These days, smart phone apps are available for just about everything: they can help you get home, find a bus stop, or keep up on the news.  But can they be a tool to help in the care of the elderly?

Several IPhone apps developers are trying to do just that.  Among some of the recently available apps are Fall Alert and iDown.  Using the iPhone’s accelerometer, each of these apps interprets the sudden acceleration as a fall and proceeds to either call a designated phone number (Fall Alert) or send emails to a list of pre-selected contacts (iDown). Another App, Alzheimer’s Cards, seeks to  “spark life, recognition and memories” in patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.  Elder411 and Elder 911 both seek to serve as a “how to” manual for caregivers, while ICE “creates one central location to conveniently store information about your medical conditions and allergies as well as emergency contacts”.

While IAHSA has not tested any of these apps and cannot recommend them, they do show some of the ways in which new smart phone technology can be used to care for seniors.  As smart phones get smarter, more and better apps are sure to come.  Share your thoughts on apps with IAHSA.  What type of app would be useful for you?