Recent technological developments offer new hope for brain injury survivors, as reported extensively in an article posted by Dr. Bryan Weinstein from Life Skills Village.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients face a range of mental and physical challenges. Dr. Weinstein has reviewed several apps that have proven to be helpful in dealing with social, emotional, functional and cognitive challenges. He offers valuable information about the specific apps that he believes could be helpful as an aid for short-term memory loss, communication issues, socialization problems, as well as for anxiety, behavioral and organizational problems – all common challenges for those with TBI.
Recommended Apps: Using Technology to Meet the Challenges of a Brain Injury
Dr. Weinstein put together a list of the apps that he has reviewed and recommends as tools to assist brain injury survivors. These apps serve various functions to support those who are dealing with the daily problems faced by those with brain injuries.
This app is free, and can be upgraded to a more complete version for $1.99. It is available in iOS and for Android. For Android the app is called “Lists Alarmed!”
This app may be very helpful for those suffering from short-term memory loss. Lists of tasks can be created with multiple reminders, and unique tones for each task. The app offers the ability to customize your list and to send duplicate emails and automatically create a “to do” list. It also has a timer to assist the patient.
This app is free, and available for iOS and Android phones.
Mood stabilization can be critical for brain injury survivors. This app provides you with a “time out” to relax and to help you to control anger and anxiety. The app allows you to select your stress level, and then gives you audio instructions for your breathing to bring you back to a better state. The breathing exercises can be of great assistance to brain injury survivors who are dealing with mood swings, emotional ups and downs and anxiety.
Clear Record Premium
This app costs $0.99 to $1.99 for iOS, based on the upgrade. The free Android version is “AndRecord.”
You can record conversations anywhere and play the conversation back when you need to, and at the speed and volume you need. The advantage of the premium version of this app is that it is capable of filtering out the ambient sounds so that the voices in the conversation can be heard more clearly.
This app costs $1.99 and is available in iOS and Android versions.
Those who have a brain injury and are unable to verbalize are able to quickly answer a question with a “yes” or “no” answer with a simple app with two large, color-coded buttons. This may be extremely helpful for those who are struggling with the spoken word or are unable to verbalize, both during recovery or as a long-term aid.
Cozi Family Organizer
This app is free, and an advanced version can be purchased. Available for both iOS and Android phones.
Keeping the family organized can be difficult for anyone, but many brain injury survivors face greater challenges. The entire family can be synchronized with a calendar that is shared, shopping lists and “to do” lists. The sharing function keeps the entire family in the loop. The app can be valuable for those who have suffered a brain injury, reducing the frustration of organizing the entire family.
The app is free for both iOS and Android phones.
This tool makes it is easy to create text messages, emails and update your social media accounts. The app recognizes your voice and does your postings and communications for you, a perfect mass media communication app for those who are dealing with physical limitations.
In Case of Emergency
The app costs $1.99 and is available for either iOS or Android phones.
Medical information can be stored and accessed in one location for any medical personnel who are called when there is an urgent or critical situation. The app also allows you to find the hospital nearest your current location.
Social Skills Sampler
The app is free for iOS users and the Android counterpart is Habit Browser, also free.
The app allows you to sample 62 common topics in functional social skills to assist those who have suffered brain injuries, and assists in modeling appropriate responses. The topics covered include meeting and greeting people, taking responsibility, polite behavior, joining others in groups, apologies, excusing yourself, following directions and models for how to deal with criticism. Each item includes a brief video of a person responding with the correct behavior for that social situation, and users can access the data to assist in patterning their own responses to various social situations.
Keep It Green Habit Maker
Free for iOS devices.
The app helps brain injury patients and survivors to develop positive habits. The app provides assistance in keeping organized, progress tracking and staying motivated. The app gives the person the ability to work on the good habits he or she wants to develop, and to get reminders. The color-coding feature allows users to prioritize the habits they are working on developing, or can automatically prioritize these habits with a recognizable color code for ease of use. Dr. Weinstein recommends getting help from a therapist or caregiver in setting priority levels.
Free for iOS and Android devices and on the Web.
This app was built to assist with improving memory, to increase organizational skills and to serve as an aid in creativity. The app works through syncing your ideas on multiple digital devices. You can take notes, photos, create various “to do” lists, and even record voice reminders, which can be of great assistance for those dealing with the challenges of short-term memory loss. Improve memory, organizational skills and even creativity by syncing ideas on multiple devices.
Spaced Retrieval TherAppy
The app costs $3.99 and is available for iOS devices.
The app allows people with brain injuries to improve recall of names, facts and other important information of the user’s choice, as well as the routines of several people. Dr. Weinstein notes that the app is to be used in conjunction with therapy, and is used to rehearse memory skills by getting the person to recall a specific answer over increasing periods of time (between 1 and 8 minutes). There is no direct Android counterpart for Spaced Retrieval TherAppy, but an alternative (not as complete in the number of training features) that can be downloaded for free is Complete Memory Training Games.
Brainscape – Smart Flashcards
$9.99 for an upgrade to more features, for both iOS and Android devices.
The app provides digital flashcards for a range of subjects, from vocabulary to geography to driver’s ed and beyond. The digital flashcards are color-coded to aid in recall, and the app has the capacity for users to indicate any prior knowledge of the answers on the cards. The flashcards that were not answered correctly are repeated more often, allowing a person with a brain injury to master various important subjects more easily.
- Life Skills Village: Strategies for Independence, Social Rehab, Supported Living & Living Skills Development: