Being a caregiver means juggling a lot of responsibilities. From managing different kinds of medications, scheduling doctor appointments, answering phone calls from concerned loved ones, greeting the hospice nurse, cooking dinner for your care recipient, to keeping the house clean, and perhaps even working a job yourself, you’ve got a lot to keep track of.
Fortunately, modern technology can help today’s caregiver organize these tasks through the use of smartphone apps.
Here are a few apps that can help you stay on top of everything – they can help you as a caregiver communicate with concerned loved ones, help you request a meal train, and even manage medication schedules. There’s even a few apps that can provide entertainment, relaxing meditation, and mental relief for a senior care recipient.
Apps for Caregiver Organization
- CareZone: When you’re providing care, there’s a lot of information you need to keep track of, including: medications dosages, insurance information, upcoming appointments, and advanced contacts and doctors. This app allows you to keep track of all your care recipient’s medical information in one easily accessible place.
- Drugs.com Pill Reminder: If your care recipient has a lot of prescription medications, the Drugs.com app Pill Reminder can help you manage FDA-approved information on side effects, interactions, and any other details you need to know. Pill Reminder not only reminds you to administer or take doses, it will remind you to when scripts need to be refilled. It can also help you find deals or sales on certain prescriptions.
- CaringBridge: When your loved one or care recipient is ill, many family members will call, text, and message you for updates. Instead of juggling a hundred phone calls, CaringBridge allows a caregiver to create a free, private, easy-to-use website, where you can update friends and family all at once. You can also use these features to request help from followers, for things such as starting a meal train, letting family know if you need help getting your senior to an appointment, or maybe you just would like a day to get some rest for yourself. CaringBridge allows your network to stay on the same page, communicate, and assist the primary caregiver.
- AARP Caregiving: AARP is a trusted name in the senior caregiving community. Caregivers can keep track of appointments and medications, communicate with family members, and find quick caregiving information and tips. If you have an urgent caregiving question, just search the FAQ within the app for common responses and guidance from the professionals at AARP.
- It’s Done! ($2.99): It’s Done! is helpful for both caregivers and care recipients in early stages of memory loss or dementia. This app is a minimalistic checklist of common daily activities. Did you give your patient their morning medications? Have you turned them in their bed? Just check this app to make sure you haven’t missed something important. Likewise, a care recipient or aging senior struggling with memory loss can use this app to help them remember their own tasks. Did they forget to lock the front door? Did they walk the dog this morning? This app helps anyone with a lot on their plate keep track of what they’ve done.
- Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner: If you’re a little too brain-fried to come up with quick and easy dinner ideas, this app can act as a menu planner. Just “add ingredients” in the app, based on whatever food you have in the house and how long you want to cook, and the app will serve up some ideas for meals based on your input. You can also find recipes for special diets, such as if your care recipient requires food that’s gluten-free, high fiber, or meals that are easier to digest.
Apps for Patients with Dementia
- MindMate: MindMate is an interactive app with many functions to assist patients with different levels of dementia. For less-advanced dementia, it provides brain workouts, including games that are medically shown to provide cognitive exercise that help keep the mind active and healthy while slowing decline. But it also has more soothing and relaxing features, including classic TV programs and music from the 1950s and 60s, which can ease a patient’s mind and comfort them. It even offers a daily diary, so you can organize and preserve these precious memories.
- Luminosity Brain Training (79.99/year): For less-advanced dementia, Luminosity is a very popular and highly-recommended app that features over 25 cognitive brain games. They challenge the patient’s cognitive abilities, exercising attention, memory, and focus. This app can help strengthen the user’s brain, decreasing the rate of decline into dementia.
- Let’s Create! Pottery HD ($4.99): If you have a bored care recipient who wants to keep their creative mind active, this is a simple and fun app that doesn’t require such nimble fingers. Simply drag your fingertips across the spinning clay, and the clay reacts on the screen like a spinning wheel, creating bowls and vases and other shapes. It’s calming and entertaining for a bed-bound senior.
- Magic Window ($2.99): For the care recipient or senior with cabin fever, the Magic Window app can work wonders. You can download it on a phone or tablet, but also have it show up on your TV screen. This Magic Window provides beautiful views of scenic landscapes, mountains, faraway cities, and tropical beaches. They even provide time-lapse videos and photography to show the sun rising and setting in the vista point of your choice, and can be paired with soothing ambient music. If your loved one is trapped at home or in a hospital, this app can provide a beautiful escape.
Take a Few Apps for a Spin
Even though you’re juggling a lot of responsibilities as a care giver, it doesn’t mean that your smartphone can’t help you juggle them. Some of the apps here require purchase but most of them are free to download and use, so there’s no reason not to give them a shot – you might find they really help streamline your workload.