Busy caregivers need to be as productive as possible. Luckily, more and more app developers are creating tools that make it easier for us to multitask from waiting rooms, monitor our parents’ health and meds, communicate with doctors and siblings, and ask for the help we so desperately need. Here’s our review of six popular apps for family caregivers.
Elder 411 doles out geriatric care manager Doctor Marion’s wisdom from her years of experience in the field via videos, audio tips, and Q&As. If you’re looking for answers or support, this is a comforting app to have downloaded. The app is searchable and organized by topics so you can access the information you need, when you need it most. I like that it makes it easy to find answers. I wish the app also tracked meds and other info.
So many caregivers are caring for someone with Alzheimers. Balance is the app for them. Share important messages with other family members. This app brings you the latest news on the disease as well as useful caregiving tips like how to deal with an agitated parent and how to bathe an adult. Plus you can track and manage meds and send messages to the doctor. This is one of the best caregiving apps I’ve seen.
How can I help? We caregivers hear this all the time. And our default response tends to be, “I don’t need anything right now.” We do need things – lots of things, but we’re too frazzled to recall them or we’re to polite to take someone up on their offer. This app breaks that cycle. Caregivers can create a community, invite friends and family into it, and post the things that need to get done. Members of the community can easily log in, choose a task, and lend a helping hand. I love this app.
When my mother was in hospice, I asked my sisters to take on the role of keeping family and friends updated. I was handling meds, care coordination and my father’s move into assisted living. But still the calls and texts kept coming. And at the end of a long day, I didn’t have it in me to return them. As a result, I know I alienated a few people. I should have used CaringBridge. Just like the popular website, the app allows you to keep your network up-to-date on what’s happening via journal entries. It eliminates the need for elaborate phone trees, and the stress that comes from incoming and unreturned calls.
I found this app to be a little light on functionality. The app’s purpose is to allow you and other family members and caregivers to record observations and questions in order to prepare for doctor appointments. By keeping all of your notes, questions, med lists etc. in one place, you’ll be more prepared for conversations with doctors. While I agree this is a useful thing to do, I wanted the app to do more.
My favorite thing about this app is it allows you to scan pill bottles to create med lists. If you ever carried around your parent’s list of medications on an index card, or a crumpled piece of paper, you know how cool this functionality is. Once you create the list, you can share it with your siblings, with doctors and with the staff at a senior home. You can also use CareZone to track vitals like weight, blood pressure, body temperature, etc.