Book Recommendations and Reading Lists Offered Through App

Reading books can take us to a different fantasy world with dragons and wizards, to a different time period such as Medieval Times or simply into the lives of people like ourselves living now. Books also provide a nice stress reliever for caregivers who need to spend some time unwinding at the end of a long day. The Goodreads app allows senior caregivers to track books they are currently reading, make lists of books they'd like to read and get recommendations for book titles they would likely enjoy. 

The initial profile creation will ask basic questions and for users to rate 20 books that they read previously. Rating books helps the app make quality recommendations based on what a user has liked in the past. Users can scan through provided categories such as Biography, Music, Fantasy, etc. to find titles that they would like to rate. 

The app also features a barcode scan for books using the smartphone camera. Scanning a barcode allows users to then rate the title if read previously, indicate the book as currently reading, or add to the user's individual shelves. The shelves indicate books users would like to read. 

In addition to simply making lists, caregivers can set reading challenges for themselves or for senior clients. Reading serves as a great way for seniors to keep their brain active and help prevent onset of dementia, even if they only read a few chapters of a book each day. Caregivers can help their senior clients set a reading goal for the year, whether it be several books a month or only one book every two months. 

If users would like further reading recommendations beyond the personalized ones in the app, the Best Books of 2014 list is available at the top of the homepage of the app. Users voted on their favorite books in 20 categories and the results are displayed for easy browsing. Any time a user is considering reading a book, they can read not only the publisher's synopsis, but also user reviews about why they did or did not enjoy a particular title. 

The Goodreads 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

Dementia Prevention Through Brain Exercise in Memorando App

Preventing dementia or Alzheimer's disease sometimes seems like an abstract idea. It's difficult to know if your efforts are making a difference or to know if you're doing enough to prevent onset. The Memorado app provides brain exercises to help caregivers and their senior clients identify areas of brain activity that they would like to improve and score their results over time.

The app begins by asking users to rank the importance of several different brain functions, such as remembering new names with ease, staying calm in hectic situations, or making fewer errors under pressure. The ranking system uses stars- one star for not very important to three stars for quite important. Once all of the topics have been ranked, the app provides a personalized workout program giving emphasis to areas users most want to improve upon. 

The first concentration game the app presented me called "Paint the Sky" presented me with a set of shapes in different patterns. The goal is to click on the one shape on the screen with a unique color or pattern. The next concentration game called "Stepping Stones"displayed circles across the screen with sequential numbers inside. The app asks users to memorize the numbers in the scattered circles, and then once the numbers disappear users need to click on the circles in sequential order of the numbers that were inside the circles. "Painted Path" to improve logic asks users to color a box with a certain number of moves.  

Other games focus on memory and reaction. The first round of games took less than ten minutes to complete, but taking a little time out over several weeks to play the games provides a solid foundation for improvement in exercising the brain. Users who wish to unlock further games within the app can earn brain points through completing the basic games or upgrade to the paid version of the app.

The Memorado 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

Pictures in App Help Seniors With Dementia Communicate

Caregivers working with senior clients who have dementia may find themselves in situations where talking leads to frustration. Something like mentioning a loved one that a client may have trouble remembering or a task like visiting the doctor can spike confusion for the client and become difficult for both of you to understand one another. The app appropriately called Communication Tool offers senior caregivers and their clients the ability to communicate using pictures about family members, foods & drink, personal care, etc. 

Images can be powerful as they serve as a sort of universal language. Seniors with dementia don't need to remember the exact words for what they need using the Communication Tool app. Instead they can simply pull up a photo of what they need. For example, under the personal care section of the app, there are icons of a toilet, a person sleeping in a bed, a pill, etc. If the senior client needs something specific, he/she can easily pull up the image on the app and share it with their caregiver without having to describe their needs verbally. 

 

Another use for the photos could be for enhanced story telling. If a loved one comes to visit, such as a grandchild, and wants to tell their grandparent about the new sport he/she's started playing, the Activities area of the app offers action shot icons of different sports. While a senior client may not immediately understand the description of soccer, a photo of a person kicking a ball might jog their memory or at least help them keep up with the story a little better.

Users also can take their own pictures and store them in the app for a customized experience. For example, under the people category, users can select Family and take photos of you, spouse, son, daughter, grandchild, etc. to have on hand. Additionally, there's an area for professionals such as doctors, dentists, eye doctors, etc. If a senior with dementia doesn't remember who someone is right away then a caregiver can store that person's photo in the app so next time they have a photo and label in advance.

The Communication Tool 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

Find Best Prices for Prescriptions Using iPharmacy App

For caregivers with senior clients on a few different prescriptions, the monthly cost can add up quickly. Insurance may only cover part of the cost of prescription drugs in some cases, and it's hard to compare the prices even under insurance between different pharmacies without checking into the cost at each location individually. The iPharmacy App saves prescription drug users time by comparing prices at various pharmacies near them and also serves as a medication manager, pill identifier and drug search tool. 

With the rising costs of prescription drugs, caregivers will likely find the price comparison portion of this app the most useful. A quick search of a current medication that a senior client is prescribed may yield surprising results. The first search I did for a current prescription I use showed that Walgreens, my regular pharmacy, has it for a fraction of the price I usually pay because the app offers a coupon. Users can show the coupon to the pharmacist directly from their phone or e-mail or text the coupon to themselves for later use. The app also offers a free GoodRx card that can be sent to users in the mail for future use on discounts.  

Other app features include the My Meds portion, which allows users to keep track of which prescriptions they're taking, and the reminder feature, which sends users a notification when it's time to take their pills. The pill identifier area of the app asks users to enter identifying details on prescriptions they may have lost the label for, such as imprint, shape and color to figure out what medication it is. Users should take caution in using this portion of the app, particularly if the app identifies the pill as something they've never been prescribed. If there's continued uncertainty as to what a pill is or is used for, consult a pharmacist for verification. 

The app also offers information on drug recalls and a nearby pharmacy search for users. While the app did crash unexpectedly a few times during use, it still provides an all-emcopassing and well organized prescription management and search for caregivers and their senior clients. 

The iPharmacy 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

Learn First Aid for Various Situations with Red Cross App

When unforeseen health situations that arise, senior caregivers may not know exactly what the issue is or the appropriate first aid response. The most important response in a health emergency is to remain calm, call 911 and follow the instructions of the operator. To help identify health issues and emergencies, The Red Cross First Aid app offers descriptions of the symptoms of common health issues, first aid guidelines and prevention tips. 

When users open the app, they find a menu displaying a list of topics to learn first aid for, ranging from minor to severe, such as Asthma Attack, Heart Attack and Stings / Bites. Before looking through every topic, caregivers with new senior clients can spend some time learning about the specific health issues that could arise by talking with him/her about any previous health related treatments, pertinent family health history and concerns their doctor may have regarding his/her health. Once a caregiver selects a specific topic, the next screen shows a list of steps for first aid. The steps include a list of symptoms to verify the situation and then a list of actions to take.

Within the app along the bottom bar, a center button indicates "Emergency" and includes a list of only emergency first aid for situations such as chocking, diabetic emergency and unconsciousness. Once caregivers familiarize themselves with the appropriate first aid response steps for various situations, they can visit the Tests area of the app on the bottom bar to quiz themselves on what they've learned. If caregivers spend ten minutes learning about the correct response for two different situations a day, it would take less than a month to cover all of the situations presented by the app. A hospital tab on the bottom bar also shows users the hospitals closest to them in case they need to visit an emergency room and are unsure of the nearest location. The Red Cross First Aid app is also available in Spanish as an additional resource. 

The Red Cross First Aid 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

File Taxes Using TurboTax App

Filing taxes can be difficult when given several different forms from jobs and banks to describe your financial activity in 2014. Senior caregivers who work independently also may need to file their taxes as self employed. Instead of manually filling out a tax form yourself, caregivers can use the TurboTax app for a guided step by step process to complete their tax forms correctly and to avoid error. 

When the TurboTax app launches, it initially displays a screen that asks for an overall financial picture of your life in 2014. Were you single or married, did you have any dependents, own a home or a business, etc? Place a check mark in the box for all that apply so the app knows which sections to focus on as they take you through the tax filing process. Based on your selections, it will suggest which version of their products and which form you should use to file. The basic Federal Tax edition of their filing is free to all users.

Once users create an account, the app will begin to guide them through filling out the tax form by asking targeted questions. Caregivers should gather all of their tax forms together before they begin this portion of the app so that they can fill it out quickly. What is your occupation? Do you have a W-2 form? If so, enter the information from the form as requested into the system. TurboTax makes it easy by telling you which boxes on the W-2 to find the information needed for each box in app. If you instead have a 1099 form for self employment, TurboTax has a spot for that as well. 

TurboTax continues after wage information to ask about investments, health insurance, deductions, etc. The key to getting the most out of your taxes is to think back at your financial activity over the past year and make sure you include any dependents, interest on student loans, charitable donations, etc. Luckily the TurboTax app asks the questions that caregivers may not think to ask themselves to complete their 2014 taxes. 

The TurboTax 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

Finding New Recipes Made Easy With Gojee App

Sometimes deciding what to make for dinner can be daunting task. Grabbing a frozen dinner to pop in the oven seems like a much easier option than searching for a good recipe and making a dish from scratch. Frozen dinners often contain high levels of sodium and artificial preservatives though. The Gojee app makes finding new nutritional recipes for caregivers and their senior clients easy. 

When caregivers first open the Gojee app, they are met with a screen tiled with delicious looking photos of food and drinks with witty titles such as "Tofu For You" and "Get Sauced!" Users click on the tile with a recipe that interests them to get a closer look at the food. Some of the recipes are fairly simple to make, such as the Asian Pear, Persimmon, And Almond Salad, which requires only seven ingredients and no heat to cook. Caregivers can simply follow the directions to mix the ingredients cold and serve in a matter of minutes, possibly even faster than microwaving a frozen dinner. 

Once caregivers select a recipe that tickles their taste buds, they can browse the list of ingredients and place a check mark next to the ones they need to purchase, which adds them to the Shopping List portion of the app. Then, once caregivers visit the store, they can fill in the empty bubbles next to the ingredients as they place them in their shopping cart. Users can also view more recipes like the one they've selected. 

The app provides a wide variety of recipes, from desserts to main dishes to vegetable side dishes. Caregivers should take their own specific dietary needs as well as those of their senior clients or whoever is dining with them into consideration when deciding which dishes to make. If a caregiver is cooking for senior who is watching their cholesterol, they should skip a recipe containing whipping cream or make an ingredient substitution for something lower in cholesterol. 

The Gojee app is available for Apple, Andriod and Chrome 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

Organize Your Schedule, E-mails and To-Do List Using Central App

Keeping one effective to do list can be tricky if your main source of organization is your e-mail account. With new e-mails coming in all the time from the company that you bought something from once six months ago, the important stuff can get buried between the junk. Using the Handle app, senior caregivers can create specific To Do lists based on their e-mails and organize their calendar effectively. 

Users can begin by importing their existing e-mail accounts and calendars for in-app organization. The app will then organize tasks based on what day they need to be completed and display them in categories on the home screen based on due dates such as "This Morning" and "Next Week." Users can view their e-mail account from within the app and when they receive a message with a new To-Do task, they can simply swipe right on the e-mail line in the app to create a To-Do, Reminder or Add to the Calendar. Once a Reminder or To Do is created from an e-mail, the app archives the message so that read messages don't clog up your inbox. When users click on the To Do from the list on their home screen, the e-mail is attached for easy viewing so the user can recall the important details. 

Users also have the ability to create Projects within the app that incorporate a list of To Dos underneath them. This feature proves particularly useful for senior caregivers who have multiple senior clients or who work with their senior client but also need to accomplish tasks for their own family. Caregivers could maintain a weekly project for each senior client with a list of all the tasks they need to do that week, such as pick up prescriptions, call their family for a check in or attend a doctor's appointment. 

The Handle app is available for Apple and Chrome 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

Shop For Groceries and Delivery to Home in Peapod App

For senior caregivers who live in urban areas and don't own a car or for senior clients who are isolated and have difficulty getting to the grocery store, keeping the fridge stocked can be difficult. Instead of facing cold the temperatures and snow that accompany winter in many parts of the nation to get to the store, senior caregivers can use the Peapod app to shop for groceries for themselves or for senior clients and schedule a time for delivery right to their home. 

Users can search for food items within the app in several different ways. If you'd like more of a product you already have at home, you can scan the barcode into the app and it will try to find it for you in their store. Users can also create lists of all the items they'll need or look at previous orders and click "Buy" directly on the product list page. There's also an area for Specials and New Arrivals that users can browse and pick from. For a more traditional grocery store experience, users can decide to "Browse the Aisles" to see foods in categories like produce, deli, bakery, frozen, etc. laid out exactly the way they are when you walk through a grocery store. 

Items that are on sale throughout the app are marked with a little red price tag icon. Once users click on a item to view the details closer, a full nutrition label also appears to help shoppers make nutritionally conscious decisions. After shoppers have added all of the items they want for this grocery trip into their cart, they can checkout and schedule a time for delivery. Orders must be received a minimum of 12 hours in advance of the desired delivery time, although during the winter and on weekends caregivers may need to schedule further in advance if they live in a popular area because time slots will sell out. 

The Peapod 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

 

Create and Track Health and Weight Loss Using App

January marks the time of year when people flock to the gym to fulfill New Year's resolutions to get and stay healthy. For caregivers who live hectic and stressful lives, being healthy doesn't have to mean a drastic life change. Using the Lose It! app, caregivers or their senior clients can set weight loss goals, keep a diary of all the foods they consume and track their weight over time. 

The Lose It! app asks establishing questions such as current weight, target weight, height, etc. the first time a user creates an account to determine the number of calories they should consume each day. Users can then track the food they eat as easily as scanning the label using the camera on their phone or searching by name. The user profile portion of the app also allows users to decide which nutrients in particular they would like to track, with options such as saturated fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, sodium, etc. By looking at specific nutrients consumed over a few weeks, caregivers can notice trends and correct in their diet such as regularly eating foods high in sodium and sugar. The app also allows users to log exercises and factors the calories burned into their daily diary.

The app features plenty of visual guidance on the "My Day" main page, such as a circle graph showing how many calories are left for that day and a bar graph of how many calories were consumed each day of the week. When users are under their calorie goal, the images appear in green and when users are over their calorie goal, the images appear in red. Users also receive badges for specific accomplishments, such as accepting a challenge determined by the app like logging meals for ten days in a row or eating a certain amount of vegetables.

The Lose It! 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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