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STAFF PICKS: Andi Fry on Caregiving Tools

November being National Family Caregiver Month, our next two Staff Picks posts will focus on caregiving-related apps. Today’s “staff picker” is Andi Fry, BridgingApps’ Montgomery County Outreach Coordinator and mother of a University of Houston student with severe cerebral palsy.

  1. My SOS Family Emergency Alerts gives my family a wonderful sense of security and freedom from anxiety—it’s great for independently living people, like my daughter, who have disabilities. After creating a contact list within the app, users can send emergency alerts by either pressing an “alert” button, giving voice commands to a personal digital assistant, or setting the app for automatic alerts if the user is separated from a contact device.
  2. Google Keep–Notes and Lists is essential for keeping my life in order, by storing all my “to do” lists in one place for quick reference. Google Keep uses a compartmentalized “boxes” format where items can be easily added and deleted. Plus, I love being able to color-code the boxes according to category (house, family, caregiving, medications, vacations, etc.). You can also set alarms and reminders.
  3. Walmart–Shopping & Grocery is my favorite shopping app, great for busy parents and caregivers who need extra time-saving strategies for managing a household. The app does a perfect job of creating shopping lists and placing pickup or delivery orders, solving the problem of dealing with stores while also parenting a kid who struggles with mobility issues, a compromised immune system, ADHD, or another disability. The app is easy to use; plus, grocery pickup service is free.
  4. MyChart is almost too good to be true with its mobile-device access to medical records (including price estimates), and the easy route it opens for patient-provider communications. The MyChart app is an extension of the MyChart website which serves over 150 million people.
  5. Tile is an app that connects to small Bluetooth tracker devices (“Tiles”) which can be attached to any item you might misplace (wallet, keys, coat, purse, laptop, white cane …). The app can show a “last known location” on a map or signal the tracker device to beep loudly. If it’s your phone or other app-holding device that gets misplaced, you can also double-click the button on any registered Tile to make the phone ring.

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