Improve Mental Health and Get Support Using App

Depression affects almost 15 million American adults annually, according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Depression and mental health issues can emerge at any age. Caregivers and senior clients alike who experience depressing stretches or suicidal thoughts will benefit from ReliefLink, an app specifically designed to help prevent suicide and improve mental health. 

When user first visit the ReliefLink app, the menu offers options to track how they're feeling that day. Users select an option on a mood scale from Very Good to Very Low. They also can select an option on a scale from No Suicidal Thoughts to Strong Urge to Act on Plan Immediately. This tracking serves as a resource between therapy sessions or to share with a mental health professional when visiting for the first time. 

The Reminders area of the app allows users to set a reminder for an appointment, to take a medication, or for another event. Users can make a note and attach it to the reminder for specific instructions regarding an appointment or medication instructions and select the time for notification as well as if the reminder is one time or should be repeated. 

 

The Safety Planning area allows users to note their own warning signs, such as feeling trapped, sleep problems or threatening to hurt or kill oneself. Next, users select self coping strategies such as physical activity, listening to relaxing music or relaxation exercises. For every warning sign, caregivers or their senior clients should develop a self coping strategy. Other areas in safety planning ask users to list places for distraction, friends I can ask for help, professionals I can contact, and maintaining a safe environment. For caregivers using the app with their senior clients who may be feeling depressed, it may help to reassure them that you're a friend they can ask for help. 

The Resources and Emergency areas of the app provide caregivers information on therapists and support groups in the area as well as options for course of action during an emergency. The app overall provides users the ability to track their daily feelings and notice trends or disruption of patterns in thinking to understand and overcome their depression better.

The ReliefLink 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

Sleep Better Using Natural Sleep Cycle App

Waking up in the morning after sleeping the whole night and feeling tired anyways feels like you've been cheated by nature somehow. Understanding your natural sleep cycles along with the proper amount of sleep you should get in a night helps senior caregivers feel more refreshed and prepared for the day. The Sleep Time app provides users with the ability to set an alarm to wake them up during the lightest part of their sleep cycle. 

When caregivers first create an account, the Sleep Time app tracks their sleeping patterns for the first few nights and establishes when the user is in their deepest sleep. The app uses movement detected by the phone to help determine this so users need to keep their phone on their mattress. The alarm portion of the app is set for a half an hour window. The app determines when you are in your lightest sleep cycle within that half an hour and wakes you up gradually then. 

A main page displays the current time and the alarm options for users to choose from. Users indicate if they've had caffeine, ate late, worked out, had a stressful day, consumed alcohol or are not sleeping in their bed before setting their alarm so the app can make informed conclusions about their sleep cycle. 

To help users who live in noisy environments fall asleep peacefully at night, the Soundscapes feature provides noise such as Gentle Waves for a user selected period of time. Additional Soundscape options are available in the paid version of the app. Users also may adjust volume level and settings such as whether or not to start a Soundscape when the alarm is set. 

Getting enough sleep contributes to stress relief as well as mental and physical wellness. For caregivers in particular, taking time to unwind and get full rest every night plays a big part in maintaining a stressful lifestyle. If you're having issues sleeping through the night or waking up tired regularly, try to avoid caffeine and other stimulants too close to bedtime. 

The Sleep Time 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

See Interruptions to a Senior's Daily Routine Through App

For senior caregivers and families of senior clients, the peace of mind that comes with knowing a senior living independently isn't having any problems isn't easy to come by. 24/7 reassurance that nothing unusual or alarming is happening doesn't come naturally. The new Lively technology places sensors on items in the home connected to a watch that seniors wear to allow caregivers and loved ones check in on their daily routine electronically. 

Lively technology centers around a watch for seniors to wear at all times. Whenever a senior using Lively opens a refrigerator door, tilts their pill box or takes a step, the sensors on their watch or on the items pick up and record the movement. The watch transmits the data it receives back to an app and a website that loved ones or senior caregivers can log into and review.

The tracking helps establish a sense of a senior's daily pattern so that if it abruptly changes, someone knows to check in if a few meals are missed or there's a significant decrease in the number of steps taken in a day. Family members or caregivers can also get alerts from the app or via text for notifications on change in behavior.

The app also provides reminder notifications to seniors to take their medication, and displays an icon of a pill and the word "missed" if a senior forgets a dosage. Caregivers or loved ones can log in and see a quick overview of location, steps taken, status of activities, etc. for a snapshot of how the senior's day is going.  

Another feature of the watch and the connected app allows seniors to push a button for emergency response if they fall or otherwise need immediate attention. A live operator responds to the call via telephone and also reaches out to up to three emergency contacts for the senior as well as dispatching emergency services, if needed. 

Another fun feature of the app gives loved ones the opportunity to log in and share a photo with a caption for the senior to see. The senior doesn't need to be incredibly tech savvy to find it though; photos uploaded into the app are sent via regular mail to the senior once a month. It provides a quick and easy way to share life updates and moments with senior loved ones. 

The Lively watch and app are provided on a monthly subscription basis. The base price starts at $49.45 for equipment and then includes various billing options for $35.95 or less per month. 

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

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

Garden Planning App for Caregiver Stress Relief

Gardening offers a lovely spring and summertime activity for senior caregivers to relieve stress and for their senior clients to get outdoors for an hour or two to get some light physical activity. The process of planning and planting a garden helps keep senior minds active and prevent onset of dementia. Using the Burpee Garden Time app, senior caregivers and their clients can plan out the various plants they'd like to grow in their garden. 

When users first open the app, they are met with a blank white screen with a single button at the bottom reading, "Let's Get Started." The blank screen makes it seem as though something is still loading or missing, but once users hit the button it takes them to the actual homepage to browse plants. The plants are broken into three categories: vegetables, herbs and flowers.

Each plant features its own page with Growing Instructions, Videos and information on Planting Dates. Notably, the Planting Dates information specifies the best way to grow that particular plant, whether it's ideal to begin growing them indoors and transfer them to the garden later or to sow the seeds directly in the garden.

To get the most accurate planting instructions, users should create an account with their location. With a location in place, the app offers a specific range of dates to sow the vegetable based on the needs of the plant. Even caregivers or senior clients who may not have their own designated garden space can grow a few different plants in large pots on balconies, porches or just outside of the door to their house. 

Topics for the in-app videos include information on different types of that plant, caring for that plant, common diseases for that plant and how to sow that particular plant. The My Garden area of the app also offers users the ability to look at all of the plants they've chosen for their garden and the Planner sets upcoming tasks for users to complete. The Weather area also provides the local forecast.

Caregivers can use gardening as a way to get outside, connect with nature and focus on something other than the stressors in their daily life. For their senior clients, gardening provides an opportunity to go outside and flex a few of their muscles in a low intensity way.  

The Burpee Garden Time Planner 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

Navigate and Plan Trips in the City with Mapping App

For a senior or a senior caregiver, navigating a big city and knowing the fastest way to get from point A to point B can be difficult. With cities becoming more congested than ever, knowing the best form of transportation in real time can help senior caregivers and their clients save time. Using the CityMapper app, senior caregivers can see the estimated amount of time it would take to get someplace by walking, riding a bike, taking a cab or using public transportation. 

When users first open the app, the home screen offers a main function option of "Get Me Somewhere." When users click on this button, the app assumes their start location to be their current location from GPS data and asks for an end location. As soon as users begin typing in the name of their end location, the app searches for it letter by letter for quick results. 

If users want to start from a different location than their GPS data supplies, all they have to do is type in an address or a landmark. Once users set the start and end points, a "Results" screen pops up with various transportation options. The walking and biking options offer an estimated number of calories to be burned, which can be useful for the caregiver looking to relieve stress and fit some exercise into their schedule. 

The results appear in Classic mode or Live mode. Classic is best used for planning future trips, such as planning how long it would take to get to the doctor for an appointment tomorrow afternoon or estimating how long it will take to get to an event tomorrow. The Live mode offers real time estimates considering current traffic and bus or train tracking data.

Additionally, in the Live tab, the cab option offers real time estimates for the fare cost of riding with nearby Uber drivers. The public transit data in the Live option offers tracking data on the next buses and trains so caregivers know exactly when to leave to catch the next ride on their line. The app even offers a feature that alerts the user when they're nearing their stop so they know when to get off their public transit bus or train. That feature is particularly useful for first time riders of a certain line who might not be familiar with the route. 

The CityMapper 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

Quick and Healthy Recipes Featured in App

Healthy eating sounds like an easy task at first, but sometimes can seem more time consuming and expensive than we expected. But healthy cooking doesn't have to complicated or break the bank. Using basic ingredients from your local store and the Healthy in a Hurry recipe app, caregivers and their senior clients can enjoy healthy meals on a regular basis. 

The Healthy in a Hurry app exists as a part of EatingWell.com. When users first open the app, they are greeted with a Recipe of the Day on the homepage. If that dish sounds good, users can click to view the recipe, or they can browse through the other recipes on the app by category. The Recipe of the Day today is Maple-Walnut Tapioca Pudding, a dessert. Their recipe uses low-fat milk, pure maple syrup, one egg, tapioca, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. All ingredients that caregivers likely either already have in their pantry or could easily locate in the store. Right at the top of each recipe, the app notes how much active time a recipe requires for the caregiver to spend preparing it as well as the total time spent preparing and cooking. This recipe takes 20 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes total to prepare and cook.  

The bottom of each recipe also displays the number of servings and the nutritional information for each serving. The Tapioca Pudding makes two servings and has 301 calories per serving and 9 grams of fat, as well as 9 grams of protein. Other recipe categories in the app include breakfast/brunch, dinner, snack/drinks, appetizer, etc. Users can browse through recipes ahead of time and save favorites as they come across them. Icons designate recipes that are High Fiber, Heart Healthy, or Healthy Weight for seniors and caregivers who might be on a specific diet. The app homepage also offers users the chance to browse new collections, implying that new recipes are being added on a regular basis. The only feature missing from the app is the ability to save ingredients to a shopping list. Users might like to download a companion app to keep track of what they need to buy. 

The Healthy in a Hurry 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

Caregiver Stress and Anxiety Management Using App

Caregiving provides a heavy stress load between caring for senior clients and managing the other aspects of daily life. Caregivers might find that they occasionally feel anxious over their responsibilities, so the Pacifica app provides a tool to track daily mood and help aide relaxation. 

When users first create an account with Pacifica, the app presents three options for an initial goal. Users can ether aim to feel less anxiety throughout the day, feel less anxiety in social situations or reduce anxiety attacks. Once a goal is established, the app takes users through a guided tutorial and set up of the app. Each day, the app sends mood reminder notifications for a users to select how they feel. It uses a sliding scale from "Awful" to "Great" and offers more descriptive words such as "Lonely" or "Inspired" for users to choose from below. The mood tracker allows users to see the fluctuations or patterns of how they feel over the weeks. Tracking mood around the same time every day can help caregivers notice when they feel particularly stressed or anxious and better prepare to deal with what causes that. 

The main area of the app provides Daily Activities for caregivers to complete. The main activity is "Relax" for daily meditation. It guides users through a set of breathing exercises with calming noises in the background. The deep breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth counteracts the short, shallow breathing that occurs with anxiety. Caregivers can use the exercises in the morning or at night to prepare for the upcoming day or let go of the stress from a long day before bed. 

Other features include Thought Analysis, which allows users to record their thoughts when their mind is racing and helps users recognize the thought patterns that contribute to their anxiety. The Daily Experiments area provides small suggestions for actions to accomplish longer term goals when it comes to facing anxiety. 

The Pacifica 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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