The Technology Cheat Sheet for Caring Without Contact During COVID-19 

We’re all adapting to the new realities of life right now and for caregivers and the supporters in their social circles.  

That means redefining how people can help from afar and the “rules” that make everyone involved feel comfortable and safe.


Whether you’re offering or asking for help, no one wants to introduce unnecessary risk or additional hassle into their lives. And what may have felt okay a month ago, might feel very different today.

Download this Cheat Sheet

Video Check in Calls

Even though you can’t get together in person, scheduling check in calls can help everyone feel a little less isolated. Here are three of the easiest tools to use for video calls:

Facetime

- The easiest choice if you’re using Apple products like an iphone, iPad, or Mac

- Include up to 32 people to a video call

- Free to use

- Does not require a new account, just go into a contact record and choose FaceTime from the menu to start a video call.

Zoom

- Very popular video conferencing platform for classes, business meetings, and virtual check-ins 

- Include up to 100 people in a meeting (6 or less is best!)

- Free for meetings of 40 minutes or less

- Requires a free account

Google Meet

- Simple to use on the web or with the Meet app on Apple or Android devices

- Up to 100 people can be in a video hangout

- Free to use

- Requires a Google account to start a call but not to join one

Medicine Delivery

CVS is now offering free delivery of medicine and everyday essentials through their app. 

When your refill is ready for pickup, you can choose to have it delivered with free 1-2 day shipping or you can pay a little more to get same day delivery. Even better, once you’ve made that choice you can add store essentials like vitamins, allergy medicine and more to your order. Read more here.

WalgreensCostco, and many other pharmacy brands also offer different forms of delivery so look at the website for the place you normally order to see if you can avoid going in person.

Grocery Delivery

With COVID-19, figuring out how to get your groceries is more of a challenge than ever. 

In some cases, it may feel safer to have someone you know go to the market and grab a few key items. This is because you can trust this friend to be extra careful with safety precautions (wearing gloves, wiping everything down, etc.). 

In other cases, grocery delivery is the way to go. 

Whether you’re ordering for yourself or sending items to someone else, make sure you place the order ahead of time - and not wait until you urgently need it. 

Searching for an open delivery window may take time and the next available delivery time may be a few days in the future.

If you’re asking someone else to order for you, it is essential to give them a specific list of the items you need and delivery instructions. 

Otherwise, your best intentions of helping can turn into a hassle for the recipient.

Instacart

- The premier delivery service (where available) for groceries 

- Delivers for several different retailers based on your location. Most other delivery services only cover one specific retailer. 

- Account required 

- Before you build an order, click on “see delivery times” to see what is available for each store

- 5% service fee or you can join Express to reduce fees.

- Gift cards available

- Tip is not included

Peapod

- Very popular grocery delivery service

- Owned by Ahold which runs Stop and Shop, Food Lion, and Giant-Landover 

- Lets you build complete orders from any of their stores. 

- Easier to filter for health restrictions but serves less brands than Instacart. 

- To see what time slots are available before you start shopping, click into the menu and select “Reserve a time”

- Minimum order size of $60

- $9.95 service fee up to $100 order, $6.95 over $100

- Gift cards available

- Tip is not included

Costco

- Great for getting bulk items delivered

- Order from the website or app 

- Costco membership required

- Search for delivery windows

- Edit your order until day of delivery

- 10% delivery fee on certain orders, free on others

- Gift cards available

- Tip is not included

Albertsons 

- Lets you build complete orders from most branded locations

- Shop by aisle for easy organization

- Includes coupons within the shopping experience

- To see what time slots are available before you start shopping, click “Find Available Delivery/Pickup times”

- Order from the website or mobile app 

- Login required

- $9.95 delivery fee for orders up to $150, less for bigger orders

- Gift cards available

- Tip is not included

For more options, here is a great roundup from Good Housekeeping or you can search locally at your normal shopping locations.

Meal Delivery

Sometimes you can’t or just don’t want to cook a meal at home. If everyone is comfortable having meals delivered, there are three great ways to find what is available in your area. 

Just remember to search where the delivery is going, not where it’s coming from!

Local restaurants

Most of the restaurants in your area are struggling right now. 

The ones that have remained open probably offer touchless ordering and delivery so you can send a meal, pay for it, and request that it be left on a doorstep. 

And when you order delivery, you’re also helping a local small business!

Grubhub

- If you’re not sure where to order from, you can search the directory by address to find restaurants within the delivery zone of the recipient

- There is no additional fee, however the restaurant fee is included in the price you pay

- Tip is not included

- No account needed

Ubereats

- Ubereats partners with local restaurants to use Uber drivers to deliver food to recipients 

- You can search for options by entering the recipient’s address

- Currently, they do not add a delivery fee to orders

- Tip is not included

- No account needed

Sending Money

If you want to send money, it’s never been easier to show your support in this way. Here are the three most popular apps for doing so:

Venmo 

- Easiest to use for transfers of money between two people. 

- Account needed to send and receive money

- No fees when transferring from a bank account

- Simple set up

- Mobile app and website

- Tip: Edit your settings so that your exchanges are private

Note: Venmo is now owned by Paypal.

Paypal

- Good for money transfers between two people 

- Can also be used for purchases online and at some retailers

- Account needed to send and receive money

- No fees when transferring from a bank account

- Mobile app and website

Cash App

- Built to support transferring money between people and other banking

- Account needed to send and receive money

- No fees when transferring from a bank account

- Mobile device only experience

Amazon Wishlists

Even if people can’t help in person, it’s easy to use Amazon wish lists to get necessary food and supplies. Creating a list takes just a couple of minutes and is a great way to let people who want to help choose what they want to buy and send.

Bonus, if you’re using ianacare, supporters can get to the wish list right from within the app!

If you’re buying supplies for someone else, just check to make sure the recipient is comfortable with getting a delivery before you send an item!

Other Resources

While grocery delivery, medical supplies, and personal check-ins are important right now, we found a few other resources that may make these times a little easier.

Hair cutting: Many of us are adding “barber” to our new list of job titles. Ellen recently had a celebrity hairdresser on to offer some tips. Check it out!

Meditation: Need a little decompression time? Headspace (and others) is offering a few meditations for free. Relax and take a listen. We also really love Aura Health for sleep. https://www.aurahealth.io/

Making a mask: If you are going out, the CDC recommends wearing a face mask to protect others from any possible infection. Thankfully, they have also provided instructions for making your own at home. 

Jo-Ann Fabrics also has a good tutorial on their YouTube page. Watch it here.

Alcohol delivery:  While liquor stores have been deemed “essential” businesses for the most part and remain open, most are not really set up for social distancing. 

The good news is that many local liquor stores already offer delivery with a minimum order, so it’s worth calling someone you already know and trust there to see what your options are. 

If not, try out an online delivery service like wine.com or drizly if they are available in the area you want to deliver to.