Technology is busy making our lives easier: robots that can vacuum for us, apps that order our groceries or connect us with a therapist, even cars that drive themselves.
However, at the pace technology changes, it can be hard to keep up with what’s available, especially when you’re a busy caregiver to an older adult. Check out some of the latest apps that can reduce your caregiver workload and give you some precious peace of mind about your loved one’s care.
Renee (coming soon)
Renee’s main function is to make it easy and affordable to get medication. For $24.99 a month, Renee will fill all your loved one’s generic prescriptions and ship them right to their door. But Renee isn’t just a prescription-fulfillment service; they also remind your loved one when to take their meds and can schedule doctor appointments for them.
The app allows you to manage medications and appointments all in one place and helps to keep the senior you care for on track when taking medications on their own. Renee’s medication reminders can help cut down on missed doses of vital medications.
Renee operates outside insurance and only offers generic drugs, but if the older adult in your life takes multiple medications with co-pays that add up to more than $25 a month, Renee can save you money and hassle.
Caregiving can create a financial mess come tax time unless you’re organized, and many caregivers miss out on tax savings simply because they don’t know what credits, deductions and government programs are available.
The Givers app aims to change all that. When you sign up for Givers, you’ll receive a debit card you can link to your own bank account. Then, use the card to make all your caregiving purchases. Givers tracks your spending and investigates if that spending is eligible for any type of savings.
If it is, Givers will help you apply for the savings. The service is free unless Givers finds savings for you. When they do find savings, the company will take a 40% cut of the savings, leaving you with 60% of what you would get if you filed on your own.
Givers is a great way to keep track of all your caregiving expenses and to find some savings you may not have known about.
Avanlee is an all-in-one care management app that allows you to keep track of many different aspects of your loved one’s care all in one place. Besides managing medications and reminders, it can help with making doctor’s appointments, track health metrics through Apple, Google or Fitbit smart watches, create grocery lists and integrate family members as part of a care plan.
Avanlee’s focus on helping families manage a loved one’s care together through a single app makes it perfect for families who may not be in the same location. With the app, everyone can feel informed and involved in the caregiving even if they aren’t physically present.
The base level of Avanlee is free and allows for two family members to be included and allows you to manage four medications. Higher subscription levels offer an unlimited number of family members and medications, as well as user role management options. All subscription levels are ad-free.
Organizing caregiving tasks can seem like a full-time job, especially if multiple family members or professionals are involved. The Circle Of app aims to minimize the time spent arranging for care while improving communication among those involved in a senior’s care.
The free app helps organize tasks by allowing you to create a task and ask for help getting it done. When a task is created, it alerts other care team members about an available task. They can claim the task, and the app will insert their name on the schedule, making things like meals, grocery shopping and transportation to appointments easy to schedule and manage.
The app also includes a video chat option and a group messaging feature that keeps all caregiving information in one place.
Created by the Women’s Health Brain Initiative, BrainFit can help caregivers and older adults build healthy habits.
The app allows you to set up the habits you want to form, then encourages you to keep at them. It includes helpful educational information and is based on the six pillars of brain health: exercise, nutrition, stress management, social activity, sleep and mental stimulation.
You can choose the habits you want to work on by selecting from a list associated with each pillar or create your own habit. The Challenges section gamifies habit-building by setting benchmarks for you to meet. For example, one challenge is to take 10 mini-movement breaks in your day.
Texting multiple people, updating a social media page, making phone calls—these tasks can drain the energy of a caregiver.
My PowerPak seeks to alleviate some of that drain by creating a single place for health updates, caregiving needs and even gift-giving. My PowerPak offers an updates page, a calendar where you can ask for help with tasks, a journal for the caregiver to record their own private thoughts, a wishlist where supporters can purchase needed items (and have them sent directly to your loved one), and a messenger feature for sending texts.
The free app makes it easy for caregivers to alert others to the status and needs of the person they’re caring for without taking the time to use multiple communication channels. The My PowerPak page can be set to private where only people with the code can view it or public where anyone can see it.