Two Popular Apps that Every Caregiver Should Use
Two Popular Apps for Caregiving and How You Can Use Them
There are endless technology resources designed for caregivers, but two everyday apps from Google just might be your most valuable caregiving tools.
The world of apps is ever growing, and there is no shortage of compelling options for caregivers of people living with memory loss:
- There are caregiving apps from national organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Buddy app.
- There are care coordination apps from independent developers, such as CareZone and CareZare.
- There are even apps specially designed for dementia care engagement, such as Grey Matters and MemoryMate.
While all of these apps can be extremely useful, searching for the apps that best fit your needs and learning to use them can be overwhelming. The easiest way to start using technology as a caregiver is to engage loved ones with music, photos and videos.
YouTube for Caregivers
Many caregivers have experienced the power of personalized music. YouTube not only provides instant access to millions of songs but also includes videos of guided prayers, live performances, clips from classic movies and sporting events, cute animal videos and much more. As a caregiver, the best place to get started is listening to music:
- Search for your loved one’s favorite songs
- Look for videos that include lyrics to help you sing along
- Connect your smartphone or tablet to speakers using an auxiliary cord or bluetooth speaker
- Play music during daily activities such getting dressed or bathing
In addition to music, there are countless other videos that can be used for reminiscing and entertainment. Depending on the size of your screen, you may want to consider connecting your Android or Apple device to a TV. Other ideas for using YouTube:
- Play clips from classic TV shows or movies
- Follow a guided meditation or prayer
- Watch a live dance perform or sporting event
- Watch cooking videos
- Explore funny videos of animals or babies
If you find a specific video that resonates, save it to a playlist for future use. You can use YouTube without setting up an account; however, you must sign in with a Google account to save specific videos to a playlist.
Google Photos for Caregivers
People with dementia often become socially reserved. A great way to help your loved one stay social is by reminiscing with images.
Digital Photos are not only easily accessible, but they also provide an opportunity to involve friends and family that live far away. Encourage remote members of your care team to send photos for reminiscing and conversation.
There are countless apps that can be used to save and organize photos. Google Photos is great for a few reasons:
- It is available for free on a majority of smartphones, tablets and computers
- It offers unlimited cloud storage of photos
- It is easy to create and share photo albums
Keep in mind that telling stories can be challenging for a person with memory loss, especially for those with limited verbal abilities. Prompt conversation with questions and be patient. Avoid correcting any factual inaccuracies. Even if their story is not factual or logical, loved ones will benefit from socializing.
Most importantly, when use and enjoy new methods of engagement with your loved ones everyone wins.