Mom lives alone, 50 miles from you and your siblings. She’s close enough for you to get there whenever you need to, but far enough that none of you can keep tabs on her diabetes and arthritis as easily as you’d like.
There’s good news for you — and all the other long-distance caregivers in the US, a number estimated at 7 to 10 million. There’s an app for that!
In fact, there are several to choose from. Here are two that are available on iPhones and Android phones, as well as online:
CareZone is comprehensive, allowing you to create lists of medications, record doctor appointments and health issues, and create a list of contacts for everyone on your loved one’s “team.”
It also allows you to upload such important documents as insurance cards, power of attorney forms and advance directives.
Access to the information is easily shared, which is convenient in a crisis but needs to be used cautiously in order to protect privacy.
One downside of CareZone is that it does not allow anyone to be assigned or to volunteer to take on a task, such as taking Mom to her next doctor’s appointment.
While not as comprehensive as CareZone, CaringBridge allows tasks to be divided among different caregivers. It also provides a central location where friends and family can check on Mom’s status during a health crisis, a more convenient solution for caregivers than receiving an endless flow of texts and phone calls.
App participants can also send each other messages, creating a way to provide support to the patient and their caregivers without disrupting them with notifications.
Health crises sometimes lead to financial crises, and CaringBridge allows participants to set up a GoFundMe page where friends and family can contribute toward medical expenses, directly through the app.
Neither of these meet your needs? New apps appear every day. If you’re looking for the right app for your situation, consider the following factors:
- Is it available on both iPhone and Android?
- Is it user-friendly?
- Does it allow you to do the most essential tasks you need, whether it’s keeping track of medications or sharing responsibility for taking Mom to the doctor?
Technology makes many things easier, but it isn’t the answer for everything. If Mom’s health is fragile, particularly if she’s eligible for nursing home care, the best solution is likely human, not electronic.
Beacon of LIFE, in Oceanport, NJ, is a government-approved PACE program created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while the seniors continue to live in their community.
Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.
We provide a comprehensive variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.
Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.