You and your siblings don’t live as close to Dad as you’d like. It’s close enough that any of you can get there whenever you need to, but far enough that none of you can easily keep tabs on his diabetes and arthritis.
There’s good news for you — and the other 10 million long-distance caregivers in the US: There’s an app for that!
In fact, there’s not just one, there are several to choose from. Here are two that are available on iPhone and Android, as well as on the web:
CareZone allows you to create lists of medications, keep records of doctor’s appointments and health issues, and create a list of contacts for everyone on your loved one’s team.
You can also upload important documents such as insurance cards, power of attorney forms, and advance directives.
Access to the information is easily shared. That’s convenient in a crisis, but you need to be careful to protect your loved one’s privacy.
One issue with CareZone is that it does not allow anyone to sign up for a specific task, such as taking Dad to his next doctor’s appointment.
CaringBridge is not as comprehensive as CareZone, but it allows tasks to be divided among caregivers. It also has a central check-in location, so friends and family can log in to check on Dad during a health crisis, a much saner solution for caregivers than receiving a constant stream of texts and phone calls.
Friends and family can also send each other messages, providing support to the patient and their caregivers without the constant ping of 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.
If neither of these apps meet your needs, don’t worry! New apps are being developed every day. When looking for the right app for your situation, consider the following:
- Is it available on both iPhone and Android? Not everyone you want to stay in touch is on the same platform.
- Is it easy to use? Older relatives might have a hard time with it.
- Make a list of the most important things you need, whether it’s keeping track of Dad’s meds or sharing responsibility for taking him to the doctor. Then look for an app that offers those key features.
Technology makes many things easier, but it isn’t the answer for everything. If Dad’s care is becoming overwhelming, the best solution may be human, not electronic. At Laurel Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center, in the scenic beach town of Keansburg, NJ, we provide a full range of programs, including:
Short-Term Rehab designed to get patients back to their optimal level of functioning and independence as quickly as possible;
Long-Term Care Services with 24/7 skilled nursing care of the highest caliber;
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care that includes specialized health services and programs, and sensory programs and activities, all provided in a secured environment;
Respite Care for times when you need a break from caretaking;
Specialty Health Services such as Complex Medical Care Management, Intravenous (IV) Therapy, Wound Care, Enteral Feeding, Pain Management, Oxygen Therapy, Tracheostomy Care, a Dedicated Pulmonary Program, Hospice Care with private suites, a Stroke Rehab Program, Respiratory Support, as well as Eye Care, Dental Care, Podiatry, and Psychological Consults and Counseling.
Or better yet, come see for yourself. Contact us to schedule a tour by clicking here or by calling (372) 787-8100.