting a lot. This two-step chicken with olives and capers, this tomato and basil omelette and these shepherd's pie potatoes are all healthy meals that don’t require much in the way of cooking skills. There are plenty more tasty meal-for-one recipes for you to try.
Whether you want to put on your favourite music while gardening or cooking or you would like to wind down with the latest must-watch TV series, we’ve got you covered. We’ve even thrown in some great resources for reading, learning new languages and listening to podcasts and online radio.
Spotify allows you to access just about any music from any decade or genre instantly and for free through your computer desktop or an app, which can be downloaded onto your phone, tablet or computer. If you would like to listen to music on Spotify add-free, you can upgrade to premium by choosing to pay £9.99 per month.
Get Spotify now via the Spotify website or download the app onto your smartphone, iPhone or tablet through your Play Store or App Store.
All4 (Channel 4 on Demand)
With All4, you can access just about anything that’s aired on Channel 4, old and new for free. From entertaining reality shows like Bake Off and First Dates, to award-winning thrillers such as Damages starring Glenn Close, All4 has something for everyone. Classic British comedies, documentaries, even Oscar-winning blockbusters like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.
Access it now via the All4 website or download the app onto your smartphone, iPhone or tablet through your Play Store or App Store.
If you don’t already have Netflix, it’s a very easy-to-use app/website that can be used to watch films, television shows and documentaries on demand. It can also be useful to have on hand if the family is visiting. There are tonnes of family movies and kid’s television for the grandchildren, the perfect addition to a lazy Sunday.
Get started by visiting the Netflix website to set up an account or download the app directly onto your smartphone, iPhone or tablet through your Play Store or App Store.
Fancy learning a new language? Duo Lingo is an app that can be downloaded onto your phone or accessed via their website. Duo Lingo makes it easier than ever to practice a language with 98 different languages to choose from.
Download Duo Lingo directly onto your smartphone, iPhone or tablet through your Play Store or App Store to get started.
Castbox is a free podcast streaming app available to download through the App Store or Playstore on your phone or tablet. Here are the most popular podcasts on the app.
Disney+ is a relatively new streaming service for Disney. Much like Netflix, it has tonnes of films and TV shows ready to stream on-demand. This could be ideal for when your grandchildren visit as it has all Disney films old and new. Or if you want to reminisce over some classic films like Bedknobs and Broomsticks or Mary Poppins, they’re also available to stream.
Get started by visiting the Disney+ website to set up an account or download the app directly onto your smartphone, iPhone or tablet through your Play Store or App Store.
Kindle eBooks give you access to hundreds of deals for as little as 99p. You don’t have to own a Kindle to read these books, you can download them and read them on your phone if you like.
It’s important to communicate with others because it can make us feel happier and help combat feelings of loneliness. Here are some ways that you can communicate with others, make friends and keep in touch with family and friends.
Messenger is another app that’s similar to WhatsApp, however, you must set up a Facebook account to access it. You may or may not want to create a profile on Facebook. If you would rather avoid it, then something like WhatsApp could be more straightforward.
WhatsApp is a popular app for texting, phone calls and video calling. You can download this app directly onto your smartphone, iPhone or tablet through your Play Store or App Store. With WhatsApp, you can create a group chat that includes several family members or friends so that you can all keep in touch in the one place.
Telephone Friendship Service
It’s perfectly normal to feel lonely, especially seeing as many older people are limiting social interactions these days. If you would like to chat to someone over the phone, you can sign up for the Telephone Friendship Service on the Age UK website.
Skype is a popular app for video calling. You can access it through their website on your phone tablet or laptop or download it via your App Store or Play Store.
Skype is known to work very well for long-distance video calls, so if you have family living abroad, it can come in handy for keeping in touch.
While Meetup.com will likely take a back seat to digital forms of communication due to current circumstances, it’s one to keep in mind for when things settle down. Meetup allows you to discover events in your area related to hobbies and interests. For instance, if you enjoy knitting, you might find a knitting group. If you are learning a language, you can meet groups who practice languages together. There are also plenty of meetups for film buffs, fans of literature and just about everything else.
Some meetups have moved online, so it’s worth looking into if you would like to chat to others about a shared interest.
Facetime is another video chat app. It is however exclusive to Apple products so you can only access it if you have an iPhone, iPad or an Apple computer.
Staying safe online
It’s crucial to remain savvy when surfing the web. While the internet has lots to offer when it comes to resources, entertainment, shopping and so on, there will always be dangers to avoid.
Best Free Antivirus
Many computers come with built-in antivirus software that can help to protect your computer from harmful viruses and other such things. However, if you would like to add extra protection to your computer for free, here's a list of some free antivirus software.
How to Stay Safe Online
Read our article on staying safe while shopping online to find out how you can go about helping to protect yourself as you browse the internet.
IT Training for Seniors
If you want to get savvy when it comes to the online world, the Online Centres Network provides basic online training for seniors. Use the find a centre page to find a training facility nearby.
These are some more general resources that you might find helpful.
Dogs Trust Help and Advice
Thinking of getting a dog? Lots of older people decide to get a dog as they enter retirement. This could be to keep fit, for company or because they really care for our four-legged friends. This is especially true since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and since many seniors are now confined to the home or limiting social contact. Dogs Trust have provided information for anyone looking to take in a furry friend.
The Sullivan+ app has lots of features that can benefit both those who have some visual impairment and those with more severe visual impairment. It allows you to use your phone camera which can act as a magnifying glass if you’re having trouble with small text (for example an ingredients list on a food item) or it can help with text and facial recognition.
Dictation - Speech to Text
This app enables you to speak into your phone and have your phone turn your speech into text. This can be used for searching online or sending an email or a text. It can also turn text on your phone into speech for you to listen to e.g. it will read a text or email aloud for you. This can be helpful for those who have poor eyesight or limited mobility in their hands due to illnesses such as arthritis.
Housing Options Information
The price comparison service has some great articles related to housing options for older people. They cover downsizing, home-sharing, care homes, retirement villages and sheltered housing options giving you the information you need to make an informed decision.
Age UK Handyperson Services
Age UK offers handyperson services for the elderly. Has the kitchen sink sprung a leak? Need help putting up a curtain rail? Need someone to check your home security? You’ll find someone to help with just about anything home-related through Age UK.
Mature Times is an online publication for older people. They regularly publish articles on everything from health and lifestyle to travel and money matters.
This website allows you to report, view and discuss local problems. If you have a problem that you would like to flag with the council, simply enter a nearby UK postcode, a street name and area. Locate the problem on a map of the area, enter details about the problem and Fix My Street will send it to the council on your behalf.
Making a positive transition to retirement
Last but not least, this article from the British Seniors blog intends to help you transition into your retirement years with a positive attitude.
It’s our hope that you will put these resources to good use and they will make your day that bit easier. We frequently share helpful articles on our British Seniors blog. When it comes to understanding life insurance, funeral planning, retirement and tackling the hurdles that sometimes go hand-in-hand with ageing, we’re here to help.
*How Exercise Benefits Seniors and Makes Life Easier With Age, Apptiv.com