Caregiving: Is there an app for that?

Q: I care for three other people and am having difficulty tracking medical appointments and medication management for each of them. Are there any useful apps for my phone that could help me?

A: In this fast-paced world, caregivers often find themselves overwhelmed with various responsibilities and tasks. Fortunately, the advancement of technology has brought forth a plethora of apps that can assist caregivers in managing their duties efficiently. These apps not only provide practical solutions, but also offer a sense of relief and support. Let’s explore some of the top apps that caregivers can use to enhance their caregiving experience.

Caregiving can be an arduous task, requiring time, organization and patience. Thankfully, the advent of apps has revolutionized the way caregivers approach these responsibilities. These apps help in areas such as medication management, appointment scheduling, communication, and emotional support. By utilizing these apps, caregivers enhance their efficiency, reduce stress and ensure better care for loved ones or those under their care.

Medication management

One of the most critical aspects of caregiving is medication management. With numerous medications to administer, it can be challenging to keep track of dosages and timings. Medication management apps such as Medisafe and CareZone offer a solution to this problem. These apps provide reminders for medication intake, track refill dates and even generate reports for healthcare professionals. For example, Medisafe allows caregivers to set up multiple profiles, ensuring that each person under your care has their medication needs met.

Always:

First, understand what the medications are used for.

Next, fully understand how the drug needs to be administered. (dose/time/orally/injection)

Double-check the person’s name before administering the medication.

Check the drug name on the container’s label every time you administer a drug.

If meds are kept in a pill box, be sure when sorting them into the container, you choose a time when you are not distracted and can focus on the task at hand.

Make sure the patient’s list of medications is consistently updated. 

Make sure all providers have an updated list of medications that are being administered. 

Appointment scheduling

Coordinating medical appointments can be a time-consuming task for caregivers. However, apps like CareZone and MyChart simplify this process by allowing caregivers to schedule, track and receive reminders for appointments. CareZone also enables users to share important medical information with healthcare providers, ensuring seamless communication. For instance, MyChart integrates with various healthcare systems, allowing caregivers to access medical records and test results easily.

Communication

Staying connected with healthcare professionals and family members is vital for caregivers. Communication apps like CaringBridge and CareZone facilitate regular updates, providing a platform to share information and seek support. Carebetter, eCare21 and Symple are other apps that allow you to import data, remotely monitor, or catalog client symptoms. CaringBridge, for instance, allows caregivers to create personalized websites for their loved ones, where they can provide updates on health conditions, progress, and specific needs.

Be sure to speak up if you notice adverse medication or food reactions. You don’t want to put the person(s) you are caring for at risk by not reporting irregularities to an appropriate family member or staff who are in charge of the patient. The sooner everyone is alerted to reactions, the more readily the one you’re caring for can get medical attention. These apps foster a sense of community and emotional support for caregivers, reducing feelings of isolation.

Emotional support

Caregiving can take a toll on the emotional well-being of caregivers. To address this, apps like Headspace and Calm offer guided meditation and relaxation techniques to reduce stress and anxiety. These apps provide caregivers with a much-needed respite from their demanding roles, promoting self-care and overall well-being. Caregiving can be overwhelming; prepare yourself for the challenges. Make sure you get answers to all your questions. Headspace offers specific meditations designed for caregivers, focusing on stress reduction and compassion for oneself.

Transforming caregiving

The rise of caregiving apps has undoubtedly transformed the way caregivers manage their responsibilities. From medication management to appointment scheduling, communication, and emotional support, these apps offer practical solutions to ease the unpredictability placed on caregivers. By utilizing these applications, caregivers, parents, or family members can enhance their efficiency, reduce stress, and ensure better care for their loved ones.

In an increasingly digital world, these apps provide everyone with the tools they need to navigate their caregiving journey with confidence and support. Having a plan and staying organized prevents missed doses, confusion about appointments, or miscommunication between those providing the care, and other responsible parties.

Karen Casanovas, PCC, CPCC, CLIPP is a professional health and wellness coach practicing in Anchorage. If you have questions write to her at info@karencasanovas.com.

 
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