Best Caregiving Apps of 2017

Top Apps to Help Steer You Through Caregiving

If you have a smartphone, you probably know what apps are -- but did you know they can actually help to make caregiving more manageable? A smartphone is like having a mini-computer with you at all times -- and the best caregiving apps help manage the many aspects of care that barrage and overwhelm most caregivers on any given day. Caregiving apps can help you maintain and update important information, get appointment and medication reminders, keep a log of activities, coordinate various caregivers, jot down notes from doctors or other care providers, and stay in touch with and pass on updates and photos to family and friends.

The world of caregiving apps is growing, and it needs to. Caregivers need every tool at hand to manage all that caregiving throws at you.

We've compiled a list of some of the most impressive and helpful apps for managing a loved one's care. Disease-specific apps (for those with a loved one who has Alzheimer's, cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, for example) are also available. You may find that a single app doesn't offer everything you need, so be sure to try a few. Most are free, or quite reasonably priced, and they can help make your caregiving life much easier.

CaringBridge

CaringBridge is just that -- a bridge that allows you and your loved ones to stay in touch. It's a perfect app for a family that rallies around a loved one in need of care, and for those who are facing surgeries, rehabilitation, and procedures that go along with conditions such as cancer, heart disease or diabetes. The app offers a space for multiple caregivers and family members to share pertinent information, such as updates, encouragement, and arranging care. There's a guest book offering a place for journal entries, medical updates, photos, stories, and tributes.

This is a wonderful addition to caregiver apps and unique in that it creates a place for more than managing a loved one's care -- you can uplift, stay in the loop and help each other through a difficult time.

What's great about CaringBridge:

CaringBridge specializes in keeping loved ones connected. By focusing on this important goal, the app's designers have created a product that not only passes along information but is also a holding place for good thoughts, encouragement, and photos as well as medical and caregiving updates. These features make CaringBridge a uniquely thoughtful and comprehensive tool.

Get the app:

Lotsa Helping Hands

Lotsa Helping Hands is a caregiving app that helps you create a community of care around your loved one. You can invite family, friends, volunteers, and care aides to join and then manage everything from sitters and errands to appointments and family gatherings using an interactive calendar.

There's also a section of the app called "Helping Hands," which serves as a message board and a well-wishes wall where caregivers, family, and friends can leave messages of encouragement for the person receiving care or for someone else in the care circle. This app lets you choose a coordinator and a community member page where you can update contact information, birthdates, and list best times to call. These features make Lotsa Helping Hands a good resource for creating a vibrant care community.

What's great about Lotsa Helping Hands:

Lotsa Helping Hands has much to offer caregivers and their loved ones. The webpage offers real support, stories from other caregivers, a newsletter and additional features that complement the app.

Get the app:

CareZone

CareZone is another great, free care-based app. You can keep all of your loved one's pertinent information on the secured app and invite family and friends to view and participate in his or her care. It has a place for notes and observations, a task list, medication logging (including pharmacy numbers, dosing, prescribing physicians, etc.), a place to upload photos -- and you can even send a voice message to up to 100 recipients. That's one impressive app!

What's great about CareZone:

For a free app, this covers most of your informational bases. It's excellent for storing and sharing information – and for knowing that it's secure. CareZone isn't just a caregiving app; family members of all ages can use it.

Get the app:

eCare21

eCare21 provides round-the-clock patient monitoring through wireless and wearable devices (such as a smart watch, Bluetooth, or FitBit device. You can track the wearer's glucose, heart rate, activity, medication, weight, calorie intake and sleep. You, your loved one, other family members and doctors can access this useful information no matter where they live or work.

eCare will be most helpful for caregivers as they manage their loved one’s schedules and meet their health needs, but it may take several apps or websites to tackle more complex caregiving challenges such as pain management, medication interaction, financial and end-of-life issues.

What's great about eCare21:

eCare21’s latest technology allows you to monitor your loved one’s care needs without being intrusive. It’s ideal for a working or long distance caregiver and by providing vital health data, which means better and quicker response. Forbes offered a favorable review of eCare21 stating, "The patients’ doctors, loved ones and caregivers can keep an eye on them and provide proactive care, even from hundreds of miles away.”

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Medisafe

Any caregiver knows the frustrations and concerns involved in medication management. You have to remember when the medication should be taken, whether or not to take it with food, avoiding double dosage, any side effects to watch out for, and make sure to track the medication for benefits or drawbacks. Medisafe Meds & Pill Reminder can help alleviate some of these concerns with reminders, helpful and practical information, and connecting caregivers, seniors, and the medical community together to provide cohesive care.

While some users noted frustrations with loading several medications at various time intervals, it should also be noted that MediSafe receives high marks for customer support. Each online review concern is addressed by the app's support team.

What's great about Medisafe:

Medisafe is unique in that it's not only a medication reminder but also educates people about their condition and the medicines they're taking. Medisafe can help to remind, track progress, and will even find coupons and other incentives. Medisafe is designed for users of any age, for caregivers involved in medication monitoring, and is also beneficial for physicians who want to connect with their patients through the Medisafe aApp. Medisafe has been featured on CNBC and in Reader’s Digest.

Get the app:

Elder 411

Elder 411 is a different kind of app that doesn't focus on caregiver management. Its primary purpose is to offer caregivers more than 500 pieces of advice and elder care tips in 11 areas of care. You'll find hundreds of bite-sized tips in the areas of safety, housing, hiring caregiving help, adaptive equipment, communication, legal, mobility, letting go, and other key care issues, available right when you need them most. There's also a search area and a place for keeping notes.

What makes Elder 411 great:

There are not many apps out there that cover caregiving and elder-care topics in audio, visual, and question-and-answer formats. If you're new to caregiving, this app could help educate you while you're "on the job."

Get the app:


Have you found other apps to help you with caregiving? Let us know in the comments below!


almost 3 years ago, said...

Lotsa Helping Hands is a terrific tool for coordinating the help of friends and extended family members. If family caregivers need to coordinate both the help of family and paid support staff or medical professionals, then TYZE is a good option. TYZE is similar to Lotsa Helping Hands, but is highly secure and password encoded. It's free for users. We use Tyze in our family to coordinate our son's complex care. Nurses, support workers and family as well as our GP are together with our family to coordinate our son's care online. I have a Tyze site for my Mom too that includes my sister, grown grandkids and personal support workers. Check it out at www.tyze.com - it has been a life saver for our family.


about 3 years ago, said...

The best app I have found is Tyze Personal Networks (www.tyze.com). Tyze is the only network I know of that is highly secure and password encoded (like internet banking), so our GP is part of my son's network along with close family and all the nurses who care for him. We also have a Tyze network for my Mom who is 92 - for that Tyze site, it's just me, my sister and my nieces plus two paid caregivers. My son requires complex care and Tyze is invaluable in creating a seamless way to coordinate care between family, friends and the support staff at the care home where he lives.


about 3 years ago, said...

An additional recommendation: our mobile app Prime, which allows you to download your health records from any doctors and keep them together in one place on your phone. I mention this because one item I'm not seeing on this list is a reliable source for the full health history of the person I'm taking care of. CareZone and Unfrazzle allow for some basic manual data entry but it's not comprehensive, nor is it automatic (who wants to enter every medication, immunization, etc. by hand?) nor shareable with other caregivers. Our site is http://stayinyourprime.com Prime can be downloaded at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/prime-your-health-illuminated/id699009998?mt=8 Feel free to toss questions about Prime my way anytime. I'm tyler@stayinyourprime.com. We built Prime because we are caregivers ourselves so we're always happy to help in any way we can.


about 3 years ago, said...

New to this technology, how would I go about adding Caring Bridge?


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