Mobile medical apps

Dementia caregivers get app support

Caregivers can use the eCareApp to create a support network to help them provide better care for people with dementia.
Caregivers can use the eCareApp to create a support network to help them provide better care for people with dementia. PHOTO: SIERRA SOLUTIONS

Caregivers of people with dementia are having an easier time organising and monitoring caregiving tasks, thanks to the eCareApp launched in November last year.

Through the app, they can form groups with other caregivers, keep a journal that they can share with others, create a calendar with tasks that people can volunteer to do and monitor the real-time performance of tasks.

The app was developed by the Centre for Seniors and social enterprise Ace Seniors, in partnership with consulting and technology services firm Sierra Solutions.

It is the first app of its kind here for caregivers of people who have dementia, said Dr Tan Bee Wan, executive chairman of Ace Seniors, a Singapore-based group that promotes active ageing. It cost about $150,000 to develop.

"The goal is to alleviate the burden on caregivers by creating a support network that can provide better care for people with age- related problems and special needs," said Dr Tan.

This support network can be made up of family members, maids, friends, allied health workers and members of the community, she added.

The app was first tried out by 10 families from January to June last year.

It became available for free download on the Apple Store last November and on Google Play in April this year. There have been more than 300 downloads so far.

Dr Tan said the group is "exploring with NTUC Healthcare how the app can help its care managers to track medication and care compliance, and increase efficiency by providing real-time information and reducing paperwork".

Felicia Choo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2017, with the headline 'Dementia caregivers get app support'. Print Edition | Subscribe