Whether you’re caring for a loved one at home or overseeing his or her care in a facility, there is a LOT to do and even MORE to remember. During the course of my mom’s illness, I tried every trick in the book to keep myself organized – from old-fashioned pen and paper and Post-it notes to Excel spreadsheets. I even had reminders to add things to my list of reminders!
Get Organized With CareZone
Well, now, there’s an app for just about everything, including simplifying your life as a caregiver! Over the next weeks, I’ll be taking a look at several different tools, the first being CareZone, which offers everything from a sharable journal to a medication tracker and to-do list that can be shared with others.
CareZone is free and requires only an email address to get started. The site very user friendly and is loaded with FAQs, tips, and a knowledge base chock full of information. The app’s “5 Tips to Get Started” make it easy to get going, and although CareZone does not yet have an Android app, it’s something that should be available soon. In the meantime, the tool can be used by accessing the website via the browser on your smartphone.
Support seems to be readily available; I sent a question via email and received an immediate, very courteous and complete response. The company also appears to be very receptive to suggestions, with 150 currently documented on the site, and a good number of those in the development queue. CareZone touts itself as being highly secure and fully redundant, using encryption and frequent backups to multiple offsite locations to ensure the safety and privacy of your information.
Nine Great Features
- “Helpers” – Invite an unlimited number of trusted family members and/or friends to participant in your loved one’s care. You control what each one can add, view, and update.
- To-do List – Track tasks and assign helpers. The best part is, it’s shareable! No more multiple lists – a powerful tool, particularly when multiple people are involved in care. Everyone has real time access to one to-do list.
- Sharable Journal – Record observations, share photos, and keep family members in the loop. This is a great way to keep track of eating habits, sleep patterns, or behavioral changes to report at future doctor’s appointments. The tool also provides a place to store and share free form notes.
- Care Profile – Maintain important personal information, including known allergies and medical conditions, blood type, SSN, religious preference, and more, all in a single place.
- Calendar – Track appointments and reminders. While it is not yet available on the smartphone app, the good news is that this is listed as an upcoming enhancement. A suggestion to link this feature to iCal is also currently under consideration.
- Contact List – Keep contact information at your fingertips, and share it with helpers! You have the option of entering contacts manually or importing them from your iPhone contacts.
- Medication Tracking – Keep a list of meds, dosages, purpose, prescribing physician, pharmacy, RX number, refill information, and more. One downfall is that it does not track med schedules or send reminders. However, developers are working on a med reminder feature and in the meantime, the notes field could be used to document the schedule.
- Secure File Upload and Storage – Make important documents easily accessible to yourself and your helpers (if desired). Copies of advance directives could be stored securely for reference at a moment’s notice.
- CareZone Broadcast – Send a recorded voice message to up to 100 recipients from your iPhone. It sounds as though this is free right now, but may ultimately become a fee-based service.
Simplify Your Life!
In summary, CareZone is a robust tool that will help caregivers organize everything from appointments and tasks to meds, contacts, and miscellaneous notes – all in one place. Customizable sharing of contents is a great advantage, simplifying communication and coordination between family members. Anyone can use the tool via the web, and the iPhone app is available (free) at the App Store.
Check it out, then drop back by and let us know what you thought!