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Technology Series: Ease Mobility Issues

Thomas Day is the Director of the National Care Planning Council (NCPC). Many of you may not know that Tom suffers from an immune demylinating neuropathy — called an anti-MAG neuropathy — which makes it difficult for him to walk and affects the use of his hands. During a discussion, he and I talked briefly about his desires to be more mobile and efficient without requiring extra assistance from his family.  For example, Tom cannot drive himself around. His hands shake and slight muscle weakness in his extremities slow his reflexes.  In many cases, Tom is at the mercy of the family’s schedule to get around town.

This conversation prompted Tom to mention several helpful items that he uses each day to help him function at home and at work. Below are brief descriptions about these items as well as a few additional ideas Tom and others like him can use to maintain their independence and to help ease the burdens their families sometimes bear.



Dragon is software you can use on your computer, additional it’s also an app you can download on the Google Play or iTunes store that types out text you verbalize.  This makes typing an email or thought a breeze.  This can make online ordering of items easier as well as communication with caregivers and family members easier.

I use dragon to write long drawn out thoughts or emails, dragon understands better than some voice activated software that I have used.


Voice Activated Smart Phones

Many smart phones have made it so easy to type, order, and apply commands by having the voice activated ability. This means even those who don’t have mobility issues and are just technologically ignorant can easily learn to operate a smart phone.

I use Siri that comes with my iphone to quickly look up addresses or phone numbers while I’m driving, to dial phone numbers, check weather and what not.  The system is not perfect and I often find that it cannot understand what I am saying even though I do not have an accent.


Uber or Lyft

Two great applications you can use on your smart phone or tablet to request a ride to and from. This is a personal taxis service that is done entirely through the app including payment. A great feature of these apps is you can see how much it will cost you to get a lift before you confirm.  These services may not be available in all states depending on the laws in your area.

There are transportation services that are offered through state companies and private companies. Most bus companies have a disability carrier that caters to those with mobility issues and takes you to and from particular addresses and not stops like normal buses.  To find these services please call your state transportation agency. To find a private transportation service in your area:


Food Apps

Most larger chain restaurants and even some smaller ones who offer food delivery, offering food ordering through apps.

I use apps such as Pizza Hut and Jimmy Johns to order food without having to be on hold.  It also stores my credit card information for future use so I don’t have to type it over and over or give it to someone over the phone.  I can also pay in cash if I wish to.

Grocery stores often offer a delivery service or an ordering service were you can order then pick up the items so you don’t have to wonder through the store. Sam’s club offers this service online, contact your local store for additional services they may offer those with mobility issues.


Errand Services

There are errand service companies who can help you get certain things done you need done without having to leave the comfort of your own home. You’ll have to search for these online or grab a phone book.  Pricing varies depending on company and what you need done.


Tom has found a few of these things useful, though he doesn’t use all of them just yet, he may include many of them into his life. Technology is continually growing and is an amazing thing, don’t be scared to learn something new, it may help you more than you think.


Written by Valerie Michel Buck


Super Foods

What are super foods? These are nutrient dense foods and no cape included.  We all could use better nutrition in our lives and super foods are a great way to do it, let these super foods not only save your health but also save you from bland eating.  Here is a list of SOME super foods that you can easily find, I did not include super foods such as Gogi Berries because they usually carried at your local grocer.

1. Chia. Not just something you grow on a ceramic head anymore. Chia is packed with Omega-3s, Protein, Anti-Oxidants and Fiber. These are more digestible than Flax Seed, so you can sprinkle it on your dinner, on salads, make a smoothing, pudding or even put it in your water.  The Chia Co. has these in packets called Chia Shots, making it easy to carry around.  These can be purchased in most health food stores. [i]

2. Eggs . Each egg has 6 grams of protein but just 72 calories. Eggs can be purchased almost everywhere and cook quickly. [ii]

3. Prunes. Packed with polyphenols, which have been shown to boost bone density by stimulating your bone-building cells.  They also provide that sweetness for those of you with a sweet tooth. [ii]

4. Walnuts. Full of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (an Omega-3 fat), which has been shown to improve memory and coordination. Plus they are a handy snack to eat while watching tv, also great to add to salads. [ii]

5. Brussels Sprouts. These are full of Glucosinolates, which combat cancer and detoxify our body.  Saute these up with some other veggies as a side dish. [ii]

6. Apples. An apple a day keep the doctor away, as the old adage states.  Why? They contain Antioxidants. [ii]

7. Bok Choy. Who figured this leafy green is a Calcium-rich veggie?  It may even ward off PMS symptoms. [ii]

8. Salmon. 3 oz of Salmon will get you those Omega-3s you need for the day. [ii]

9. Avocados. Healthy fats in avocados help bodies absorb other nutrients. [ii]

10. Spinach. Great source of Vitamin K, which helps blood clot and build strong bones. [ii]

11. Cauliflower. These full of Glucosinolates, which combat cancer and detoxify our body. [ii]

12. Scallops. Besides being my favorite they are full of Protein without being full of calories, 3oz has about 14 grams of Protein and approximately 75 calories. [ii]

13. Collard Greens. Full of essential vitamins like Vitamin A, Zeaxanthin and Lutien. [ii]

14. Olives and Olive Oil. Both have the same heart-healthy Monounsaturated Fat and are low on calories. [ii]

15. Brown Rice. Full of Magnesium.  Go for the long grain version, which is the best for you. [ii]

16. Oysters. Great source for Iron, Zinc and Selenium which is all great for your immune system. [ii]

17. Edamame. Super packed with Protein, Fiber, Folate and Phytosterols, which helps lower cholesterol. [ii]

18. Strawberries. Loaded with Ellagitannins and Phytochemicals, halt the growth of cervical and colon cancers. [ii]

19. Lentils. Great source of Protein, Folate and Vitamin B. [ii]

20.Kiwi. High in Vitamin C, not to mention they are yummy. [ii]

21. Black Bean. Loaded with Protein, Fiber and Antioxidants. [ii]

22. Sunflower Seeds. Full of Vitamin E, which keeps your heart healthy and fights infection. [ii]

23. Asparagus. Full of Vitamin K and Folate. Asparagus also helps banish bloating. [ii]

24. Bananas. Loaded not only with Potassium but with Fiber as well. [ii]

25. Baked Potatoes. Packed with even more Potassium than a banana. [ii]

26. Sweet Potato. Get more than you daily dose of Vitamin A, which boosts your vision and your immune system. [ii]

27. Flaxseed. Filled with Omega-3s, it also has more lignans than any other food.  You can sprinkle this on anything including yogurt, cold cereal and oatmeal. [ii]

28. Tea. Both green and black tea prevent hardening of the arteries. [ii]

29. Peanut Butter. Full of Amino Acids. Great on and in almost everything. Add it to your smoothy, pudding, on celery and more. [ii]

30. Grapes. A great source of Resveratrol. [ii]

31. Soy Milk. Vegetable Protein and has as much Calcium and Vitamin D as traditional cow’s milk. [ii]

32. Blueberries. Improve memory with these yummy super foods. [ii]

33. Orange. We all know these are full of Vitamin C, what about Calcium and Folate? Bet you didn’t know that! [ii]

34. Barley. Top source of Beta-Glucan, a fiber that lowers cholesterol and helps control blood sugar. [ii]

35. Shiitake Mushrooms. Full of Vitamin D and if you’re trying to eat less meat or want to try something new, try grilling Shiitake Mushrooms, they taste very similar to steak. [ii]


 Some Super Food Recipes


Chia Berry Delight


This website has a few super food smoothies that incorporate a few of the super foods above.


Scallop & Brussells Sprout Recipe


I failed to mention this has bacon in it, though not a super food, it’s super yummy.


Chia Pudding


So good and so good for you.  This is a Vegan recipe and easy to make.


Wild Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom



Apple Glazed Vegetable & Edamame Stir Fry



Orange and Edamame Salad


This one has 4 super foods in it!


Seared Salmon Fillets with Edamame Succotash

Edamame and Toasted Coconut Stuffed Avocado



Strawberry Edamame Salad Recipe



Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes



Egg Baked Sweet Potato


Stuffed Collard Greens



Collard Green Carbonara



Sautéed Bacon Mushrooms, and Lentils

Sautéed Bacon Mushrooms


Nava’s Hearty Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie


These all look delicious and now I’m super hungry!

Written by Valerie Michel Buck




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