October 25, 2014 13:24 UTC

Science & Technology

Phone App to Assist Alzheimer’s Caregivers

Caregivers often have a hard time keeping up with all the medical information.

Alzheimer's researchers switch focus to prevention.
Alzheimer's researchers switch focus to prevention.

Multimedia

Play or download an MP3 of this story
From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report.
 
Alzheimer’s disease is mostly a condition of old age. Since life expectancy is getting longer around the world, the number of people affected by the brain disease is expected to triple in some countries by the middle of the century. People with Alzheimer’s often have other medical needs that require the services of numerous health care professionals. Caregivers often have a hard time keeping up with all the medical information.
 
More and more, family members are being called on to help care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s. It is a responsibility for which most people are unprepared. This is why the Hebrew Home, a private health care group in Riverdale, New York, developed an iPhone and iPad application called “Balance.”
 
The app offers caregivers advice on recognizing symptoms and on feeding, bathing and providing a healthy environment for the patient. It can be bought on the Internet for four dollars. David Pomeranz is Hebrew Home’s program development director, and he created “Balance.”
 
“It is not easy and we hope this will make it a little easier for people.”
 
The Hebrew Home is a not-for-profit organization that provides care to 75,000 patients throughout New York City.
 
“We are dealing with their family members because, as a philosophy, we feel that we need to care for the caregiver equally in our (response to the) care needs (of) the clients themselves, since if the caregiver does not have the proper supports, they simply cannot be a caregiver.”
 
Mister Pomeranz says the “Balance” software is designed to let users organize medical and other information so they can easily keep track of the person's health. It helps caregivers manage doctor’s appointments and share information with doctors about the patient’s daily emotional changes.
 
Interest in the app is not limited to the United States.
 
“It has been interesting to see that we have had apps purchased (in countries) from Egypt to the Netherlands to Greece. It is like the United Nations every day, to see where people are buying this.”
 
David Pomeranz says software developers are working on a version of “Balance” for mobile devices using the Android operating system.
 
In a separate but unrelated story, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, Missouri have identified genes linked to Alzheimer’s disease. They say the discovery could help researchers develop new drugs against the brain disease. Go to voanews.com to hear more about this story.
 
And that's the Technology Report. Transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports are at learningenglish.voanews.com. We're also on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at VOA Learning English. I'm June Simms.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: kika from: spain
05/01/2013 1:30 PM
what a horrible disease. My grandmother in law suffers from alzheimer. It´s a really sad situation for my grandfather in law and the rest of the family


by: BIJU.P.Y from: SOUTH INDIA
04/30/2013 12:31 AM
'Balance' by Hebrew Home is a revolutionary and hope giving help for the caregivers and the patients alike. The fact that almost nobody is remote from the touch of the disease as far a person lives is indeed frightening. In such frightening darkened situations that samaritan groups like Hebrew Home enters with rays of hope. I often envy of America that it still has many generous heart thinking about the agony of others suffering from disease. Yes, America is blessed and far ahead of other countries as far as these are taken into account. It enkindle the sparks of ambition to be there that is already glowing in me. Thank you.

Learn with The News

  • Audio Wealth, Poverty Are Issues in Hong Kong Protests

    The pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are mainly about the right to vote without interference from China’s central government. But there are at least two other less talked-about issues. One is concern about the rising cost of living in Hong Kong. Another is the gap between rich and poor. More

  • Texas Voter ID

    Audio US Supreme Court Allows Texas Voter ID Law

    The United States Supreme Court says the southwestern state of Texas can keep in place a new voting law. The law says voters must show identification documents before they are permitted to mark ballots. A lower court had ruled that the law could keep minorities from voting. More

  • President Barack Obama hugs Dallas nurse Nina Pham as her mother Diane looks on, Oval Office, Washington, Oct. 24, 2014.

    Audio In US, Fear of Ebola Spreads Faster than Virus

    For Americans, Ebola started out as a disease in a far-away continent. But it changed when a Liberian man died in Dallas. US officials said tests show that a New York doctor has the Ebola virus. The doctor recently treated Ebola patients in Guinea working for Doctors Without Borders. More

  • Brazil Elections

    Audio Who Will Be Brazil's Next President?

    Brazilians will choose a president Sunday. Two candidates will be on the ballot -- Dilma Rousseff and Senator Aecio Neves. President Rousseff won the most votes in the first round of voting earlier this month. But she did not win a majority of votes, so a runoff election is required. More

  • Audio Gunman Identified in Canadian Capital

    Also, UN human rights officials have called on China to guarantee open elections in Hong Kong. And, an attack in southwest Pakistan kills 11 people. WHO advises against Ebola travel bans. | In the News More

Featured Stories

  • Audio Oscar de la Renta Dressed First Ladies and Movie Stars

    Clothing designer Oscar de la Renta died Monday at his home in the American state of Connecticut. He was 82 years old. His wife said he died of problems related to cancer. Mr. de la Renta dressed American movie stars and first ladies such as Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton. More

  • Audio Iron Ships Clash at Sea

    The American Civil War was fought not only on land, but at sea. In 1862, Confederate and Union forces fought a new kind of navy battle in waters off Hampton Roads, Virginia. It was the first battle between iron ships. On the Confederate side was a ship called the Virginia. | The Making of a Nation More

  • Audio San Francisco Radio Stations Ban Lorde's 'Royals'

    The California baseball team, San Francisco Giants, is playing the Kansas City Royals for the 2014 Major League Baseball championship, the World Series. Two radio stations in San Francisco banned the hit song "Royals." In return, another station in Kansas City chose to play the song once every hour. More

  • A neurovascular unit on a chip being developed by Vanderbilt University researchers. (Vanderbilt University Photo/John Wikswo)

    Video Scientists Design Chips to Act Like Human Organs

    Testing new drugs for safety and effectiveness is a costly process in the United States. It also can take a lot of time. Some scientists are now designing silicon computer chips that act like human organs. The scientists think they have found a way to make the process faster and more economical. More

  • Brain Resource Infographic

    Audio Dealing with Distractions and Overreactions

    Five million American children and teenagers have Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD. ADHD makes it difficult - if not impossible - to stay with a duty until it is complete. Katherine Ellison knows the problem well. | Health Report More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs