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Smart phone to the Rescue!

By , 5:31 pm on

Who uses the phone to just talk anymore? Certainly not my teenaged daughters, who are more likely to communicate with their fingers than their vocal chords.  Millions of useful apps are the key reason we can do so much more with this personal technology device.  Family caregivers can use them to help with some aspects of caregiving, choosing a meal to prepare, and most important of all, stress management.

Here’s a quick summary of the applications:

Healthcare Basics:

Elder 411

(Free) Written by a geriatric care manager, this provides many tips and solutions to common caregiving issues. It is a good resource on 11 different elder care topics, including safety, legal, and communication.


($1.99) This app can help you identify pills, list medications, read about side effects and interactions of each medication, and set up a med reminder timer.

WebMD Mobile

(Free) Myriad health questions answered.

Pocket First Aid & CPR ($1.99) from the American Heart Association.  This is a great app to review in a calm time, when you can take in information on what to do in a cardiac episode or choking incident.

Help with Dinner: Dinner Spinner

(Free and Pro version for $2.99) For help deciding what to cook.  You can search for recipes based on what ingredients you have on hand. This app is so popular it is in multiple languages.

Downtime and Distraction:

Angry Birds

(Free and $0.99)  This is such a popular game, it has made the app the number one seller of all time. Sometimes caregivers, just like everyone else, need a chance to distract themselves.  Games like this are great for some mindless entertainment if the care recipient is in a private session with a doctor or having tests done.

(about $15 per month) This book lets you download full length audio versions of the latest best seller or any classic you can think of, to listen to in downtimes.  You can even listen in faster modes, so you can finish a book in half the time, if you can listen fast enough!

Stress Management:


(Free and $4 per month versions) Listen to your own personal radio station.  This means you can create a station with relaxing spa music to soothe yourself or your client. You can also use this to play “golden oldies” and dance and sing with your loved one.


($1.99) For the ultimate stress relief, practice meditation with this application. It has a variety of practices and includes tips, music and a verbal guide.

While your smart phone can nag you with texts and unread emails, it can also be a helpful tool for family caregivers.

At Home Care Assistance of Nebraska, we help families take care of each other. Some times our care managers help families navigate the healthcare system and care for loved ones long distance. At other times, we give respite to a spouse from caring for their loved one struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.  We are known for our ‘above and beyond’ care; from our perspective, that’s what care management is all about.

Sources: Some information taken from Anne Marie Botek’s article on smart phone applications, published on