Six great iPad apps for older people

Date published: 14 Oct 2014

Posted by: Joe Pick

Collection of app screen shots

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Recently we teamed up with iPad Engage to teach care home staff and artists how to use iPads and iPad applications to work creatively with older people. In the coming months artists Graham Elstone, Nicky Colclough and Lytisha Tunbridge will be working in local care homes, using iPads to run workshops for the residents.

This work is part of Imagine, a programme managed by a consortium including The Abbeyfield Society, City Arts & Nottingham City Council. Imagine is using art to enrich the lives of older people in care.

In this post Claire Ford from iPad Engage recommends six great apps for creative work with older people, particularly older people with dementia.


Art Set


Art Set

Claire says: “There are a lot painting apps for the iPad but Art Set is the best for people with dementia because of the realistic nature of the tools; the wax crayon looks exactly like it does in real life! It’s very simple; you only have two choices to make – the colour and the tool. The different tools are nice and large, so they are very clear and easy to control.”



Free (Full version £0.69)


Claire says: “Swirlicity features bright, vivid colours on a black background. They are sharp, vibrant and easy for older people to see. The graphics are similar to fireworks and I find this draws older people in; it’s exciting and curious. The app is very easy to use. No instructions are needed which gives the user a degree of independence.”


Midnight HD


Midnight HD

Claire says: “This app works brilliantly as a way of introducing the iPad to older people. It’s multi-touch, so you can use as many fingers as you like and groups can play with it together. I’ve found older people are very impressed by the colour changes.”


Let’s create! Pottery HD 


Pottery HD

Claire says: “Pottery HD is a very popular app. You can create a virtual pot in a few easy steps – from moulding, to firing, to painting and adding prints. It is very realistic and older people find it simple to use; unlike some apps which frustrate them.”


Koi Pond HD Lite


Kio Pond HD Lite

Claire says: “This app is very accessible and older people pick up how to use it instinctively. It is particularly good for people who have lost the ability to communicate verbally. Koi Pond HD Lite helps them start interacting with the iPad.


Book Creator for iPad


Book Creator

Claire says: “Book Creator is the only app which allows you to put sound, photos, drawings and text in a book format. It works fantastically for all for a whole range of activities including creating storyboards and collecting memories.”