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3 Free Apps to Help Caregivers Get Organized, Find Support 

Try these digital tools for keeping in touch, sharing tasks, managing meds

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One thing a caregiver needs, other than patience, is a tool to help track and manage the health and well-being of their loved one.

At the touch of a fingertip, apps on smartphones, tablets and computers allow you to:

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Various smartphone apps can help you “track someone, shop for supplies, look up trusted information, manage medications, schedule appointments, book transportation, find specialty pharmacies or join support groups,” says Laurie M. Orlov, founder of the Aging and Health Technology Watch website based in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Get help. Help others

AARP's Family Caregivers Discussion Group is a private Facebook group where caregivers can seek support and offer support to others.

Many apps are free, though you will see ads. Some will ask you to add features for a fee. Apps can be downloaded for Apple and Android smartphones, and their affiliated websites can be accessed on a Mac or PC.

“A good app should be easy to use for caregivers and/or patients,” says Pamela D. Wilson, a Denver-based caregiving expert, advocate and speaker. “Apps offer the convenience of accessing information from anywhere, which means caregivers can monitor a loved one’s care or activities from a distance.”

“Apps can also send notifications for reminders and fall concerns to alert caregivers of time-sensitive issues,” Wilson says.

1. CaringBridge helps get the word out, gather support

Helping people establish a support network so they won’t go through health problems alone was the reason CaringBridge was created in 1997. It began as a free and ad-free website and now is also an app.

The nonprofit platform focuses heavily on communication to share diagnoses, treatment updates and milestones by posting journal entries, photos or videos. It allows assigning tasks to family and friends and an option to use other resources, such as fundraising, ordering groceries or starting a meal calendar.

CaringBridge says more than 300,000 people use its popular platform every day to rally around loved ones.

2. Caring Village concentrates on coordination

The Caring Village app helps you create a custom “village” or care team to coordinate activities or arrange transportation and provide meals. You can include as many people as you want and easily assign roles to team members with secure in-app messaging, shareable to-do lists and other features.

The platform offers access to caregiving resources such as articles and videos; calendar synchronization; checklists for a variety of situations; medical document upload and access; medication tracking; and a wellness journal and social feed for updates.

Soon an assistant powered by artificial intelligence will provide the app with personalized caregiving insight gleaned from villages that have consented to sharing, founder and CEO Ron Novak says. This could include enhanced medication management, identification of useful products, and proactive suggestions for family members.

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3. Medisafe keeps pill-takers on track

The Medisafe Pill Reminder app sends personalized prompts to take medications, notifies you when meds are running low and, through a partnership with GoodRx, alerts you when coupons and discounts on meds are available at drugstores nationwide.

If Medisafe detects a potentially harmful mix of prescribed medications, it will let you know, too, thanks to an extensive database of drug interactions. Medisafe doesn’t share your information but works with pharmacists and physicians to identify if a drug or combination of medications is causing a reaction.

The app is available for people to track their own medicines but also allows caregivers to monitor what’s being taken. If you’re not around to give the pills and check them off the list at the proper time, you’ll be notified and can text, call or email your loved one to check.

The basic app is free. An upgrade to Medisafe Premium is $4.99 a month, $39.99 a year.

The paid plan allows you to record and track more than 20 health measurements, including blood glucose, blood pressure, mood, temperature and weight. Medisafe doesn’t display banner ads, those pop-up ads that can distract you while online browsing.

Video: Medication Literacy Series: Medicine Management

This story, published Nov. 4, 2019, has been updated with new information.

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