While caregiving can be a very rewarding experience, it is a role that often leads to burn out. There are a lot of tasks to manage and caring for a person often involves mental, emotional and physical support all at the same time. Whether you are caring for a loved one who is aging-in-place or working professionally as a carer, digital tools like home care apps and adult day care software can help caregivers avoid overwhelm.
Top 10 Caregiver Tasks and how digital tools can help:
Isolation and loneliness in seniors is an issue many communities are attempting to combat. Caregivers are sometimes the only social contact an older person living at home might have in a day. The social engagement side to caregiving impacts mental and physical health, too. Digital tools like Amazon’s Alexa and various smartphone apps can help you engage an older person in conversation, offer entertainment, and provide cognitive stimulation. Whether it’s creating music playlists on Spotify, using YouTube for reminiscence sessions, listening to audiobooks on Audible, playing each other in a game of Words with Friends, or Facetiming the grandchildren, there are endless opportunities to promote socialization using digital tools from home.
Seniors tend to have many appointments with a variety of healthcare professionals. Additionally, like the rest of us, they need to visit the salon, places of worship, the grocery store, senior centers, etc. When you already have a busy schedule yourself, it can be a huge task to organize and manage another person’s day-to-day life. If your basic calendar system isn’t working, there are digital tools that can enhance this process. Lotsa Helping Hands is one that allows you to easily manage offers for help by displaying your needs and allowing others invited to your online care community to sign up for tasks. You can also quickly schedule meals or appointments, and coordinate care or rides for your loved one.
Meal Preparation & Nutrition Support
Ensuring that seniors are eating a nutritious diet and getting enough caloric intake each day is an important part of caregiving. The level of work that meal preparation and nutrition support requires will depend on the capabilities and needs of the senior. Fortunately, many grocery stores offer online ordering and home delivery these days, which cuts out the time spent shopping. Although they won’t fit everyone’s budget, meal subscription box services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron are a hassle-free option as well. For nutrition support, the app Fooducate brings up nutritional information for various food items via barcode scanning while also helping you make sense of the data. This is a great companion at the grocery store and can help you with effective meal planning.
Apps like Medisafe or Drugs.com Pill Finder help by giving on a one-stop location for tracking medications and looking up drug interactions. You can use these tools to set alarms for when to take a pill, refill a prescription, or be notified if your loved one/patient missed a dose.
Seniors often need someone to advocate on their behalf during medical appointments or when big life changes are occurring. A crucial part of caregiving is being there to make sure that a senior’s voice is heard and their needs are being met.
Wearable technology is a booming industry that is helping seniors stay safe, especially when caregivers cannot be in the home 24/7. Things like watches, clips, adhesive patches, and lanyard necklaces can be worn to monitor seniors at home and give caregivers some peace of mind. These pieces of technology can do things like sense when someone has fallen and automatically phone emergency services, identify when activities of daily living are occurring and sense abnormalities in a routine, scan for heart irregularities, monitor vital signs, or conduct an electrocardiogram and automatically send data to a doctor.
Mobility assistance can be understood as literally helping a senior navigate around their house or acting as physical support for getting in and out of a wheelchair. On the other hand, it can also be helping a senior stay independent by providing them with digital tools that can keep them mobile for longer. Showing a senior how to use Google Maps or order an Uber to get somewhere can help them feel more independent. If the senior has a smartphone and gets lost or disoriented while out and about, you can use an app like Find My Friends to detect their location and direct them from there.
Personal Hygiene Support
Care management software and home care apps are typically equipped with care planning functionality. This can help you organize and store a patient or loved one’s needs and preferences or set tasks and reminders for things like grooming, bathing, changing bandages, or refilling personal hygiene products.
Caregivers often keep the senior’s home clean and tidy doing light housework like laundry, dishes, dusting, and vacuuming. They may also be responsible for yard work, shoveling the driveway and keeping up with the exterior of a house. Apps that allow you to set reminders or list and cross off to-dos are helpful for this.
Communicating with the wider care community
Primary caregivers are part of a wider care community. Doctors, social workers, friends, relatives, neighbors, drivers, and other health care professionals are also part of someone’s life and need to be updated on a senior’s needs and concerns. Adult day care and home care providers use digital tools like StoriiCare to keep family members and other personal connections updated on their loved one. Connections can receive photos, notifications anytime their loved one participates in an activity, personal messages, community announcements while also contributing to their loved one’s secure, personal profile.
This post has been sponsored by Storii, Inc.
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