Rolling Without Limits

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Technology for Connection While You Shelter-in-Place
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Technology for Connection While You Shelter-in-Place

With much of the country under shelter-in-place mandates, it’s easy to feel isolated while social distancing. This is especially true for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility. Fortunately, technology can help you feel connected while you shelter-in-place.

The coronavirus shelter-in-place orders present unique challenges for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility. If you rely on the help of a caregiver, the mandates can be especially trying. Adhering to social distancing means you no longer have access to the assistance you’ve previously used to navigate daily life.

Fortunately, smart technology can help pick up the slack and make you feel more secure. Furthermore, healthcare-related IT can keep you connected with your providers.

In the face of increased social distancing, you can feel empowered and in control thanks to a variety of technology for connection.

Utilizing Smart Technology

At both the state and local levels, government officials have made the decision to enact shelter-in-place mandates. Experts agree that staying at home is the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Unfortunately, these mandates have left many individuals with disabilities and people with limited mobility at home without their caregivers. Essential errands such as buying groceries and picking up medication refills are difficult if you can’t leave your house and you rely on a caregiver to assist you. 

To make these essential errands more doable, Daily Caring suggests using grocery and pharmacy delivery services. Many major grocery chains and pharmacies offer delivery services. If possible, consider ordering frequently used items such as toilet paper and paper towels in bulk.  

Because of the increase in packages and deliveries coming to your door, you might want to invest in the Ring video doorbell from Verizon Mobile. This smart home device is easy to install and can help you feel more in control.

Not only does the Ring video doorbell allow you to identify visitors, but you can also use the speaker and microphone to talk to the person on your porch regardless of where you are in your home.

In addition to grocery and pharmacy deliveries, this smart technology is also helpful for ordering food for delivery from restaurants. In major cities like San Francisco, shelter-in-place orders don’t apply to workers for services like Postmates, DoorDash, and UberEats. A Ring doorbell makes it easier for you to see when your food arrives and communicate with your delivery person.

Taking Advantage of Telemedicine

Similar to utilizing smart technology, wheelchair users and those with limited mobility should take advantage of telemedicine as a means of safely managing medical appointments.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, health IT like telehealth and mobile apps are helping to keep patients connected with healthcare providers. Thanks to healthcare information technology, patients have access to their own health information without needing to visit their doctor’s office in-person.

Healthcare IT News contributor Stuart N. Brotman notes that remote access to patient data and video consultation is especially vital during pandemic situations such as the coronavirus outbreak. You should communicate with your doctor to see if you can have any appointments via telemedicine.

For conditions that require regular monitoring, ask if there are online or remote options to do so.

Staying Connected Through Social Media

Just like technology can help you stay connected with your healthcare providers, it can also help you stay connected with your friends and family. While adhering to shelter-in-place mandates, many people are using the telephone, video calls and apps to fulfill social needs.

Popular applications include FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, What’s App, Skype, Google Hangouts and Google Duo, according to Daily Caring.

In addition to staying connected, you can also use social media to grow your business and increase your income. Many people with disabilities work remotely on YouTube and make money.

Making content on a platform like YouTube is just one of the many remote job opportunities for workers with disabilities. Other top jobs for people with reduced mobility include medical administration, graphic designer and writer.

While you’re sheltering in place, you can use platforms like LinkedIn to find remote work opportunities and connect with potential employers. Consider grabbing a virtual coffee with someone in order to network.

If you have a business you’re trying to maintain, social media is a great way to stay in contact with your target customers. Later contributor Taylor Loren offers tips for navigating social media during COVID-19 and encourages business owners to keep showing up for their audience.

Making the Most of Shelter-in-Place

It’s no secret that social distancing can feel very isolating. If you’re used to having regular contact with a caregiver, shelter-in-place mandates could leave you feeling very disconnected from the world around you.

But, it doesn’t need to be that way.

From devices like Ring doorbells and telemedicine consultations with your healthcare provider to using social media to communicate with loved ones or grow your business, there are myriad ways you can use technology for connection while you shelter-in-place.

Image credit: Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

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