Tools for Caregivers
Everybody needs a little help sometimes. Many Americans will become the facilitators of that help at some point in their lives. According to a study by AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, 65 million Americans spend time as a caretaker each year. That’s a lot of people taking on the thoughtful, giving work of looking after a parent, spouse or friend. While their efforts are noble, their responsibilities are daunting. The hours can be long, the tasks can be physically and mentally draining and the volume of “must do’s” can feel endless. Luckily, there are a variety of tools that are designed to help caregivers contribute their best to their aging parents and loved ones.
Here are a few tools that make the caregiver’s life so much easier:
- Educational Resources: There are a number of tremendous resources available to help you provide care for an aging parent. AARP’s website provides great articles and resources for caregivers and has a telephone support line. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, alz.org is an all-encompassing resource for guidance and support. The website Many Strong allows you to organize “mini-communities” of loved ones to help your family member.
- Medical Alert Apps: You may be in a situation where you are not able to be with your elderly parent 24 hours a day. As a matter of fact, the ability to do things that don’t involve caretaking is critical to your own health. However, accidents do happen and you need to know that your loved one needs help as soon as possible. Apps, such as EyeOn app, make that possible. In the case of EyeOn app, the caretaker and their loved one set a specific time in which the person in need will receive a notification. That person will be requested to respond each time. If they don’t respond within the required time period, you are immediately alerted, giving you time to get any necessary help. The app gives you peace of mind to conduct the non-caregiving aspects of your life.
- Technology tools: It’s no secret that today’s technology has the ability to enhance our lives in a myriad of ways. This is no different for caregivers. Smart scales and fitness trackers, like FitBit, can help people reach fitness goals along with monitoring health conditions. GPS technology can be worn to help you keep track of your loved one. There are also a number of tools to keep track of health records, including Health Vault and, even, Dropbox.
- VA Caregiver Support: This educational resource is listed separately because it stands out among resources. The website features diagnosis care sheets for a variety of disorders including, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and traumatic brain injury. The site also features checklists for caregivers and tools for staying organized.
- Reminder Systems: The amount information that you need to track for your aging parent and for your own family can be overwhelming. In terms of the person under your care, there are a number of iPhone and Android apps that can help you set reminders for medications and appointments.
It’s the desire of many senior citizens to age in place. Tools like EyeOn app can help. The EyeOn app is an automated check-in system that can be set at pre-determined intervals in order to assure the safety and wellbeing of anyone who lives alone. If they do not respond, caregivers are notified immediately. The EyeOn app provides peace of mind for caregivers and freedom for their loved ones.