An article written by Belinda Tasker, titled “Tech Toys Help Brain Injury Patients,” which was published in The Sydney Morning Herald, is the basis for this post.
When I ask brain injury survivors what their main challenges are, many survivors indicate they have poor memory or no memory of names, faces, proper use of medication, past events, significant dates (such as birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays), appointments, chores, etc. Some of us may “forget” to do things we didn’t want to do, but I’m not 100% certain whether brain injury is responsible, a convenient excuse, or a temporary crutch.
As indicated in the article, survivors may be able to hide their memory deficits — with reminders from family, friends, diaries, and co-workers — but a recent study found that tablet computers, smartphones, and other handheld digital devices can actually improve the memories of those who use the tools. “Researchers from the Royal Rehabilitation Centre in Sydney spent eight weeks training a group of 21 brain injury patients to use palmtop computers” so the survivors would no longer have to “rely on nagging or diaries.”
“Another group of 21 patients used traditional paper diaries to act as their memory banks. By the end of two months, researchers found improved memory function among those using the palmtop computers.”
Belinda Carr, who led the research, stated the “traditional training for people with memory problems” has been using a written journal. Prior research concluded that journals are effective, but most people she sees who have a brain injury are “young guys who don’t like carrying diaries.”
Carr, who presented her findings at the Occupational Therapy Australia Conference, hopes to convince insurance companies to fund the devices for brain injury patients.
What tool or tools do you use to support your memory deficits? What advice could you share with others who also have memory deficits? How would the “ideal” memory tool improve your life?
Thanks to Chelle who forwarded the original article to me, Belinda Tasker who wrote the original article, The Sydney Morning Herald which published the original article, Belinda Carr who led the research upon which the original article and this post are based, and all the other people who participated in the study.