The Best Apps for Senior Caregivers in 2024

The Best Apps for Senior Caregivers in 2024

Did you know that almost half of the 53 million unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. are adult children looking after their parents or in-laws?

With an aging population and a distinct lack of paid caregivers, it's a trend that will no doubt persist. 

Caring for elderly parents is a unique roller coaster that is time-consuming, emotionally challenging, and rewarding all at the same time.

From coordinating medical appointments to managing finances and providing social interaction, the seemingly endless list of tasks can feel daunting and overwhelming.

Fortunately, there's an app for that.

Well, to be more precise, numerous apps are designed to make life easier for you and your aging loved ones. So if you've ever wondered, "How can apps help me care for my aging parents?" or "what are the best apps for senior care?" you've come to the right place.

Family caregiving apps and apps for senior care can be a powerful way to simplify and streamline the often complex process of senior care by helping you manage caregiving tasks, stay organized, and ensure your parents are safe and well cared for. 

The variety of caregiving apps can be overwhelming. But don't worry. We've done the homework for you and narrowed the list to the top contenders offering ease of use, practicality, and efficiency. 

What is a Family Caregiving App?

A family caregiving app is like having a personal assistant in your pocket, helping you navigate the caregiving journey. But like caregiving itself, there's no one-size-fits-all solution.

Each app offers something unique, tailored to meet a variety of needs. So, whether you're looking for a way to manage medications or a system to streamline communication, there's an app ideally suited to your family and aging loved one.

According to an AARP interview with Laurie Orlov, founder of Aging and Health Technology Watch, "There are many apps to help caregivers and their loved ones, whether it's to help track someone, shop for supplies, look up trusted information, manage medication, schedule appointments, book transportation, find specialty pharmacies or join support groups — just to name a few examples.” 

Why Embrace Caregiving Apps?

First, let's address the elephant in the room: why should you bother with apps as a family caregiver? Well, the answer is simple yet profound. Caregiving apps can be your lifeline in an often overwhelming sea of responsibilities. 

Caregivers spend an average of 24.4 hours per week providing care. That's a lot of time! Caregiving apps can help you streamline tasks, keep essential information at your fingertips, and even offer emotional support during tough times.

They can ease the burden and make your caregiving journey more manageable. 

  • Lift a Weight Off Your Mind: Caregiving apps can be your smart assistant in the challenging journey of looking after your aging parents. By managing medications and appointments, these innovative tools send timely reminders to you and your loved ones. This means no more missed pills or forgotten doctor's visits. It's like having an extra pair of hands right in your pocket.
  • Boost Your Communication Game: Guess what? Many caregiving apps have features that foster better communication among family members. These nifty tools allow you to share live updates about your aging parent's health and well-being, essentially keeping everyone in the loop and on the same page when it comes to providing care. This helps reduce stress and ensures a unified approach to providing care. Isn't that a relief?
  • Amp Up Your Accessibility: The right app is like having a digital answer book with all the vital details, like medical records and emergency contacts, right at your fingertips. Caregiver apps are just that! This could be a lifesaver in an emergency, offering you and first responders immediate access to crucial information.
  • Keep an Eye Out, Effortlessly: Want to ensure your aging parent's safety is never compromised? There are caregiving apps out there designed just for that! They provide real-time location tracking and send alerts if your loved one strays too far from home. This could be a game-changer for those of you constantly worried about their safety.
  • Embrace Calm, Welcome Support: Caregiving apps are about looking after your loved ones and taking care of you. They come packed with features like soothing meditation exercises, practical stress management tools, and supportive groups for caregivers. It is a personal wellness retreat right in your pocket.

What Should You Look For in a Mobile App for Family Caregivers?

With countless mobile apps for family caregivers available, what exactly should you look for in an app as a caregiver? Let's explore.

  • Usability Matters: As a caregiver, you'll want an app as straightforward as possible. Why? Because it's not just you using it, but your tech-shy parents too. So, seek out apps with intuitive navigation and user-friendly interfaces. The perfect app will have crystal clear instructions and a clutter-free layout, making it a breeze to locate necessary features. Bonus points if the app allows your parents to use technology they're already comfortable with, like their beloved TV, while you keep tabs from your smartphone.
  • Costs vs Benefits: Who doesn't love free stuff right? But let's be honest, sometimes 'free' isn't really free. It could mean sacrificing your privacy or missing out on vital features. So, take a moment to evaluate the costs and benefits and decide what value you're willing to part with. After all, if an app can spare you a weekly cross-town trip, it might be worth that little extra!

How do I Choose the Right Caregiver Apps for Seniors?

When choosing a family caregiving app, there are several considerations to keep in mind. It should be user-friendly, reliable, and, most importantly, meet the individual needs of your aging parents. In this section, we'll delve into the key factors to consider when evaluating caregiving apps.

  1. Determine the specific needs of your aging parent and your caregiving responsibilities. Doing so will help you identify which features of a caregiving app are most important to you. For example, if your parent needs medication reminders, look for apps with a medication tracking feature.  Alternatively, if you're far away and feeling anxious about your parent's social isolation, watch for apps that simplify remote communication and make it easy to stay in touch.
  2. Read reviews and ratings of caregiving apps. Bonus points if you can find reviews from trusted sources such as app stores, caregiving websites, and forums. Look for feedback from other caregivers who have used the app to understand its strengths and weaknesses. Pay attention to comments about ease of use, reliability, and customer support.
  3. Consider the cost of the app. Some caregiving apps are free, while others require a subscription or one-time payment. Who doesn't love free stuff, right? But let's be honest, sometimes 'free' isn't really free. It could mean sacrificing your privacy or missing out on vital features. So, take a moment to evaluate the costs and benefits and determine if the price is reasonable and fits within your budget. After all, if an app can spare you a weekly cross-town trip, it might be worth that little extra!
  4. Evaluate the app's privacy and security features. Ensure the app has robust security measures to protect your personal and sensitive information. Check if the app has a privacy policy that outlines how they collect, use, and share your data. Avoid apps that ask for unnecessary permissions or have a history of data breaches.
  5. Test the app yourself. Use the app for a few days to get a sense of how it works and if it meets your needs. Ask other family members or friends to test the app as well to get their feedback. Only go foreward with apps that you feel comfortable using and that you believe will be helpful for helping support your aging parent.

Now that we've covered the basics let's dive into some of the best apps designed to aid those caring for aging parents.

What are the Best Apps for Caregivers of Aging Parents in 2024?

Now that we've established the 'why,' let's dive into the 'which.' There's a whole digital marketplace of apps designed to support caregivers.

But what are the best apps for aging parents? To help you navigate the clutter, we've picked out some of the best ones explicitly tailored for caregivers of aging parents. 

You can categorize family caregiver apps based on their functionality and purpose.

Today we'll focus on apps that help with medication reminders and improve communication and coordination:

  • Best Medication Reminder Apps for Seniors
  • Best Communication & Coordination Apps for Family Caregivers

Best Medication Reminder Apps for Seniors and Family Caregivers

Want to monitor your aging parent's daily medications or supplements with a simple tap on your phone? Medication management apps help caregivers keep track of their loved one's medications, dosages, and schedules. These apps can send reminders to the caregiver and the patient when it's time to take medication.

If your elderly loved one is a fan of Apple devices, Apple now features a native Medications app for their Apple Watch and a  medications feature within the Apple Health app for iPhone.  

The app can discreetly remind your loved one about their medications, vitamins, and supplements. It integrates seamlessly with the Health app on iPhone, helping them log their intake and sending prompt reminders for scheduled medications. It may not be the right choice if your loved one needs more support, but it could be a smart move for some.

Many great medication reminders are designed exclusively for personal use, but here we've selected two favorite apps with features designed for family caregivers. 

Medisafe Medication Management (iOS & Android)

Medisafe Medication Management family caregiver app

App Spotlight: Medisafe makes medication management a breeze. Features include medication reminders with alarms, notifications when prescriptions run low, drug interaction warnings, and more. This app is a consistent crowd-pleaser among users, caregivers, and reviewers alike and was bestowed the coveted "editor's choice" title in the Google Play store. It's the perfect solution for those juggling multiple medications and shines when sharing reminders with others.

Best Feature for Caregivers: Medisafe is like a digital assistant that alerts you when it's time for your aging parent to take their medication. Not only that, but this handy app also lets you track if the meds have indeed been taken. It's like having an extra pair of eyes on their health right in the palm of your hand. 

Cost: Medisafe is free to download and use. Medisafe Premium upgrades your experience and gives unlimited Medfriend supporters, unlimited family and friend profiles, access to 20+ health measurements, a choice of a dozen Medtone reminder voices, and no banner ads for $4.99/mo or $49.99/year. 

Caregiver Review: "This app has really been a great help to me in managing my elderly mother's medications. When I realized that I was reliably giving her meds to her on time every day but often forgetting my own, I dug a little deeper into the app and quickly learned that it allows you to enter both your own meds and those of a dependent." 

Download Medisafe for iOS

Download Medisafe for Android

Pill Reminder - All in One (iOS)

Pill Reminder - All in One screen grabs

App Spotlight: Meet Pill Reminder - All in One, your aging parent's new best friend (and yours, too, if you're an iPhone user). This app helps ensure your loved ones never miss a dose with its customizable reminder system – every few hours, at specific times, or on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Not only that, but it also keeps tabs on medication stocks, giving timely refill alerts when supplies run low. Now that's what we call a true-blue healthcare ally! 

Best Feature for Caregivers: The app supports multiple users, allowing you to manage medications for yourself, your family members, and those you care for.

Cost: Pill Reminder is free to download and use. Note: The app was designed for iPad, and also works with iPhone. There is not currently an Android version. You can add unlimited medications in the free version but only two reminders. The full version, available as an in-app purchase for $1.99, includes unlimited reminders—no monthly or annual fees. 

Caregiver Review: "With aging parents and aging siblings I found myself challenged with assisting them to document and track each person's medication and more. I am NOT in the medical field but found this to be helpful for me and others who find themselves assisting in-home care by default. I now have the ability to quickly present a list of meds to paramedics, and emergency room attendants and to compare or dispute with the doctors when they don't have a system of their own to list my family members' medication. This app has been my saver many times. I will continue to share it with other persons who find themselves interested in tracking medication, appointments, etc." 

Download Pill Reminder

Best Communication & Coordination Apps for Family Caregivers

Another category of caregiver apps is communication and coordination apps.

These apps allow caregivers to communicate with each other and share information about their loved one's care. They can also help coordinate tasks and schedules among family members and other caregivers. 

ianacare - Caregiving Support (iOS, Android & Web)

ianacare app for caregivers

App Spotlight: ianacare (iana stands for I Am Not Alone) is a personal assistant at your fingertips, helping you care for your aging parents. This unified platform is a lifesaver for family caregivers, diligently organizing and mobilizing all available support layers. With ianacare, you can effortlessly coordinate assistance from friends and family, leverage empowering benefits, unearth local resources, and receive tailored guidance from Caregiver Navigators. ianacare believes that no caregiver should ever feel alone. This app is designed to create and coordinate a robust support system, eagerly waiting to lend a hand when you need it.

Best Feature for Caregivers: Get help without asking! Supporters on your team can proactively offer assistance with day-to-day tasks and send money, gift cards, or items on your Amazon wishlist without you even asking. 

Cost: Free to download and use (they partner with employers and non-profits to deliver the service free to caregivers)

Caregiver Review: This amazing app showed up when I needed it most. It allowed me to freely ask for help during my mother's illness and it allowed for our people to step up and support us in so many ways. It is easy, convenient and probably the best thing I utilized as my mother was dying. It is a must have for every single caregiver. 

CaringBridge (iOS, Android & Web)

caringbridge app for caregivers

App Spotlight: Communication is crucial when caring for aging parents. The CaringBridge website and mobile app offer a platform for updating family and friends about your parent's health journey. Post updates, share photos, or even start a fundraiser - it's a digital bridge that connects and supports families in times of need.

Best Feature for Caregivers: Easy site has three privacy settings. Hence, you have control over how your information and updates are shared - automatically share secure updates with loved ones without publishing them on public social media channels (unless you want to).

Cost: Free, with no ads - CaringBridge is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit

Caregiver Review This app is perfect for a caregiver divulging news about a cancer patient who has a large network of loved ones, when you need a single portal place for everyone to access. In other words, you never want to be there, but it's a blessing when you are. In this situation, trying to remember who needs texted, called, etc is just one thing that can become overwhelming. The ability to share the app link and gather everyone to one place is a real blessing in that circumstance. 

Use CaringBridge on the web

Download the CaringBridge app for iOS

Download the CaringBridge app for Android

 

Lotsa Helping Hands (iOS, Android & Web)

lotsa helping hands app

App Spotlight: Lotsa Helping Hands is a single place to coordinate assistance, keep everyone informed, and find a comforting shoulder to lean on. Arrange meal drop-offs, coordinate rides for medical visits, and set up times for friendly visits, all by simply posting tasks for your support network to pick up. Keep all the important people in your loved one's life updated on their status with just a single, heartfelt message. And it's not all task-based - this app lets you connect emotionally, too, sharing photos and well-wishes to keep the spirits high and the communication flowing. 

Best Feature for Caregivers: Add tasks to the feed to make it easier for people to help with things like meal deliveries, rides, and visits.

Cost: Free to download and use (they partner with healthcare organizations & nonprofits to deliver the service free to caregivers)

Caregiver Review: "Thank you for this wonderful site. My six siblings and I are using it to coordinate and communicate care for our elderly mother in New York State. We are scattered across the East Coast and Midwest. This site enables us to schedule tasks and keep everyone informed without having to exchange endless phone calls and emails."

Use Lotsa Helping Hands on the Web

Download the Lotsa app for iOS

Download the Lotsa app for Android

CircleOf - A Caregiving App (iOS, Android)

CircleOf A Caregiving App

App Spotlight: The old saying goes, "It takes a village," CircleOf is the village.  This health app is designed with caregivers in mind, offering a platform for friends and family to come together and support each other in caretaking tasks. But CircleOf isn't just an app. It's a lifeline, a community, and a powerful tool rolled into one. With features like task management, calendar integration, and medical exam coordination, it helps you stay on top of your loved one's care needs without missing a beat. CircleOf also connects you with your support network through messaging, video calling, and notifications. Whether you need to collaborate on a care plan or call in extra help, CircleOf empowers you to organize and manage family care effortlessly. It's the helping hand you need when you need it most.

Best Feature for Caregivers: The shared calendar makes it easy to keep track of doctor's appointments, rides, and medication pick-ups, and you can easily solicit help from other family members and friends to lend a hand. 

Cost: Free to download and use (they offer a marketplace and earn revenue if you purchase from a partner)

Caregiver Review: "I wasn't sure if I was a "caregiver," but I knew I needed a way to better organize my dad's care. This app is great - I trust the information and suggestions it gave and all the tools to not only manage but communicate to everyone who offered or wanted to help. This app makes it easy on me even through there's nothing easy about making sure someone you love is protected and cared for when they are sick."

 

Download CircleOf for iOS

Download CircleOf for Android

Carely Family (iOS & Android)

Carely caregiving app

App Spotlight: Carely is part social network with a feed similar to Facebook or Instagram but for caregivers, part caregiver efficiency tool. The app is perfect for families that are managing caregiving as a team. It offers features to keep all involved parties in the loop, allowing you to coordinate responsibilities and track appointments and activities with a shared calendar. But it's more than just a management tool. It's a platform where you can share memories through photos, ask questions, and even find local professional caregiving resources. Need to arrange who will join Mom for dinner or Thursday evening? Direct message someone in your network through Carely. It's that easy.

Best Feature for Caregivers: Carely's Visit Reports allow family and friends to keep everyone up-to-date about how mom's doing. You can record activities completed during the visit, such as filling a prescription or walking, and note how mom felt.

Cost: The family version is free to download and use

Caregiver Review: "Great way for everyone working with or part of a family to stay on the same page. Very easy to use."

 

Download Carely Family for iOS

Download Carely Family for Android

 

Caring Village (iOS & Android + Web Dashboard)

App Spotlight: With Caring Village, you can set up a team - your "village" - of as many family, friends, neighbors, and care professionals as you'd like. An easy-to-use web dashboard is your "command center" for all caregiving activities. Then you can use the web dashboard or mobile app to access various features, including a wellness journal, customizable synchronized calendars, shareable to-do lists, secure messaging, and various notifications, alerts, and reminders to ensure that the most important tasks happen on time.

Best Feature for Caregivers: The Daily Care Plan reloads the same tasks daily, which is an efficient way to manage those must-do daily activities. Meanwhile, the To-Do lists allow you to keep track of all the random one-offs in one place. 

Cost: The family version is free to download and use

Caregiver review: "My favorite things about Caring Village are the Wellness Journal and the Daily Care Plan Updates. When I receive notifications while others are caring for my 85-year-old mom, it brings me a great deal of relief and lowers my anxiety knowing she’s in good hands!"


Use Caring Village web dashboard

Download Caring Village for iOS

Download Caring Village for Android

Pair Family Caregiving Apps with TV-Based Communication for a More Serene State of Mind

Did you know your aging parent's favorite device - the television - could also serve as a way to communicate with them?

If your parent uses JubileeTV, you can use the JubileeTV App to share reminders on their TV screen when it's time for their medications and other activities. You can also schedule Daily Check-Ins to make sure everything is okay and get notified if they don't respond.

Communication is a breeze, too - send messages, share photos and videos, and video call directly to their television. JubileeTV can even automatically turn on the TV if the screen is off.

Think of this as the perfect sidekick to your go-to family caregiving apps for medication management and communication. It's like having an extra layer of security that supports their independence while ensuring family, friends, neighbors, and care professionals can reliably communicate with your loved one. 

This approach has multiple benefits: 

  • Visibility: Large and prominent TV screens make the reminders and messages hard to miss.
  • Convenience: Most seniors spend a considerable amount of their day near the TV, so reminders and messages come to them rather than having to go to the reminders.
  • Peace of mind: Knowing that a fail-safe reminder system is in place can significantly reduce stress and worry for caregivers.

Using the JubileeTV App to communicate with your elderly parent on their TV is very straightforward. 

The App offers a simple interface to schedule medication reminders and check-ins, send text messages, start a call, and even remotely control the TV.

You also have the option to turn on the TV and make a chime sound when a reminder displays. The app then sends these reminders to the TV at the specified times, and you can get a notification in the app or a text message when they respond to ensure your loved one never misses their medication routine or other important events and activities. 

So why not transform the humble television into a powerful ally in ensuring your loved one's well-being? Pair JubileeTV with your favorite family caregiving apps to supercharge your peace of mind.

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