I recently had someone come in for solutions for their mother who had always used her iPhone well in the past, but recently suffered from cognitive loss and was having troubling making phone calls.  I set up her phone as simply as possible by utilizing pictures of loved ones she can tap to call.  By doing this, we eliminated the cost and confusion of a new and unfamiliar device.
I did this using the Shortcuts app which comes standard on iPhones.  The app can look a little intimidating for first time users since it is capable of some in-depth programming.  So, come along with me for a simple and quick way to make a big difference in someone’s life.
The first step is to locate the app.  If you’re having trouble finding it, drag your finger down from the middle of your home screen to search for it. Once you open the app, click the plus icon in the upper right hand corner.
You can then name your shortcut.  Here, I’m adding a shortcut to call my fellow Assistive Technology Consultant, Courtney.  Then, we’ll tap Add Action to make our shortcut function.
Type the word “call” into the the search function and click the Call option that appears under Contacts.
Arrows showing where to select the calling function in Apple Shortcuts
Now, tap the field that says Contact.  Then, choose the person from your contacts.
After you do that, it will bring you back to the All Shortcuts page because you’ve successfully made the shortcut.  Here, you’ll tap the three horizontal dots in the upper right hand corner of the shortcut you made.
Now you can add this to your home screen.  This is also where we will be choosing the picture to display.
It will have an icon under the Home Screen Name and Icon heading.  Tap this, and either take a picture or choose one from your phone’s photos.
Looks great! Now, it’s time to add it to the home screen.  Tap Add in the upper right hand corner.
One last crucial step is to tap on your new shortcut because the first time you do, it will require you to allow the shortcut to place a call. Once you have done that, it will automatically place the call the next time you tap the shortcut.
We have plenty more ideas where this came from and we love to learn about each individual’s life so that we can find solutions for them.
Don’t hesitate to call us at 701-365-4728.
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