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Aging Well: Caregiving app with national customer base was developed in Hawaii

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Aging Well: Caregiving app with national customer base was developed in Hawaii

A senior caregiving app developed in Hawaii is becoming a popular choice for many caretakers - including some large agencies.

Managing care for a kupuna can be like a construction job site. "You have a general contractor, architect, then all different subcontractors, everyone doing their part. If they don't do it in the right order and time, things can get messed up," says Dew-Anne Langcaon, who was working in senior healthcare at Ho'okele Health when she came up with what she hoped would be a better way to do things.

"If the left hand's not talking to the right hand and we don't make sure everything's coordinated, it can get quite frustrating for a family," she notes. She and Bonnie Castonguay co-founded iHealthHome, a mobile app for caregivers or organizations to coordinate care for seniors at home.

"It takes a village to keep a senior safe and healthy at home. There's a lot of people who need to be involved from adult caregivers, the senior themself, hired caregivers; to keep everyone working together, coordinated on the same page, that's what iHealthHome does," Langcaon summarizes.

The caregiver clocks in on an app, and the family can check in from afar. "So we know the caregiver showed up on time and did what they needed to do, as well as the family member," she explains. Medical changes can be noted in here.

The family can even get customized updates. If you're an adult child sitting at work, you can communicate on the app, "'How is my mom?' They write a little note on how my mom's doing so when I'm done with my meeting I can log in and see my mom was attended to," Langacon says of the app's features.

Prior to developing this app the way caregivers did this was a three-ring binder in the home, usually duplicated in triplicate or more - one binder for every stakeholder, "and the family wouldn't see it until they're done with their day. Then they go home and read the binder," Langcaon says.

Langcaon says about 100 agencies in 23 states, including the National MS Society, use her app. She likes that she's created a virtual village of people needed to keep a senior safe and healthy at home.