Many seniors grow hard of hearing as they age, while others may have been born deaf. American Sign Language (ASL) makes non-verbal communication easier for seniors who may not hear as well as they used to and offers a way to keep the brain active. Learn sign language for basic daily functions using The ASL App.
Like learning any language, ASL has a basic alphabet to learn through signs. From the first two boxes on the homepage, users can choose to review the alphabet or basic numbers to form a foundation for understanding sign language. The app lessons are video based, with a person demonstrating each sign along with the words appearing on screen. Users have the option of viewing the video with the person in full screen mouthing the letters along with the signs, or a close up of just their hands.
Every screen features an icon with a turtle inside of it. When users click on this icon, the video onscreen slows down to about half the original speed. This allows users extra time to form the shapes of the signs with their own hands and ensure that they match specifically with the configuration on screen. The videos are easy to follow and understand. The home screen displays the different category options for signs to learn next.
After a set of signs plays, a menu will appear with options of how to proceed. Users can replay the previous video, replay it at a slower speed, or move on to the next video. In some cases, a lowercase "i" icon will appear and users can read more information about how to effectively complete the sign. For example, one of the tips reminds users to lower eyebrows when asking a question.
The app offers a search function for specific words, and also provides the option to add more signs to the app. For $9.99, users can purchase all of the signs available, or select specific packages for lower amounts. Some of the additional signs are free as well.
Caregivers can use this app as a way to learn to better communicate with a senior client who may already know sign language, or as a tool to learn sign language along with their senior client. Keeping the brain active as seniors age is important for preventing the onset of dementia, and this provides a new way to communicate for seniors who have some hearing loss.
The ASL App is available for Apple platforms.
Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist.