As seniors – and caregivers – become more tech savvy and comfortable using online platforms, apps for older adults and those who love and care for them continue to be developed and rolled out to smartphone and computer users everywhere.
In fact, a recent AARP survey found that smartphone use increased significantly among people 50 and older at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 40% of seniors using their phones for health care, up from 28% before the pandemic. The most popular reasons for using a health app were telemedicine visits, ordering prescription drugs, and health and fitness information.
The most popular reasons for using a health app were telemedicine visits, ordering prescription drugs, and health and fitness information.
The question for many is which apps are worth investing time to learn and, in some cases, money. Below are some of the favorites to save you the hassle of testing and trying before you decide on an app you like or don’t like. All these apps are available for Apple and Android smartphones.
Aloe care health
Unlike the standard medical alert systems that many seniors use, Aloe Care Health has a multi-tiered program to ensure increasing attention and response as you move up the system. The $29.99 per month base package is already far more than a button you press on a device you wear around your neck that calls 911. Some of the features of the system include:
- Voice activated help
- 24/7 call center and response
- Home monitoring for movement
- collaboration with caregivers
- Amplified audio for hearing impaired users
Higher levels of care (at $39.99 and $49.99) have additional features that might be worthwhile for some.
There may not be a more helpful app for people struggling with stress and sleep than Calm. If you’re a caregiver, you likely face both of these challenges—and your manager likely does, too. The Calm app is so much more than a meditation platform (which it started with in 2012). When the founder, Michael Acton Smith, noticed that usage spiked between 10:30pm and 11pm, he realized the need for soothing sounds to fall asleep and added music to the app.
The Calm app costs $69.99 per year, but once you’ve tried the meditations, the lessons, and most importantly, the calming music, you won’t regret spending the money. A free seven-day trial is available so you can try it first.
My care crew
The cancer rate among the over 65s is more than 2,000 diagnoses per 100,000 people, ten times higher than in the rest of the population (compared to 208 per 100,000 in younger groups). My CareCrew is an app for cancer patients: caregivers and seniors can work together to create a group to stay in touch with and ask for and receive help with daily tasks or more important needs. You can also keep an ongoing wish list of items that the patient would like or services that would be appreciated. My CareCrew also allows cancer fighters to have a virtual group of ongoing support. The basic package is free, additional fees apply for additional services.
A wearable bracelet called Tempo 3 with a sophisticated sensor system is the basis of the Care Predict plan. According to Care Predict, the sensors can detect when your older adult eats, brushes their teeth, sleeps and performs the other activities of daily living (ADL). The plan offers a two-way communication button, and you can find your senior if he strays with a tracking system. Additionally, the Tempo can be programmed to open and close keyless doors, eliminating the need for your pet to carry keys.
Several senior living communities are already using the Care Predict program for their residents.
The Tempo 3 costs $499.99 and there is a monthly fee of $69.99 for the service after a 30-day free trial.
Only available through employers, CariLoop is unique in that it offers coaching for caregivers. The idea behind CariLoop is that by providing coaching services and support, employees can get the help they need to take care of their loved ones. You can ask any questions about nursing, legal issues, medical topics and more without having to leave work. While CariLoop is beneficial for employees, it also benefits employers by relieving stress and anxiety for their employees. If you’re balancing care and work and are finding it difficult to stay focused or need assistance, ask your employer about CariLoop.
With a focus on Medicare, Radius Care is truly an app for seniors. The app accesses your Medicare data and uses the information to recommend the best doctors, treatment plans, and other medical care for your senior. Radius Care’s goal is to eliminate unnecessary treatments and medications for older adults by taking a holistic look at their care. It is fully HIPAA compliant and this app is free to use.
Like a senior’s best friend, Snug Safe checks in every day to make sure they’re okay, then sends them some uplifting and motivating words to help them start their day on the right note. If your loved one doesn’t answer, Snug Safe notifies emergency contacts – or on the paid plan ($9.99/month or $99/year) it calls your manager. If they don’t answer, Snug Safe will call the emergency contacts directly until an answer is received.