New Technology for Caregivers: Planning with Apps

Caregivers assume an incredible amount of responsibility and a majority of their responsibilities revolve around planning and keeping track of most, if not all, of their loved one’s care needs. Usually, this is in the form of tracking doctor’s appointments, managing their loved one’s medications, and keeping track of important documents.  Fortunately, with almost everyone using a smartphone, there are a lot of technologies out there that can help caregivers with this planning.
Keeping Track of Doctor’s Appointments:
It’s incredibly easy to lose those small business cards that doctor’s offices give out for appointments. This can be especially difficult for a caregiver trying to track multiple appointments with multiple physicians and specialists. Tracking all of the appointments in a day planner is an option, but remembering to bring the planner to every appointment can be difficult. However, planning applications, such as Google Calendar, can be a great asset. Appointments can be organized by color, so a certain specialist can be assigned a specific color. This calendar can be accessed from multiple platforms, and can be quickly pulled up while scheduling.
Managing Medications:
There are multiple medication management applications, and most app stores allow users to browse through screenshots and reviews before committing to one. There is a great application called RxmindMe Prescription. This is a perfect application for caregivers. The application allows caregivers to set up alerts on a daily, hourly, or weekly basis. The app allows caregivers to be as specific or as general as they want. For example, a caregiver could put in an alert that says “call mom to reminder her about heart medication,” or the reminder could be more specific and state “remind mom to take 15 mg of Doxycycline.”  The best part of this application is the “Prescriptions” feature. This allows caregivers to group specific medications in categories. For example, heart medication, could be broken down into Lasix and Advair. In addition to this, the caregivers can upload pictures of the pills and dosing instructions for each medication to ensure that they are providing their loved one with the correct medication.
General Caregiver Information:
Eldercare 911 is an app designed by Dr. Marion Somers who is a Geriatric Care Manager, and it’s an incredible asset to caregivers. This is an incredibly helpful app that is designed to provide caregivers with all of the information needed while in an eldercare crisis. There is information regarding what to do before the crisis occurs, at the hospital, while planning for discharge, post-hospital care and while in recovery at home. Under each one of these categories are several sub-categories with even more resources. For example, if a caregiver is preparing for the discharge of your loved one from the hospital, this app provides information on how to hire help for your home, dealing with feelings of being overwhelmed, understanding adaptive equipment and more.  It’s incredibly easy to navigate, and the amount of resources in this app is astounding.
Currently, all of these applications are free in the iTunes store. Caregivers may have to try a couple of applications before finding one that works for them, but, in the time that they will save in the long run, it’s worth adopting these technologies.

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