If you’re a caregiver for an aging parent, you know there is a lot to keep track of. From healthcare directives to doctor’s office visits, medication lists and vital signs, making sure your parent is following the doctor’s orders is important, but remembering everything and keeping track of all the papers and files can turn into a full time job. It gets even more complicated when you’re sharing the responsibilities with other family members or care providers. Everyone needs to be on the same page as far as the type of care given, but how do you keep the lines of communication open?
Of course, traditional means of communication are still important. For the case workers here at Piedmont HomeHealth, it is an important part of our daily care that we talk with a client’s family and communicate any issues or concerns we may have. There are also those tried-and- true avenues of communication such as phone calls or leaving notes. But with today’s advances in technology, there are new ways to communicate and track health care instructions and physical changes and symptoms, many of which can be shared with caregivers and family members so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to what is being done and what needs to be done.
Here are a few of our favorite apps to help everyone keep track of important papers and instructions, as well as tracking vital signs and providing reminders for appointments and medications.
My Medical (iOS)
Use this app to keep track of your personal medical information, track and chart test results and vital signs, and set reminders for appointments. A couple of good features with this app are the ability to sync with your mobile calendar for tracking doctor’s appointments, and the ability to have certain information accessible without a password for emergency medical professionals.
CareZone (iOS and Android)
Another comprehensive record-keeping app, this allows you to organize medications lists, contacts, and other important information. With a built-in journal, you can track symptoms, notes from doctor visits, and changes in medicines. Share updates easily and privately with family members and caregivers.
My Directives (iOS)
Keep your DNR and other health care directives available on your smartphone or tablet. This way they’re easy to access wherever you might be.
Track Your Vitals
Keep track of blood pressure, heart rate, weight, and glucose measurements with these apps. Data entry is relatively easy, you can share the information with family and caregivers, and seeing your vitals over time provides a good look at how your medications and other preventative measures are working. Blood Pressure Monitor – Family Lite and Glucose Buddy Diabetes Tracker are just two of the many apps available for this type of tracking.
Medisafe Meds and Pill Reminder (iOS and Android)
Enter all your medications into one app that will keep track of when you need to take them and provide alerts. The app has the ability to add a friend, so caregivers and family members can help with staying on track.