As your aging friends and family members get more comfortable with the convenience and connection technology affords them, they may consider expanding their “technical” toolbox to include health apps. Health applications for tablets or smartphones can improve medication compliance, promote healthy meal choices and encourage and track physical activity.
When it comes to health apps, though, the options are many and can be overwhelming for those new to technology. We hope this list of the top five applications helps you choose the best application in a sea of potential choices.
As many as half of aged patients don’t comply with their medication regimen once they’re home. Medisafe makes at-home medication administration a breeze, improving compliance and decreasing the risk of a serious adverse event resulting from missed or mixed up medications. This app helps in a number of ways:
- Sends the app-holder reminders to take their medications, which include a description of the pill (color, size, shape)
- Reminds the app-holder to refill their medications when they get low
- Tracks multiple family members in the same app, so if one person is responsible for both husband and wife’s medications, they can do so with a single application
- Integrates with health applications to provide easy-to-read progress reports to your friend or family member, their healthcare team and their caregivers
The Medisafe app is available from the Apple iTunes store; the standard version is free but in-app upgrades can be purchased.
Aging is sometimes characterized by a slow but life-altering decline in cognition and memory, which can affect your aging relative’s ability to remember important details (like where they parked or where they live) and slow their cognitive thought processes. Studies show that staying mentally fit can improve memory recall and cognition, and Lumosity was created on this foundational research. This app provides your aging friend or family member with ample opportunity to stay mentally active through puzzles and games. The app is available through the iTunes store for free but a Lumosity subscription is required.
3. Blood Pressure Monitor
Many seniors are asked to monitor their blood pressure at home and share their findings with their primary care provider periodically. Manual tracking is not only tedious and time-consuming, but getting meaningful information out of notebook logs is nearly impossible. The Blood Pressure Monitor application gives you or your relative a mobile, automated way to track their blood pressure and weight as often as needed and then allows for automatic export of data for sharing with their caregivers or healthcare team.
4. Urgent Care
Seniors facing changes in their medical condition often struggle to get the care they need simply because they aren’t sure about the seriousness of their symptoms. Because heart attack symptoms have much in common with heartburn symptoms, it’s easy to dismiss the signs of this life-threatening condition.
The Urgent Care application connects seniors with a registered nurse for a live consultation, where they can discuss symptoms and get guidance on next steps. When the condition doesn’t require emergency medical treatment, they can be diagnosed by a doctor and receive a prescription if necessary, all through the Urgent Care app. This is available for free from the Apple iTunes store, but calls to urgent care cost $3.99 each.
Diet and exercise can change the way a person ages. It can help maintain mobility, keep the heart healthy, alleviate pain and stiffness, improve sleep and manage weight. Diet and exercise can also prevent or relieve the symptoms of depression and anxiety, making it critically important for patients of all ages.
MyFitnessPal serves as a one-stop shop for wellness, allowing your friend or family member to set goals and track their progress toward those goals, whether they be health or weight-related. Features include:
- A food journal and calorie counter with access to millions of foods for logging, featuring a barcode scanner for effortless tracking
- An exercise tracker that automatically counts the calories burned based on the activity entered
- Hundreds of blog posts that provide health and wellness advice, information, and insight for patients of all ages
- Healthy recipes to assist your friend or family member in reaching their health goals through appropriate nutrition
MyFitnessPal can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple iTunes Store, meaning nearly everyone has access to application despite the phone they carry.
The aging population can often benefit tremendously from a supportive living environment focused on their physical, mental and emotional wellness at every age. Medford Leas speaks to the important health and wellness needs of those who live in their retirement communities by providing a broad range of health amenities, including massage therapy, Reiki, aromatherapy and more along with assistance using technology to track and maintain health. Contact us to learn more or schedule a tour.