Technology is used on a daily basis to help improve our lives, so why shouldn’t technology be used to provide caregiver support? Technology for family caregivers has come a long way over the years, and many of the best innovations can literally fit in the palm of your hand. Smartphones have enabled caregivers to better care for their aging loved ones thanks to a variety of applications, otherwise known as apps.
According to MobiHealth News, more than 44 million health-related applications were downloaded just in 2012! This means that the options available to us now are quite extensive. But it also means that there’s probably a lot of junk to sort through before you find the caregiver apps that are best suited to your needs.
How To Choose The Best Caregiver Support Apps
Not all caregiver apps were created equal. The best apps will provide you with the caregiver support you need on a daily basis. As you evaluate the app that’s best for you, here are some features to consider:
Price: There is a broad price variation, ranging from hundreds of dollars to free of charge. Be cautious though--many of the free apps have hidden costs that can arise. For example, you may need to pay to upgrade your version of the app and access more tools that they offer.
Customization: Your loved one is unique and so are his or her treatment needs. Look for an application that can be customized to meet these individual needs.
Compatibility: Some apps are only available for certain devices. Make sure the application you choose is compatible with all the devices and web browsers you intend to use.
Product Support: Choose a company with verifiable contact information and readily available customer service support.
Quality Control: Read reviews. If you want to know how good an application is, see what other people are saying. When it comes to caregiving, you need all the help you can get.
Once you know what qualities to look for in a caregiver support app, it becomes much easier to conduct your search, and you can feel more confident in your download or purchase.
The Best Caregiver Apps
Of all the different caregiver apps available on the market right now, here are some of the best that we’ve been able to identify:
CareZone: On the opposite end of the price spectrum is this application, which is free to users. The emphasis with Carezone appears to be on sharing critical caregiving information between multiple users. This makes it particularly useful for families where caregiving duties are split between several family members. Carezone allows users to invite friends and family to become ‘helpers.’ Subsequently, the application allows ‘helpers’ to share task lists, health journal entries, medical files and information on medication management. On the downside, the application does not provide reminders for appointments or medication scheduling. But for the money, Carezone is tough to beat.
Kinto: A mobile app designed for families caring for aging loved ones, Kinto is a caregiver support tool that aims to make your life easier. The app allows you to manage and organize caregiving responsibilities and also keep the rest of your family or friends up-to-date on the status of your loved one’s well being. In addition to keeping track of important medical information, the app also allows you to securely store legal and financial documents, create To-Do Lists, and connect with other caregivers for additional support. The app supports shared use for up to 6 family members. Kinto is free and available for iOs and Android systems.
Alzheimer’s Caregiver Buddy: This free app for both iOs and Android was created to specifically provide caregivers who are helping loved ones with memory loss with tips and tricks that they can access at the moment. The areas of caregiver support within this app include daily routine, communication, behaviors, and activities of daily living. The Alzheimer’s Caregiver Buddy app also can connect you to a 24-hour live Alzheimer’s Association helpline should you ever need it.
Medical Guardian Caregiver Support App
In the last few years, Medical Guardian has developed the Family Guardian app, which pairs with the Family Guardian medical alert system. In an effort to provide more advanced technology for family caregivers, the Family Guardian app enables family members to check in with their loved ones daily without being there in person. The app shows a variety of information that is gathered by the Family Guardian’s activity sensors that can be placed throughout your loved one’s home, providing you with alerts about activity--or inactivity--throughout the day. The Family Guardian app is compatible with both iOs and Android technology.