Caregiving Club and Cranium Crunches mHealth App Cares for Caregivers
Written by Alyssa Clark
Upon the fusing of Caregiving Club with Cranium Crunches, a new and improved way of providing Caregivers with attentive mental and physical support, built from their stressful yet important careers, has been born in a new mobile application. This new smartphone app entitled “RELAX”, is designed to improve the mental health and stress levels of the nation’s 65 million caregivers, in order to better improve their overall wellness as individuals and professionals. Full of self-help tips, techniques and regimens to improve caregivers overall wellness, this application is set to change the game for caregivers everywhere by forcing them to help themselves just as much as they help others.
The application can be used on multiple “smart” devices: Google play, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Android and other Windows 8 handheld mobile devices. Later this month, an Apple IOS version will come out in order to equip iPhones and iPads the same way as the other devices. Offered for free (but including advertisements), the application also comes in a $0.99 version which remains advertisement free.
“In a caregiver health risks study, the difficulty managing stress was the No. 1 challenge for caregivers and over time becomes a slippery slope of declining health,” says Sherri Snelling, CEO of Caregiving Club. “When Cranium Crunches reached out to us about creating a special caregiver app, we found their concept for RELAX a perfect way for caregivers to find their Zen zone using it as a complement to our Me Time Monday program, a core part of our mission and message to help guide caregivers to better health and wellness.”
The app features a four step program that works to include an array of guided relaxation practices, yoga videos, an interactive journal and the ability to learn more about stress triggers and ways of coping with those stresses. These four steps specifically include:
1) Guided relaxation: complete with 3-8 minute slideshows displaying deep-breathing techniques, full body relaxation with meditation tips, visual journeys to your choice of a forest, ocean or personalized “peaceful” place. After the caregiver has experienced one of these helpful suggestions, they can record their experience in their journal (improvements are also continuously being looked to here for areas like Dementia and Alzheimer’s) in order to track their long-term experience.
2) Physical Exercise: Two yoga videos demonstrating different poses to help stretch the body and help deliver more blood to the brain.
3) The Journal: An outlet for caregiver’s to track their progress, document their experience and share their learning/growing experiences as each individual goes through this guided process.
4) Learn: Flash cards with information about managing stress and brain heath are available for caregiver’s reference. Podcasts are also set to become available in order to keep caregivers in the “know” in terms of their personal wellness.
“Most of us know we should exercise our bodies for better health but that is only one-half of the health and wellness equation – brain fitness is equally important,” says Ruth Curran, founder of Cranium Crunches. “When caregivers are challenged by stress, brain games that aid relaxation can be the prescription needed, especially for the 15 million caregivers of those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease who report higher stress levels than most other caregivers.”
Alyssa Clark is the Editor of Healthcare Global