Nowadays almost everyone has a smart phone or tablet. We highly recommend all our live-in carers have at least one. The reason? Apps.

Whether for fun, travel or accommodation there are many apps that can make our carer’s lives just a little bit easier.

Here’s my list of the top apps for our live-in carers –

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Duolingo: Learn Languages for Free ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

When you’re induction training is confirmed, perhaps you feel the need to improve your English. Duolingo is a clever app where you can start learning Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian or English in a fun and easy way. It’s available in many languages with more added all the time.

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Skyscanner ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

Like many flight comparison apps, Skyscanner will help you find out which airline is cheapest on set dates on a particular route. But where Skyscanner is at its most impressive is if you’re flexible. A monthly bar chart shows you on which days it is cheapest to fly.

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Airbnb ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

Now that you’ve arrived, you’ll need a place to stay. Airbnb has some charming B&Bs and private homes. Ideal for travelling the day before to your next client or for an interesting week off!

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Journey Pro ( iOs: £1.99 Android: £1.73 )

As a live-in carer, travelling around the UK is part of the job. You could load up your phone with 10 different apps but that makes planning a journey frustrating and time-consuming. Journey Pro is a great app (free version available with ads: iOs Android) which has everything you need to plan a journey anywhere in the country. Particularly good for navigating the London Underground, it provides up-to-the-minute journey options. It also provides maps and journey planning across the entire national rail system, as well as allowing searches by bus route, or giving you the quickest option postcode-to-postcode. It’s the kind of app, that, once you have it, you’ll wonder what you did without it.

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AroundMe ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

Your clients can be anywhere in the UK so you’ll want to know where everything is! AroundMe identifies your GPS position and will help you discover the nearest bank, bar, petrol station station, hospital, hotel, movie theatre, restaurant, supermarket, theatre and taxi.

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National Trust ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

Discover the beauty of Britain’s countryside from the comfort of your phone, highlighting many of the must-see places. From coastlines to countryside and everything in-between. You can search by postcode or location and browse the interactive “favourites” list with hi-res images.

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Touchnote ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

A great app that turns you photos into postcards. Let evryone back home see where you’ve been. Cost starts at £1.99 to the UK  including postage. You can even GPS tag it and use a photo of yourself as the stamp!

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Angry Birds ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

Or any of the multitude of free, casual games. For when you just need to escape for a few minutes!

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Skype: ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

When a postcard just isn’t enough, stay in touch with Skype. With free messaging, voice or video calls to other Skype users and international voice calls to non-skype users much cheaper than normal mobile costs.

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OverDrive – Library eBooks and Audiobooks ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

With all the travelling you do, actual books can be very weighty. In addition to iBooks, Kindle, etc. you can borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming video from the library using OverDrive.  A valid account with a participating library is required.

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The Photo Cookbook ( iOs: £2.49 Android: Not yet available )

Whether cooking for yourself or a client this is like a private cooking course in your own kitchen. Beautiful photography illustrates every step, clearly explained without any jargon or difficult technical terms. What you see in the photograph is what you should expect to see in front of you. Reassuring for those new to the delights of British food!

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St John Ambulance First Aid ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

This app includes the latest first aid advice and protocols for dealing with emergency situations. It is simple to follow with illustrated guides and voiced instructions. It doesn’t replace the benefits of our specifically-designed first aid course, but  it will help you to know what to do in situations when basic knowledge of first aid can make the difference.

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Relax Melodies ( iOs: £free Android: £free )

You’ve worked hard all day and now you deserve a good night’s sleep. This is a very popular sleep aid app. Drift off to any of this app’s 50 sounds. Perfect for just relaxation and de-stressing too. Just remember to wake up!

If I’ve missed out your favourite ‘must have’ app, then visit our Carers at Christies Care facebook page and share it with our other carers.

In a future article we’ll be bringing you the best mobile apps for specific conditions.