Traumatic injuries are terrifying enough, without having to worry about how you'll get groceries, pay the bills, or organize the life you've spent decades creating. Family members dealing with a loved one who has a spinal cord injury often have to deal with the additional trauma of keeping the household running, all while under immense stress. These digital resources can make life a bit easier if you are staying with a loved one in the hospital after a traumatic injury.
Managing Medical Records
It can seem like you're endlessly shuttling from the doctor to the physical therapist and back again. These handy apps keep all your medical records in one place, allowing you to view everything—and answer just about any medical question—with a simple click.
CareZone is a portal for managing your medications and doctor's instructions, without having to fumble through to-do lists or disjointed records. Featuring reminders, to-do lists, and notifications to help you remain on track, it's an ideal option for both stressed caregivers and the injured people they love.
Designed for United Healthcare customers, this app offers rapid access to medical and pharmacy records, details on health care costs, and information on how to manage your claims.
MyMedical acts as your medical information management one-stop-shop, maintaining your medical records and test results, syncing your data with your calendar, and providing detailed emergency information for first responders.
No matter how much you love your family member, caring for a sick loved one consistently ranks among the most stressful of life experiences. These apps may help take the edge off, offering you the support you need to provide the best care.
CaringBridge (Android, iOS) - Free
CaringBridge is perhaps one of the most well-known traumatic injury resources. This website allows you to set up a private page for your injured loved one, easily enabling you to blog about your experiences, keeping family and friends to stay up-to-date, and enabling them to leave messages of concern.
LotsaHelpingHands (iOS) - Free
This caregiving app allows you to foster a community with family and friends to support the care of your loved one. One standout feature is an in-app message board that allows people to post their wishes and positive thoughts.
When you're juggling endless pills, it's easy to miss a dose—or to accidentally double up. Medication management apps help you remember everything, empowering you to help your loved one get the medication he or she needs while reducing the risk of an addiction.
Inspired by a family tragedy, the creators of MediSafe have successfully created an app that not only monitors medication and dosages but also alerts you to potentially dangerous drug interactions.
Personal Caregiver (iOS) - Free
Offering a single spot to store your prescriptions, reminders about medications, and a place to log any negative interactions, Personal Caregiver can be a one-stop resource for all things medication-related.
Medical Information and Resources
Sometimes you can't get all the information you need from your doctor. Or maybe you want to gain a better understanding of your loved one's injury so you can ask more intelligent questions. These apps empower you to be a savvy health care consumer, thereby increasing your odds of better health outcomes.
Johns Hopkins Guides (Android, iOS) - Free
The perfect source for unbiased, scientifically accurate medical advice, Johns Hopkins Guides can ensure you ask the right questions and seek the right treatment, even on the go.
Medical Terminology and Abbreviations (iOS) - Free
If the doctor's office feels like a foreign land with its own language, you can easily decipher what your doctor says to you—and in his or her notes—with this handy guide to common medical terms.
Micromedex offers detailed pharmaceutical references, enabling you to learn about your loved one's medications and explore possible alternatives.
Pain Care allows you to easily manage your loved one's pain symptoms, diligently tracking when, where, and how pain occurs. You can even submit weekly logs directly to your loved one's doctor.
Spine Pro III (iOS) - $9.99
Offering convenient, user-friendly guides to the spine and neurological health, this app keeps you abreast of what you need to know to be a great advocate for your injured loved one.
Offering consumer-friendly medical information that can help you monitor your symptoms, ask the right questions, and pursue cutting-edge treatments, the WebMD app is substantially similar to the website you already know.
You’re loved one is your number one priority, and the last thing you need to worry about is whether or not your electric bill got paid this month. Caring for someone who is severely injured is stressful enough, and adding in financial worries can only make things harder. These apps will help you keep your finances in check, freeing up just a little more of your time (and sanity) to provide what’s really important - love, support, and first-rate health care.
Bill Keeper (Android, iOS) - Free (Pro Upgrade $1.99)
This simple, intuitive program allows you to easily pay bills, monitor your balances, and link multiple accounts. It's highly secure, which means you don't have to worry about what happens to your financial information or accounts when you link them.
Mint Bills (Android, iOS) - Free
Created by the makers of Turbo Tax and Quickbooks, this secure platform allows you to pay bills with the click of a button on your smartphone. There's also an option to monitor your bank account and credit card balances so you never again have to worry about overdrafts or late fees.
The PayPal app brings one of the world's most trusted payment platforms to your phone, allowing you to send and receive payments. More and more retailers are accepting PayPal, so the app can also provide an easy way to make purchases—no need to tote your wallet everywhere.
You never know when you'll need to send money to family or friends, pay for a ride, or ensure your insurance copay is covered. Venmo offers easy payment options and allows you to link directly to your bank account or debit card.
You Need a Budget (Android, iOS) - Free
Going far beyond paying bills and monitoring balances, You Need a Budget helps you track where your money is going, detect problem spending habits, and learn more about how to more effectively manage your money. In addition to the app, you can download software for your computer.
Whether you're at home caring for someone with a spinal cord injury, or spending an extended visit to the hospital, everyday household tasks may start to suffer. You may also find you have new tasks, like cleaning medical equipment or making physician-recommended meals. These apps will make the job of household management a bit easier to help lighten your new load.
August Smart Lock (Android, iOS) - $250 for the lock
Traumatic injuries can mean a lot of time away from home. Adding a smart lock will allow you to let caretakers in, check the locks when you're gone, and even provide a back-up if your keys are lost in the shuffle. No more need to worry about leaving a key under the mat or sharing a code with one-off vendors.
You can use this device to unlock and lock doors with your smartphone. And as a form of insurance in case your phone gets stolen, you can still use a traditional key to open the door. Smart Lock makes it easy to change your settings regularly so that would-be thieves can't break into your home.
Easily Do is a virtual personal assistant that reminds you to complete tasks, and can even complete some online tasks (such as turning emails into calendar invites) on your behalf.
HomeRoutines (iOS) - $4.99
Create checklists, share them with others, and even give gold stars for completed tasks, all with this simple app that allows you to share lists with others, including your kids.
Another major concern if you are spending a lot of time away from home is that your house may appear vacant to home invaders. Insteon allows you to control the electronic devices in your home with a push of the button on your phone. Turn on and off lights or even make sure the coffee pot is off, all without leaving the hospital.
Trello's web interface acts like a virtual organizer, featuring project boards and to-do lists you can share with others. With highly customizable permissions, it can help you manage your work and home life. The app allows you to access your Trello lists anywhere.
Whether you've been forced to travel to a new city to get medical care or want to ensure your kids are tended to while you're at the hospital, these apps make it easier to manage life when you're away from home.
This site, available from any device that connects to the Internet, offers up-to-date information on the rights of disabled passengers, as well as tips for staying safe and ensuring your rights are protected.
BringFido - Free
This website will help you locate nearby pet-friendly hotels. Never worry about leaving your pet behind while you stay near the hospital again. Change can be stressful to everyone after a spinal cord injury. If you decide to bring Fido along, this resource will help you easily find the best place to stay with reviews, easy to follow information and more.
Carrentals.com (Android, iOS) - Free
Use the website from any device that connects to the Internet, or download the app to get rapid access to the best car rental rates near you.
A person can only eat so much hospital food. Created by Yelp, Eat 24 is a one-stop site for access to details about restaurants that deliver and provide takeout near you.
When you have an extended stay at a hospital in a strange town, your family may need a few hours to be together and relieve some stress. Mom Maps is an excellent resource that provides a list of nearby kid-friendly venues and activities so that you don’t have to waste valuable time finding the right activity for your family.
Written by Zawn VillinesZawn Villines is a writer specializing in health and legal journalism. Raised by a lawyer and lobbyist who advocated for spinal cord injury survivors, she is a lifelong advocate for spinal injury victims and their loved ones. You can connect with Zawn on Google+ below.
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