Now there’s an app to remind your loved ones to take their Parkinson’s meds

Carers' Corner

Author: Parkinson's Life editorsPublished: 7 July 2016

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It’s a tough job balancing caring for a loved one with the demands of daily life – as Louise Hickman, whose father had early-onset Parkinson’s disease and whose mother has dementia, knows all too well. That’s why she developed an app that she hopes will make life easier for everyone

A new smartphone app aims to help carers balance their ever-increasing commitments by pre-recording, scheduling and sending personalised voice reminders to Parkinson’s patients to take their medicine on time.

The telephone reminder service enables carers to record messages in advance and deliver them when required. As a result, carers can plan the week ahead, manage their time better and have peace of mind that patients will be reminded about their medication or their next doctor’s appointment. For those receiving the messages, it is reassuring to hear a familiar voice, while they can also maintain their independence.

The app – named ‘Nudgu’ (as in “I’m going to remind or nudge you about that”) – runs on iPhones and Android smartphones and offers a free trial period.

Louise Hickman, the app’s co-creator, told Parkinson’s Life: “Our dad John had early-onset Parkinson’s disease and we always wanted to help him with medication and stretch reminders, but the technology wasn’t there at the right time for him.

“Now our mum has dementia, so my brother Jonny and I have developed an app that helps her stay independent with a personal message from us at the right time to her home phone. It’s great for us as we can record messages in advance and then these are delivered at exactly the right time, even if I’m in a meeting or away. Jonny and I have jobs, kids and family commitments so it’s really helpful for people that have to juggle like us.”

How does Nudgu work?

Louise explains: “Once a message has been delivered the carer receives a notification that the message has been delivered successfully so we know they are ok. The carer is also notified if it goes to voicemail or isn’t answered. A missed message could prompt you to pop in or ring when you can to check up to make sure they are ok.”

Nudgu is available for download as an iOS and Android app. There’s a free one-month trial period, after which a subscription costs £10 (around 12 Euros) per month. For full details visit the website here.

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Read more: 10 shocking facts that show what it’s like to be a carer

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