Health App Tracks Activity for Caregiver Stress Relief

The job of a caregiver can be unpredictable and stressful. One of the most important considerations for maintaining a healthy lifestyle comes with managing that stress. Caregivers have several options when it comes to stress relief: meditation, exercise and sleep all contribute to wellness. For caregivers with Apple phones, the built-in Health app automatically tracks steps so caregivers can gauge their daily activity. 

You probably don't realize the number of steps that you take each day. For caregivers especially, who might be crossing a room several times a day to get things for their senior clients, 15 steps here and 20 steps there add up fairly quickly. The Health app uses GPS data to track how far your phone moves, and with it, how many steps and miles you walk in a day. Caregivers with Apple phones don't even need to download anything to use this function; it comes pre-installed on the phone and tracks movement automatically. 

When caregivers open the app, they are greeted with a dashboard that shows the number of flights of stairs climbed, number of steps and walking + running distance average for the week. If caregivers also have a device such as a Fitbit that tracks calories and other fitness data, they can connect that with the Health app to produce more data, such as exercise minutes or workouts. 

For each category presented, caregivers can click to see more historical data and compare charts over time. For example, clicking on walking + running distance will show all of the daily data for the week, month or year and display bar graphs across the top to illustrate the data. It will also show your average distance overall. The comparison charts help caregivers realize when they might have a week or month that's particularly low so that they can adjust their routine to add in more exercise.


Consider setting a daily step or distance goal for yourself, or maybe even for you and your senior client if they feel like going for a walk. For senior clients, regular movement helps keep their joints active, even if it's just a leisurely stroll around the block. For senior caregivers, walking or running even an extra mile every day can help relieve stress. 

The Health app comes pre-installed on all Apple products. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Yoga for Beginners App Offers Caregivers, Clients Easy Way to Exercise

Relieving stress and staying active play a big part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but most of the time that seems easier said than done. For senior caregivers whose work is particularly demanding, setting aside time a couple of times a week to exercise and de-stress can make a big difference in mental and physical health. The Yoga For Beginners app offers a way for caregivers and their senior clients to stretch and exercise wherever is most convenient for them. 

The home screen of the app is divided into four different sections: Yoga Plans, Yoga Poses, Health Tips and Instruction. Under Yoga Plans, caregivers will find the different options for yoga programs that they can complete through the guided instructions in the app. The Yoga for Beginners plan is free, while the others such as Yoga to Relieve Stress or Yoga for Better Sleep must be paid for. Starting with Yoga for Beginners will give you and your senior clients a feel for the basic poses and will help with the aforementioned issues. Simply doing any yoga helps bring calm to the mind and stretch the body. 

Once users select a program, they can click start to begin the countdown and launch into their exercise routine. The screen shows the specific pose that caregivers should use, and if a demonstration is needed then caregivers can click on the play button in the upper right-hand corner. This will pull up a video explaining and demonstrating the pose for someone who has never done it before. The videos are embedded directly into the app from YouTube, so they aren't all the same style or instructor. But given the free nature of the app, they do a sufficient job of educating the viewer on how to complete the exercise. 


Under the Yoga Poses area of the app, caregivers will find a list of poses that serve different purposes and instructions on how to complete them. The categories include Yoga Poses, Abs Exercises, Stretch Exercises, etc. Every category includes some free poses and some locked for a paid subscription. These all include a written description of the activity and what it helps with, and then a YouTube video showing the exercise. These YouTube videos appear to be specifically put together for the app, as opposed to the videos in the other portion that differ in instructor and style video-to-video. 

Under Health Tips, caregivers will find several categories sharing tips on everything from Women's Health and Weight Loss Tips to Healthy Eating and Aging & Health. When users read these tips, even in the prose they are reminded to consult with their doctors for expert opinions before changing their habits drastically. Especially when it comes to senior clients, medical professionals will offer a more sound opinion than general tips in an app. However, this section can offer some food for thought, and options to discuss at future doctor's appointments. 

The Yoga for Beginners app is available for Apple platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Stay Fit into the Fall Using Yoga App

Summer is almost gone, and with fall comes the tendency to spend more time indoors and sedentary. For senior caregivers, regular exercise can provide much-needed stress relief. Yoga offers a chance to get moving and improve flexibility while staying indoors. The Simply Yoga app teaches caregivers how to do complete different yoga exercises. 

When caregivers first open the Simply Yoga app, they will find a very basic home screen. One detriment to the app is the lack of labels on the home screen. Across the top, there are simply selections between 20, 40 or 60 minutes and underneath that numbers representing difficulty level. When users select a length and a difficulty number, the video program begins. 

The video introduces a pose by saying the name, describing the pose and how to effectively move your body to complete the pose. Poses in the program include Mountain Pose, Sun Salutation and Chair Pose. Users have the ability to move forward and backwards between the different poses using the buttons at the bottom of the screen, so if they miss part of the instructions they can listen again. 


In the background as the narrator talks, the app also plays background noise of waves in an ocean. This, along with the tone of the narrator's voice, is meant to help calm the user as they complete the exercises. In the settings area of the app, caregivers can turn this ocean waves sound on or off, as well as the pose sound and instructions sound within the app. 

The settings area of the app also offers a reminder day and time for notifications to complete a workout. Caregivers can complete these exercises in their living room, or with a senior client in their living room. Remember to use a mat, particularly if you should be exercising on a hardwood floor or a similar rough surface. 

For senior clients, yoga can offer a low-impact way to keep moving and improve flexibility. However, always check with their doctor before starting a new exercise plan and don't force any poses that might be too challenging for them. Participating in a yoga program together also gives you a chance to bond with your senior clients. 

The Simply Yoga app is available for Apple and Android platforms. While the interface itself leaves something to be desired in design, the videos themselves make for useful beginner educational tools. 

 Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko 

Find a Place to Take a Hike Before Summer Disappears Using App

As the summer winds down into the upcoming Labor Day weekend, you may be asking yourself if you did everything you wanted to this summer. Did you spend time outside, enjoying some fresh air before winter rolls around again? The good news is that even if you answered, "no" to that last question, you still have time to get out and go for a hike using the Hiking Project app.

Don't let the word, "hike" intimidate you. Some hikes could be considered more of a nice walk, depending on the elevation, ascent and descent throughout. For the flat hikes, a mobile senior caregiver could even join you for a short stroll to connect with nature a little bit. 

The Hiking Project app uses an actual map of your state to show areas where good hikes are available. Users can zoom in and out of different vicinities and see proposed hikes highlighted in green as they browse around. 

Once a caregiver picks an area they'd like to potentially go on a hike, they can click on the highlighted trail for more information. The details listed include: ascent, descent, high and low elevation, overall length and a photo. It also includes ratings from users, if available. A chart even shows the elevation compared to the length of the trail to give caregivers a visual representation of how challenging the walk would be. 

As users scroll down, they will find a detailed overview that lists hours, need to know information such as parking availability, further description of the trail including entrances, etc. Caregivers can check in at the trail within the app to keep track of which hikes they've already done, or add it to their To-do list to remind themselves to go there on a later date. 

Lists are also available to show the best hikes in your state, to help you choose if you have a few in mind. Going for a hike helps relieve caregiver stress. Consider an easy walk with a senior client to help get them moving enough to stay active and potentially prevent the onset of dementia. Then, put together a separate list of longer or more challenging walks that you'd like to go on yourself to relieve some stress. 

The Hiking Project app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko 


Add Your Steps Into Miles Using MapMyWalk App

Everywhere you turn these days, people are discussing how many steps they got today and if they've met the main goal of 10,000 throughout the course of their day. The FitBit craze has taken over. For senior caregivers who may not want to spend $100 or more on a wristband to count their steps, the MapMyWalk app offers an alternative to tracking light exercise. 

Going for a walk offers health benefits to senior caregivers and their clients alike. For senior clients who may not have ease of motion any longer and cannot participate in high-impact activities, walking provides a way to still get up and move while setting their own pace. For senior caregivers, walking can help get you out of the house and relieve stress. And, according to Harvard Health, as a form of moderate exercise, walking can improve cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, etc. 

When users first open the MapMyWalk app, they need to create an account. This allows caregivers to keep historical data of their walks to review and compare over time. Starting a new workout is easy. Caregivers simply need to click the "Record a Workout" button and make sure the proper exercise appears in the upper left corner. 

While the app's main focus is walking outdoors, other exercise types are available to track as well. Users can choose between stairs, walking on a treadmill, running, mountain biking, hiking and more. Once users select an activity, they can click the "Start Workout" button as they begin exercising. 

If caregivers don't have a specific route in mind, they can make it up as they go and the app will track it. Otherwise, if they'd prefer to have a set route ahead of time, the app offers a tool to see nearby routes that other runners have taken to help plan yours. For an additional fee associated with the MVP membership, users can use the Route Genius tool, which analyzes the map in your neighborhood and suggests the best path. 

As users go for their walk, the app tracks distance, duration, pace and calories burned. Don't think of this as a race against the clock, though. Take your walk at a pace that you feel comfortable with, especially if you have a senior client accompanying you. Once a workout is complete, it's stored in the workouts tab for future reference. Users can easily review how far they've walked over time on this tab. 

The app also features challenges that caregivers can opt into, if they so desire. These range in difficulty and requirements, such as walking a certain amount throughout the whole year. Users can also search for friends in the app to view their activity and send them encouragement. 

The MapMyWalk app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Celebrate Arbor Day and Get Outdoors with Park Finder App

Arbor Day is next Friday, April 29. While the natural first inclination as a way to celebrate Arbor Day might be to plant a tree in your yard, caregivers and their senior clients don't have to go through quite so much physical labor to appreciate nature. Using the Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder app, caregivers can search local parks to enjoy with their senior clients as a way to get some fresh air, or on their own for hiking, biking or running as a form of exercise. 

After users first open the app and authorize it to use their location, they then have the option to search for parks based strictly on location, or instead select Things to Do at the parks prior to searching. Options on the Things to Do list include birdwatching, picnicking, hiking, fishing, boating, etc. Once caregivers select specific activities and initiate the search, a list comes back of all the parks in the area that meet that criteria. 


The app displays parks in a list, starting with the one closest to the user's current location and moving farther away as the list continues. There's also a map feature which allows users to see all the results plotted out, in case they'd like to find a park that way instead. 

Once users identify a park they might like to visit, they can click on it for a one or two paragraph description of the park in addition to a list of all the Things to Do there. The description tries to provide all pertinent information, such as the type of equipment at the park and the layout. One even shares information on whether the park is considered ADA accessible, which is helpful for senior caregivers whose clients might be in wheelchairs. 

The app only offers photos uploaded by other users who visited the park previously, so some of the parks have no photos at all. Caregivers can also read reviews left by other visitors to get an idea of what to expect when they visit, and leave their own review after they spend time in the park themselves. 

The last part of the park profile provides contact information for the park, including the organization who owns it (i.e. Chicago Park District) and the main phone number. Caregivers can check in when they visit the park to keep track of where they've been and save their favorite parks to the My Parks area of the app. 

Senior caregivers might find that spending just half an hour at a park with their senior client on the way home from an errand provides a nice way to stop and connect with nature. Running or biking outdoors at a park also offers a change of pace from regular gym equipment and some nice local greenery for added views. 

The Oh, Ranger! Park Finder app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Use Yoga App to Keep Fitness Resolutions

At the start of every year, gyms are flooded for a few months with new members and the number of diet commercials on TV seem to quadruple. If you made a New Year's Resolution to be a healthier you, try the Daily Yoga app for an easy way to get some exercise at home. 

Yoga provides increased flexibility and muscle strength when practiced on a regular basis. It's also a low-impact exercise, making it ideal to do at the end of a tough day or with your senior client if they have the range of motion needed. 

Users need to create a free account with the app when they first download it, and then they're able to see all of the workout options on the home screen. The default screen shows an option to filter between Featured workouts or All Sessions. Under all sessions, users will see Beginners sessions such as Standing Poses, Lying Poses, Seating Poses, etc. 


Once users select one of these categories, they will see a menu of different poses such as Supine Torso Twist, Dynamic Half Little Boat, or Prone Neck Stretch. The names sound foreign to someone who is new to yoga, but the thumbnail pictures next to the name make it easier to understand what the pose will look like. 

After picking a specific group of poses, caregivers can view a preview of the video for that pose or download the video to complete their workout. The videos per pose last for about 45 seconds and shows a person on a mat completing the moves slowly while a narrator explains each part. All of the poses in a Session last for a set amount of time, i.e. 15 minutes. The videos are easy to follow, stop and rewind as necessary to ensure users complete the moves completely and accurately. 

Users can also read about the poses offered and get more background in yoga by clicking View Details under a session. A biography for the instructor leading that session also appears so users can learn more about the person they're learning from. 

Yoga offers stress relief for caregivers, and often includes a meditative state. Try completing a session when you first wake up before your hectic day, or at night before you go to bed. The app also provides a Community section for users new to yoga to talk about why they started yoga and ask questions about the practice. 

The Daily Yoga app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discovers additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko


Summer Exercise Through Swimming App

Summer is right around the corner and with it comes the opportunity to get outdoors, enjoy the sun and get fit. Swimming offers an effective cardiovascular workout while being gentle on the joints. Senior caregivers and their senior clients can enjoy the activities together or senior caregivers can track time spent before or after work taking a few laps in the pool with the Speedo Fit app. 

The Speedo Fit app features swimming tracking and goals for beginners through advanced swimmers. When users first create an account, they set goals in the app for distance to swim. Beginners can choose to start off with a goal track called "Bathtub to 500m." It features weekly distance milestones that gradually increase until they hit the 500 meter mark. This may be a simple starting point for a more capable senior client or for caregivers new to swimming for fitness. The app also offers milestones and challenges for more experienced swimmers, such as "3K in 6 Weeks." 

The Swim Tips section of the app shares suggestions for how to improve a work out. The Swim Coach area features specific guided exercise plans designed to increase endurance and speed or improve technique. This section also provides informational videos on how to properly complete various strokes, such as the freestyle, backstroke or butterfly. It even includes an area devoted to tips for swimmers new to fitness swimming. The tips vary from pool rules and guidelines about which lane to use to what to bring with you and what gear to wear (googles, swim cap, etc.)

The Gear section expands on what's needed to get started as a new swimmer. Since the app is put together by Speedo, the gear area offers users the ability to view products and shop directly in the app. Caregivers can also take notes on what's presented in the app and shop for the items at a store of their choosing. 

Senior clients can use the app primarily for different stroke demonstrations and adapt to swim at their own pace. Even light physical activity can help seniors maintain mobility. Caregivers can accompany them to the pool and spend a little time doing a few laps on their own to help with stress relief. 

The Speedo Fit App is available for Apple platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

 

Guided Workouts in Spare Seven Minutes with App

For senior caregivers, finding the time to go to the gym or for a run three times a week can be difficult. However, working out doesn't need to take up a lot of time and energy. Caregivers only need seven minutes for workouts using the Women's Health 7M Fitness app. 

When users first open the app, they are greeted with a basic home screen featuring a large start button and a menu underneath with Workouts, Calendar, Track Weight and More Apps. When users press the Start button, it launches them immediately into their first work out. Workouts consist of individual moves repeated for a certain amount of time, such as a No Rope Jump Rope, Squat Lunge or Mountain Climber.

However, the pictures within the app showing during the workout don't always give the user the best sense of how to fully execute the move. Users ideally should spend time in the Workout button on the menu first to view individual videos demonstrating how to execute each move before they start their workouts. In fact, when users first begin using the app, it would be beneficial to spend the first session or two watching the video clips for each move and practicing them. That way, when caregivers are in the timed exercises they can spend time performing the move instead of trying to figure out how to do it correctly. 

When inside the timed workouts, a ticker counts down how long caregivers should spend on each exercise and a voice guides users through when to rest and which exercise is next. The workouts combine 10 moves to help women burn fat in what little time they have available. After users have begun to exercise on a regular basis, they can view the calendar to see which days the completed a work out and plan ahead for when to incorporate workouts in the upcoming weeks. 

The weight tracker component also allows users to enter their weight and see how it changes over time. The More Apps area offers similar apps for download from the same company, some of which target more specific fitness goals such as Fit Abs, Fat Burn or Arms. 

The Women's Health 7 Minute Workout app is available for Apple and Android platforms. 

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

Physical Therapy Exercise Guide Through App

Caregivers may have senior clients who need a knee or hip replacement as they age to maintain mobility and reduce pain. Recovery from a joint replacement surgery requires physical therapy as mandated by the overseeing doctor. While not meant to replace exercises provided by a physical therapist, the Pocket Physio app provides a library of images, descriptions and videos to help seniors accurately perform their exercises at home. 

The Pocket Physio app offers four types of exercises: knee, hip, hand and foot. Once a user selects a category, the app provides a choice of exercises based on how long ago the surgery occurred. The first page will explain the type of surgery the exercise corresponds with and the end goal of the exercise.

For example, one of the end goals of hand surgery is to be able to move from a complete extension of the hand to a full fist. A diagram on the main exercise page shows a progression of the movement using a set of four pictures and the videos below show the stages users go through to work towards the full fist. 

Detailed instructions accompany the videos within the app so that users of all learning types can accurately perform the exercises. Additional features of the app include the ability to set Reminders for when it's time to exercise or for a doctor's appointment. An additional Information tab in the app provides other basic tips for the recovery stage of surgery, such as how to walk with crutches up and down stairs, improve circulation, or get in and out of a car. 

The Information tab also contains tips for Pain Management. Senior caregivers should always advise their senior clients to closely follow instructions from their doctor regarding pain management and recovery from surgery, but in addition to pain killers, the app offers breathing relaxation exercises. Caregivers and their senior clients might find the exercises to be soothing when trying to fall asleep. 

The Pocket Physio app is available for Apple and Android platforms.

Senior caregivers, let us know your feedback on this app and keep us posted if you discover additional apps that assist with caregiving duties and help relieve caregiver stress. You may also refer-a-friend to a senior caregiving job and win prizes weekly and monthly on Caregiverlist. 

-Paige Krzysko

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