Carer support apps

Carer support apps

  • Caregiving can be rewarding but also brings challenges for the carer's health.
  • These apps aim to support carers of older adults.
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Caregiving can have many rewards but can also be challenging and stressful at times. There is much evidence that the high demands of caregiving often lead caregivers to experience stress that affects their physical, mental and social health. This is a phenomenon commonly referred to as caregiver burden. Mobile apps have the potential to provide resources and information to support caregivers, for example apps that provide problem-solving and stress reduction strategies.

Deciding on suitable apps – help me choose

A study assessing mobile apps for caregivers of older adults(external link) outlined the following criteria to be important or desirable in caregiving apps:

  • Information and resources: Tips and advice, information about dementia and other diseases, searchable databases, videos, symptom tracking.
  • Family communication: Care coordination among family, instant messaging, calendar sharing, to-do lists.
  • Memory aids: Activities for care recipient, conversation starters, tools for memory support and reminiscence.
  • Care for caregiver: Support or chat groups, burden assessments, words of encouragement.
  • Behaviour solutions: Tips and information to manage problem behaviours (eg, agitation, wandering).
  • Safety: GPS or motion sensor tracking, automated check-in calls, alarms and reminders.
  • Medication management: Medication reminders, dosage information, drug-interaction databases.
  • Personal health record tracking: Healthcare provider appointment reminders.

Here is a carer support app reviewed by Healthify

Before choosing an app, think about how it will benefit you and what you want it to be able to do.

  • An app will only be helpful if you use it, so it needs to be something you like using and find easy to use.
  • If you find the app difficult to use, or you don't like the imagery or look of it, or the language it uses, you may want to find another one that suits you better.
  • For more guidance on how to choose health apps, see How to choose a health app
 App  Description

CogniCare – support for dementia care

CogniCare app aims to support carers looking after people with dementia. Read more about CogniCare app.

Other apps you may find helpful

You may find the following apps useful:

  • Mental health and wellbeing apps: To learn techniques such as guided meditation and mindfulness to help you cope with feels of anxiety, depression and stress. Read more about mental health and wellbeing apps
  • Medication reminder apps: Apps that can help you keep track of medications - they can send you a reminder to give medicines, and you can record when you have given the dose. Read more about medication reminder apps.
  • Patient portal apps: Apps that enable New Zealanders to access local online health services through patient portals. Patient portals are secure online sites, provided by GPs, where you can request repeat prescriptions, access your health information and interact with your general practice. Read more about patient portal apps.

Be aware of privacy and security

The issue of adequate security and privacy controls are of particular concern for apps targeting people with dementia, whose cognitive impairment puts them at increased risk of privacy breaches. An analysis of data security and privacy in apps for dementia found that most of the apps lacked a privacy policy.1 Of the 72 apps assessed, 46% had an available privacy policy. 58% were specific to the app in question, and 76% specified how individual-user as opposed to aggregate data would be handled. Among these, there was a preponderance of missing information, the majority acknowledged collecting individual data for internal purposes, and most admitted to instances in which they would share user data with outside parties.

Read more about privacy and security(external link).

Also read more about things you can do to improve your safety and security when using apps.


The following references relate to articles about apps for caregiver support.

  1. Rosenfeld L, Torous J, Vahia IV. Data security and privacy in apps for dementia – an Analysis of Existing Privacy Policies(external link)  Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2017;25(8):873-877.
  2. Grossman MR, Zak DK, Zelinski EM. Mobile apps for caregivers of older adults – quantitative content analysis(external link) JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2018;6(7):e162.

Disclaimer: The NZ Health App Library is a free consumer service to help you decide whether a health app would be suitable for you. Our review process is independent. We have no relationship with the app developers or companies and no responsibility for the service they provide. This means that if you have an issue with one of the apps we have reviewed, you will need to contact the app developer or company directly.

Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.