Monday, January 3, 2011

Caregiving in the Palm of Your Hand

Smartphones remain the hottest technology today, and one of the fastest group of adopters are baby boomers, who are replacing their cell phones with iPhones, Androids and Blackberries.

These mobile devices allow you to perform many computer functions once done exclusively on a laptop or PC.

The Web site MarketWatch today lists five smartphone applications (or "apps") specifically beneficial to those caring for an aging or ailing relative. Most apps run on specific operating systems, and some carry a fee. We thought we'd summarize the recommended apps for caregivers here.

1. Tell My Geo for the Android ($9.95 monthly per phone)
This app allows you to track a loved one using GPS technology. It also can provide your health history to emergency responders in the event you or your loved one are unable to communicate. It also includes a feature to allow someone with dementia to call home by touching a photo image -- a big bonus to those with Alzheimer's!

2. Personal Caregiver for the iPhone (free)
Helps with medication management by scheduling and tracking medications for up to three people. It also sends FDA alerts on any drugs you may use.

3. Pain Care for iPhone, Android and (soon to) Blackberry (free)
This app allows a patient to tell you how much something hurts using a visual pain scale. The data is shared instantly with health care professionals so that treatment adjustments can be made quickly.

4. iBiomed for the iPhone and iTouch (free)
Described as a mobile treatment logbook, you can record and track medications, dietary supplements, therapies, diets and allergies, refill schedules and a journal of behaviors and side effects. The app also allows you to access advice from other caregivers through an online forum.

5. Public Speech for the iPhone (free)
This one is recommended for a different reason -- to capture a loved one's memories while they are still available. It's a creative use of a public speaking tool to spend quality time recording past and present activities that make up a life.

Article: Five smartphone apps for caregivers