There are currently millions of smart phone applications available through Apple’s App Store and Android’s Google Play Store that can do everything from decode your dreams to tell you how many calories are in an orange.
While a caregiver may not have time to spend hours playing games, there are many other applications that can be used to organize and simplify everyday tasks, leaving more openings for self-care and quality time with a loved one. Some are designed specifically for caregivers, while others can be applied to their busy lifestyles to help facilitate mundane activities and stave off caregiver burnout.
You or your loved one could benefit from downloading any of the following apps:
- WebMD (Free): This app is a mobile extension of WebMD.com. Caregivers can search for information on a senior’s medications using the pill ID function and set medication reminders. There is also a symptom checker and a section where you can research different medical conditions. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- CareZone (Free): This app essentially allows a caregiver to enter and access all of a senior’s medical information in one place. If family members download the app, you can grant them access to the information, too. CareZone also includes the capability to note when appointments are coming up, store insurance information, create to-do lists and document symptoms. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- PainScale (Free): Caregivers can use this app to track and manage an elderly loved one’s pain. It features a pain diary that allows you to enter pain triggers and intensity, medication dosages, activity levels, mood and sleep quality. All of this information can then be compiled to create either a general or detailed pain report than can easily be shared with medical professionals. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- iPharmacy (Free): This app is a comprehensive guide to understanding and managing prescription medications. It gives FDA information on the use, side effects, interactions, etc. of thousands of approved drugs and can also help you locate the best deals on your loved one’s prescriptions. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- First Aid—American Red Cross (Free): This app will ensure you’re prepared for any caregiving emergency you can think of. It features instructions for administering basic first aid and CPR as well as safety tips and information for natural disasters and severe weather. It is fully integrated with 911, and the entire app’s contents are also available in Spanish. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner (Free): Time-crunched caregivers can think of this app as their very own private menu planner. The Dinner Spinner allows you to input what type of dish you want to make, the main ingredient you wish to use and how long you want to cook and then gives you a selection of recipes that fit your specifications. In need of some culinary inspiration? You can also generate random recipes, save your favorites and create shopping lists. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- Kindle (Free, with in-app purchases): Don’t have a kindle for reading on the go? This app turns your smart phone or tablet into an e-reader, giving you the freedom to read your favorite novel while waiting for your loved one at the doctor’s office. While the app itself is free, in-app purchases are required to download books, newspapers and periodicals to read on your mobile device. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- Elevate – Brain Training (Free, with optional in-app purchases): Providing care for another person can make you feel a little scatterbrained at times. Give your brain the TLC and exercise it needs in the form of fun games. Elevate brain training programs are customized just for you and will help improve your focus, memory, comprehension and more. You can track your performance and progress, and the game levels adapt automatically to ensure your brain always gets a challenging work out. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- Mint.com Personal Finance (Free): A money management tool may not be the most fun app a cash-strapped caregiver can have at their fingertips, but Mint may help get your finances in order by giving you one go-to place to manage your money. It can sync to your bank accounts and keep track of how much money you’re spending and what you’re spending it on. You can also set bill reminders, and, if your mobile device is lost or stolen, you can deactivate your account to protect your privacy and funds. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- Stress Is Gone ($1.99): What would this list be without a stress-relief app? Stress Is Gone includes stress reduction strategies, breathing exercises and meditation coaching to help you reduce both chronic and random stress. This app is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- Magic Window ($2.99): Caregivers don’t usually have the freedom to get outside or travel on a regular basis, but with the Magic Window app, you can hold stunning views of natural landscapes and bustling international cities in the palm of your hand. The images even simulate the passage of time through the use of time-lapse photography, and these views can be accompanied by ambient soundtracks. You can put a scene on a timer to experience a sunrise or sunset in a matter of seconds or extend it over a couple of hours. It also features alarm clock and sleep timer capabilities that allow caregivers to wake up and fall asleep to soothing sensory experiences. The app comes with a package of 22 scenes and additional packages are available for purchase. This app is only available on iOS devices.