Mobile apps are a great way of ensuring you are in touch with and part of the every day care of your relative provided by a live-in carer. Apps and technology can let you know about your relative’s health, that they’re taking their mediction, what they’ve been getting up to, and more.
If your relative struggles with video calling on their phone or laptop, then you may be better off buying a purpose-built video-calling device for the elderly. Read the Age Space guide to the Best Video Calling Devices for Seniors.
Best home care apps for communication & medication management
Mobile apps for communication and medication management can be particularly important if your relative is receiving live-in care that is organised through an introductory care agency, rather than a live-in care provider. This is because providers – as the employer – are responsible for the care that is delivered, and often have their own mobile technology, whereas agencies tend not to because you are the carers direct employer. In this situation the carer and you can use a variety of apps to keep you and your family in the loop about your relative’s care.
Jointly is a mobile app that can help families and live-in carers to communicate about an individual’s care. Jointly offers group messaging, shared calendars, to-do lists, key contacts, medication updates and more. This will allow you to receive regular updates about your loved one’s care. This type of app is also helpful for liaising with your relative’s live-in carer about visiting times and breaks.
Some care providers and care agencies may already recommend that their live-in carers use Jointly, or a similar app.
2. Remind Me Care
Remind Me Care is a mobile app that helps to improve the delivery and quality of live-in care. It can facilitate easy communication between private live-in carers, clients and family, to increase accountability. This includes updates after sessions and well-being reporting.
The app also has a range of entertainment and reminiscence features, including the ability to build a ‘Life Story’. This can be help live-in carers and the person that they are caring for, get to know each other better.
3. Medisafe Pill Reminder
Medisafe is a mobile app that provides reminders for elderly people to take their medicines. It is not used exclusively for people with live-in carers, but it can be a good way for you, and the carer, to both be sure that your relative is taking their medicines.
You and the live-in carer can choose to receive notifications whenever a pill has been taken, so that you can all be on the same page.
Apps and monitoring used by live-in care agencies and providers
Many providers of live-in care use their own apps and technology to keep the families informed about care. This can include passing on information about your relative’s health, mood, and what they have been up to. It is always a good idea to let a live-in carer know how often you would like updates. Certain live-in care agencies also include live updates about how much you are spending on your live-in care.
Some live-in care providers can also organise for sensors, monitors and alarms to be fitted in your relative’s home. This can help live-in carers and family to keep an eye on any changes in health and activity. Whether or not there is provision of monitoring services is one of many questions you should ask when hiring a carer.
Telecare and monitoring services
Though some live-in care agencies and providers offer monitoring services, you can also set up telecare services yourself. These can help you, and the carer, to keep track of little things such as how long your relative is sleeping or how often they are using the bathroom.
There are 2 main types of telecare: personal alarms, and passive monitoring.
A personal alarm may be useful for your relative who has a live-in carer, in case something happens when the live-in carer is in another room or is on a break. They can wear the alarm round their neck or their wrist, and press a button to inform the live-in carer that they need some help. Find out more from our guide to the best personal alarms for the elderly.
We reviewed 2 of SureSafe's personal alarms. The SureSafeGO 24/7 Alarm has a family-and-friends monitoring service, which would allow your relative to call their live-in carer, or you, at the touch of a button whenever they need help.
Passive telecare works through various sensors, placed around the house, which can monitor activity levels. This can help you and their live-in carer to monitor for example if your relative is getting up in the night, or how often they are going to the bathroom, without having to constantly ask them.
There are also forms of passive telecare that can know if your relative has left a tap on, or has wet the bed. Live-in carers can use these sensors to address these types of problems immediately.
Other help is available!
Apps are not to everyone’s taste of course, but they are incredibly useful and increasingly available for carers. Technology is a beautiful thing – particularly when operating in tandem with real live humans!