Even a mild traumatic brain injury can have major effects on a person’s abilities to remember, concentrate, process information, and complete tasks. However, helpful tools can assist a person in compensating for these challenges. This is especially important because traumatic brain injury issues are life-long ones.
Both Simple Tools and Technology Can Assist a Traumatic Brain Injury Victim
Assistive aids that help a person struggling with mental limitations include both simple, homemade ones and technological aids. The following less expensive or homemade aids can help a person cope with day-to-day activities:
- Large print calendars can be useful for a person to keep track of daily routines, appointments, special occasions, and future events.
- Specialized clocks and calendars. If a person has difficulty reading a clock with hands, a digitalized one could be a simple solution. There are also talking clocks and calendars that can tell a person the time and date with the push of a button.
- Talking watches can be helpful for a person who needs to be reminded of the date and time frequently during the day.
- Checklists can be placed at strategic places at home to remind a person of things he normally forgets. For example, a checklist could be placed on the back door reminding a person to take his keys and cellphone.
- Labels can help remind a person of the contents in drawers and closets. If the person has difficulty reading, pictures can be used instead.
There are also technological aids that can help a person. A wide range of tools are available to help a person remember appointments, to take medications, and more:
- Voice recorders. Small recorders for key chains or message recorders can be pre-recorded with reminders, such as appointments, telephone numbers, grocery lists, or medication lists. More elaborate ones like Voice Cue or Watch Reminder can be programmed to make specific announcements at certain times of the day, such as to remind the person to call home or go to work.
- Handheld microcomputers and smartphones enable a person to input and retrieve notes, telephone numbers, dates, daily reminders, and to-do lists.
- Visual Assistant is a microcomputer that provides task-prompting support through the use of digital pictures and custom recorded audio messages, often with step-by-step instructions.
- Key seeker beeps and flashes to help a person locate lost keys.
- Vibrating alarm clock can be placed inside a pillow and can assist a person with sleep issues, like insomnia, which is a common problem for traumatic brain injury victims.
- Pill alert has an alarm feature which can be programmed to remind a person to take medication.
- Boil alert and stove power controller can help people who want to cook but become distracted. The boil alert rattles when placed under a tea kettle once the water is boiling. The stove power controller allows a person to set an alarm to automatically shut off the oven at a specified time.
- Talking microwave provides voice prompts, such as the cooking time, power level, and reminders to attend to the food.
Many of these aids can help a person be more independent and responsible for day-to-day activities that he once took for granted. This can also help the person with some of the emotional challenges he faces in coming to grips with his disability. While some of these tools could be expensive, an injured victim may be entitled to receive compensation that could pay for them from the person or business that caused him to suffer a traumatic brain injury.
Have you suffered a traumatic brain injury? Do you use any assistive tools to help you remember things? Share about your experiences with them in the comments. And share this information with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter.