Useful apps for the elderly and caregivers

Useful apps for the elderly and caregivers

As we grow older and our mind and body start to slow down, technology can be useful in helping to preserve memory and slow the decline of mental and physical skills. At the same time, caregivers can use the extra help in ensuring the people they look after are healthy and happy in their golden years. Along with the lists, notes and reminder functions your smartphone already has, here are some apps we recommend:

Medisafe  (iOS, Android)

This app helps you manage medications and get reminders to take medicine and refill prescriptions. After keying in the medicine and prescriptions once, Medisafe creates a visual schedule with images of the pills and a list of potentially harmful reactions. It will remind you when it’s time to take medicines, let you know if a prescription is running out, or even alert a friend/family member about a missed dose.

Magnifying Glass + Flashlight (iOS, Android)

The automatic magnifying function lets you magnify text, medicine labels or anything at all up to 5 times bigger than the original. It makes it easier for those with poor eyesight to enjoy reading and get around their home.

Greymatters: Reaching Beyond Dementia (iOS)

Greymatters was created by Jenny Rozbruch and inspired by her late grandmother, Freida, who had vascular dementia. The app works as a portable scrapbook with pictures, music and games to reach out to uncommunicative patients. Caregivers can create a personalized book of photos and memories, accompanied by text or voice narration. The app also comes with pop culture content from the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s, letting caregivers and their loved ones reflect on past trends.

MindMate (iOS, Desktop)

Part friend and part tool, MindMate combines mental and physical workouts, nutritional tips, and a memory bank. All these activities can keep senior citizens active and slow mental and physical decline. It also encourages caregiver interaction with an entertainment section with classic oldies, and a diary section for caregivers to record their loved one’s memories.

RE:Collection (iOS, Android)

Developed by telco Maxis, RE:Collection lets users revisit favourite memories through photos or videos, relive stories through augmented reality, and reminisce together to build stronger bonds, backed by insights and data analytics. The app was created with additional insights from Caring With You, an enrichment centre for persons living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, the Alzheimer’s Disease Foundation Malaysia, Dr. Rizah Mazzuin Razali and Dr. Ungku Ameen, Heads of the Geriatrics Units at hospitals in Kuala Lumpur and Klang.

Homage (iOS, Android)

Another local addition, Homage lets you arrange in-home care and personalized care plans for loved ones. Trained caregivers assist with activities of daily living/ADLs, including eating, bathing and going to the toilet, helping senior citizens remain safe and independent in their own homes. The app also puts family members directly in touch with the caregivers, allowing them to touch base, share information and synchronise schedules.

Conclusion

Smart apps can’t stop the aging process, but they can support senior citizens by making it easier to live independently and slowing physical and mental decline. They also relieve some of the burden on caregivers, helping them focus on caring for their loved ones. For our senior citizens, time is precious, and technology can help make the most out of the days ahead.

Resources

Alzheimer’s Family Center (2019) 7 Phone Apps for People with Dementia [Accessed: 6 May 2021] Available at:  https://afscenter.org/dementia-phone-apps/

Jake B. (2019) The Best Apps for People with Dementia [Accessed: 6 May 2021] Available at:  https://www.tmcnet.com/topics/articles/2019/06/25/442519-best-apps-people-with-dementia.htm 

Jeff H.  (2021) The Best Apps for Older Adults in 2021 [Accessed: 6 May 2021] Available at: https://www.seniorliving.org/cell-phone/apps/

Marketing Magazine (2020) Maxis launches app for dementia patients this CNY [Accessed: 6 May 2021] Available at:  https://marketingmagazine.com.my/maxis-launches-app-for-dementia-patients-this-cny/

Homage (2021) Homage Malaysia | Holistic Health & Caregiving Services Where You Are [Accessed: 6 May 2021] Available at: https://www.homage.com.my/