Learning your limitations is a big part of being chronically ill. There isn’t always a good solution to limited mobility but there are some new resources online that I’ve heard of or used and I thought I’d pass these along. If you’ve used these, please let me know what you think!
Mental Health Services Online:
I haven’t personally used BetterHelp.com but I’ve seen a lot of reviews online. It’s an online counseling service where you take a quiz and they match you with a counselor that you can text, call or video chat with. People who struggle with illness and limited mobility have higher rates of depression and anxiety. Being able to get dressed, leave the house and deal with a regular therapy appointment isn’t always an option. They offer a weekly rates and you can chat with your counselor 24/7. Of course, if you’re in crisis, do not use Betterhelp.com. Please contact local support programs listed here.
Meal Delivery Services
I’m sure you’ve seen the litany of meal delivery services. There are some that deliver ingredients so you can make the meal and there are some that deliver meals that you just reheat and eat. There are options for almost every diet (vegan, paleo, gluten free, etc) and they can greatly reduce your prep time and shop time. The downfall to most of these plans is the cost. If you are chronically ill there is a real chance that you are on an extremely limited income due to medical costs, time off work, living on disability etc. If you are disabled and low income make sure to check out your local Meals on Wheels for fresh meal delivery. Which brings me to the next item on our list…
Stores & Businesses That Shop For You
I live in Walmart country (the heart of America) so we have a Walmart every few blocks it seems. I use Walmart Grocery pickup almost exclusively. As someone who can have limited mobility and two energetic boys, it’s a lifesaver. The few times something has been incorrect, they are quick to credit me and offer me a coupon code for next time. If you don’t have a Walmart in your area, I know a lot of other grocery store chains have started rolling out similar programs. If you live in a big city (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles) Postmates is a fantastic option. It does cost money, but they will go in the store and shop for you and deliver it to your house. I would love to have Postmates here. Maybe some day.
Online Snail Mail
Uh oh. It’s someone’s birthday, anniversary, wedding or whatever. You would like to send something but getting out and about is just NOT going to happen anytime soon. That’s where Postable or Greetabl comes in to play. I’ve been personally using Postable for 3-4 years now and I love it. Its $2-$5 per card with postage and they write the message and mail it for you. You can save all your favorite addresses and check out with a card message in a minute or two. It’s a really awesome resource for anyone, but especially those who are chronically ill.
Household Chores and Tasks
Have you heard of TaskRabbit.com? They offer “Taskers”, people who they can match with what you need done. They claim that their services are fairly priced and all “taskers” are vetted. I have never used this service so I can’t vouch for the quality. I would recommend researching your local TaskRabbit before using. There are other websites that match you in a similar way. MrHandyman.com, Angie’s List, and Care.com even have maids and light housework available on their website. Care.com also offers babysitting and nanny services.
Disability Ride Share Services
Ride sharing apps and companies are a fantastic way to safely get to doctor’s appointments when you are in a flare. The biggest concern is if they are wheelchair or handicap accessible. Uber offers UberWAV, which stands for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle. They also offer UberAssist, which cannot accommodate wheelchairs, but can provide rides to persons with disabilities and senior citizens who use folding scooters, wheelchairs or walkers.
Lyft offers “Access Mode” which when enabled, will show you drivers who are handicap accessible. Please note though, there may not be Uber or Lyft drivers in your area with wheelchair lifts and ramps. Lyft and Uber are both working to expand their services for disabled patrons.
Have you used any of these companies? Did I overlook a service that would be helpful to the chronically ill? Leave a comment or send us an email and I’ll be happy to add it. I’ll be updating this list as I see new companies and services rolling out to the chronic illness community.