September 30, 2014 19:53 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

  • Carter Elections

    Photogallery Former US President Jimmy Carter Turns 90

    He won the Nobel Peace Prize and served as Georgia’s governor and as a Navy officer. Former peanut farmer, former nuclear engineer now works as a human rights activist. Liked and disliked around the world. He has written 26 books and is writing more. | As It Is More

  • Mercedes Garcia of El Salvador fills in the application for her new ?green card? while waiting in a predawn line outside the Immigration and Naturalization Service office on Wednesday, March 20, 1996 in Los Angeles. Wednesday was the deadline to apply for

    Audio US 'Green Card' Lottery Registration Begins

    The US government’s Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes 50,000 visas available every year. The program is designed for people from countries that have “historically low rates of immigration to the United States.” | As It Is More

  • Protesters block a street near government headquarters in Hong Kong September 30, 2014. Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters extended a blockade of Hong Kong streets on Tuesday, stockpiling supplies and erecting makeshift barricades ahead of what

    Audio Hong Kong Protesters, Officials Dig In

    The Occupy Central protest group has said it will announce plans for the group’s next action on Wednesday if Hong Kong’s leader does not resign by October 1st. It also said the official, Leung Chun-ying, must meet demands for fair elections by that day. More

  • UN General Assembly Vietnam

    Audio Vietnam Calling for End to US Arms Ban

    Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh spoke last week in New York City during his visit to the United Nations General Assembly. | As It Is More

  • Riot police use pepper spray against protesters after thousands of people block a main road to the financial central district outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong, Sept. 28, 2014.

    Audio Chinese Media React to Hong Kong Protests

    Protesters are demanding that China permit public nominations for the territory’s chief executive. Police used tear gas and pepper spray to force protesters off the streets. But many protesters refused to leave. More

Featured Stories

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs