Alzheimer’s Caregiving – There’s An App For That!

iStock_AppsThere are hundreds of applications available to help both those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease as well as their caregiving community. The trick is to wade through them all! But help is on the way. Here’s a list of some apps that have either received high ratings from users, or have been positively referenced on Alzheimer’s or other caregiving-focused sites. We haven’t personally evaluated any of these, nor can we formally recommend them. Many are free, however, so worth exploring. Some will be more appropriate in certain stages of the disease. Most are available on the iPad; all are available through the iTunes apps store.

Enjoyment Apps (including Music and Art)

There are enormous benefits in using an iPad to play games, listen to music or dabble with art: it relaxes people; distracts them from anxiety and pain; provides a mobile calming solution when waiting (doctor’s office); is generally supportive of poor eyesight constraints; and can become a wonderful common ground between older persons, their adult children and young grandchildren. Apps can help with social isolation and depression. Along with a few music-focused apps, here is a list of the top music choices for evoking memories; research has shown people best remember the music from their teens through their twenties.

“Yesterday USA Old Time Radio” – free – old time radio shows 1920-1950’s
“Pandora Radio” – free – personalize radio song-lists (note: free version has ads)
“Virtuoso” – free – play the piano
“Cajonazo” – free – music, learn to tap the screen to play flamenco rhythm sounds
“Fingerpaint Magic” – free – lets the user paint with a rainbow of colors
“Pocket Pond 2” – free – enjoy feeding the koi and decorating a pond
“Cake Doodle” – $ 0.99 – bake/decorate a cake, fun and evokes memories relating to cooking
“Pocket Penguins” – free – streaming live video from Calif Academy of Sciences’ penguin exhibit
“Slots Heaven” – free – slot machine game
“YouTube” and “Google Maps” – free – endless entertainment
“Let’s Create Pottery HD Lite” – free – tap creativity and reduce stress while making pottery
“Talking Tom Cat” – free – pet cat responds to touch and repeats what you say; silly and fun!

Relaxation (good for loved ones and caregivers!)

A slideshow of old family photos in a digital frame can be calming, or check out some of these apps to relax:

“Magic Window” – $2.99 – provides a variety of pleasant/changing window scenes
“Getty Images” – free – 46 million images, searchable by word (such as “sunset”); lovely
“Just Chimes” – $0.99 – listen to wind chimes in the breeze
“Calm Meditation and Mindfulness For Relaxation” – free – schedule your perfect calm
“Binaural Brain Game Relaxation Therapy” – free – game for relaxation/meditation
“Relax Melodies Oriental Meditation” – free – 36 peaceful sounds; create iTunes playlists
“Relaxing Sounds of Nature” – free – mix and match sounds; automatic shut-off timer

Memory and Focus

“It’s Done!” – $2.99 – track important daily tasks such as locking the door and turning off stove
“Lumosity” – free – memory and brain performance “workouts”
“Vismory” – $1.99 – memorize shapes, colors and positions of objects
“Fit Brains Trainer” – free – concentration, memory and problem-solving app
“Spaced Retrieval Therapy” – $3.99 – practice the memory of names, facts and routines
“Brainy App” – free – brain games for memory and thinking skills

Wandering/Tracking, GPS

“Comfort Zone Check-in Mobile” – free – mobile app allowing access to a full service offering
requiring subscription/monthly fee, Alzheimer’s location management program
“GPS Tracker” – free – locator for family member who has an iPhone/iPad with them
“GPS Tracking” – $3.99 – locator for family member who has an iPhone/iPad with them

Medication Management

“RXmindme” – free – medication reminder app
“Pill Reminder” – $0.99 – maintain prescription info, schedule reminders & access info
“MedCoach Medication” – free – medication reminder; can connect to your pharmacy


“Balance for Alzheimer’s Caregivers” – $0.99 – coordinate care/meds, track changes
“Caretaker” – free – prescription/medical records, reminders
“Capzule PHR Your Personal Health Record”- free – maintain health info on family
“Healthspek PHR Personal Health Record” – free – maintain health info
“Caregiver’s Touch” – $4.99 – store and share medical info/appointments/financial data/more
“Unfrazzle” – free – care coordination app, to do list, journaling
“Lotsa Helping Hands” – free – care coordination/task coverage by volunteers/calendar/blog
“CareZone” – free – store and share medical info/appointments/to do list/private data
“CareCoach” – free – collect info relating to doctor visits
“AD Caregiver Diary” – $4.99 – record medical symptoms/behaviors and map over time
“Skype for iPhone” – free – voice/video calls with anyone on Skype; share photos
“Cozi” – free – shared calendar and to do/lists for an entire family or caregiving team
“Tyze” – free – share messages, stories/updates, and photos among family or caregiving team

Alzheimer’s Information and Resources

“Balance for Alzheimer’s Caregivers” – $0.99 – caregiving tools, plus research and news
“WebMD” – free – mobile-optimized health information
“3D Brain” – free – interactive, 3D resource on the brain; shows disorders, functionality

There are hundreds of others, plus many web-based applications available. You can also search for apps on topics such as exercise, nutrition, or your loved one’s favorite hobbies (such as gardening, cooking, sports). If you have a favorite app, please share with others!

Blog written by Alzheimer’s Association Volunteer Diane Blum

Click here for more caregiver tips and expert advice from Family Care Specialist Stephanie