I’m not alone in this situation, but it often feels like I am. There are 5.4 million carers in the UK, although I’m sure that there are many more but they haven’t acknowledged this to anyone, even themselves.
Mum, like our Dad, is gradually slipping into a person that is hard to recognise and sometimes hard to love. The baton of responsibility has passed onto me now and it’s become obvious that I’m the decision maker, reminder service and often the one to get the adverse reaction to taking meds or exercise.
So I have my parents and their increasing needs, then I have my own team – young kids that need instant attention. How on earth do we prioritise between them?
I’m lucky in that I can share the care with my brother and we manage the situation as best we can. We both have jobs and can’t sometimes be there to ring or pop round at exactly the right time. So there have been times where there have been missed appointments and missed meds. That doesn’t help the guilt or stress levels at all. Work and family are demanding and our to-do lists are essays.
But there were no apps or devices that could help that didn’t involve the person needing the nudge having specialist equipment or having to do additional things.
So after much discussion and scary conversations we decided to go for it and develop one ourselves.
It’s called Nudgu, as in I’m going to nudge you to take your meds. It’s easy to use and the message is in your voice so those who need the familiarity get reassurance from you, not a computerised voice.
You can record reminders to be repeated daily or one off events that are easy to cancel or re-record. You get an acknowledgement once the message has been delivered so you know they have heard it. It will also let you know if it’s not been answered, which might prompt you to pop in to make sure all is well.
Once your message is recorded and scheduled your smart phone can be off, out of coverage or credit but your message will still be delivered.
It works really well for us. Mum is on track with her meds and we can have nice conversations with her that don’t involve us reminding her – we can just ask about her day. She’s independent and can with our help stay that way for as long as possible. We are less stressed as we can manage our time and commitments more easily.
We realise that it won’t suit everyone but at the moment this is making such a difference to us. We just wanted to help other carers too.
Its free to try for a month and after that it starts at £8 per month. Do visit nudgu.com for more details and how it works.
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