Technology for memory loss problems : ‭I have... - Headway

Headway

8,117 members10,552 posts

Technology for memory loss problems

BlondieH
BlondieH

‭I have recently sustained a head injury and severe concussio after being kicked in the head by a horse. 4 months later, I still suffer from short term memory problems which is starting to affect my work life (I’m a vet).

Is anyone aware of any technology/apps which could help??

Writing things down doesn’t work....I forget things in the time it takes me to find a pen and then I forget where my list is 🙈🙄

17 Replies
oldestnewest

My son used the Lumosity app. It was really helpful in the early days

BlondieH
BlondieH in reply to Hetty56

Thankyou :)

I use notes and reminders on my iphone. I also have voice to txt turned on. You can also use Siri or Google to take your notes, but I find they always start a new note.

I also try and remember the day backwards at the end of the day, that normally throws up things I have forgotten.

Be strong, vet is a important job. Now more writing but be strong.

I use ‘Reminders’ on my I-phone with a date, time & brief reminder of what I need to do. Once done, I simply delete it and no doubt enter a new one! Works well though, good luck x

One thing you will find is that it appears that your memory is getting worse. It isn't , it is that as other parts of your body recover and you start to do more, the veils on things like your memory get removed.

I share your frustration in the early days I tried to measure the width of a door. By the time I had turned round to write the measurements down, it had gone. Over and over I had to do it until I remembered.

Simple things like voice recorders (old fashioned Dictaphone or nowadays on a smart phone) help immensely and most importantly help mask the problems as people accept technology more these days. Surprisingly, I found taking pictures again on a smartphone helps as this not only provides a record but helps the brain recall things.

One thing that used to scare me at the end of the day was to remember what I had done that day. I used to sit there in the evening and replay the events of the day and piece the gaps together.

I did some work many years ago (pre injury) with the Snell Foundation to test protective head gear. One of their areas of concern was the injury you obtained. The built a test rig to measure the force of a horses kick. It went off the scale, they re-calibrated over and over again. Having dealt with motor sport injuries for decades they were unprepared for the force exerted.

I bet as part of the medical training of your veterinary training they glossed over concussion and its effects but now having experienced it, the after effects are far different and extreme than you were prepared for.

All the best for your journey

There tips have nothing to do with technology but may help you.

Dr Diane wrote books about her own brain injury. This one is good.

drdiane.com/shop/coping-con...

There is also a diet book to accompany her teachings by Tina M Sullivan, Nourish Your Noggin. Great book, nice recipes. I used some of them to help my mum.

Spices like turmeric and ginger help. Turmeric is more powerful when you combine it with black pepper. You can try putting it in smoothies or making a golden latte. Cinnamon is also nice for sweetening food instead of sugar.

Foods like avocado are good for reducing inflammation.

A Mediterranean diet could help you.

Hope you feel better soon.

I use my iPad constantly for notes. if you want to save longer term notes you can use word but use the microphone to talk your notes onto it, it saves time. You can also use the search facility on iPad if you can't remember where you have stored your notes. Good luck.

I have also utilised smart tech but the good old fashioned timers and alarms also act as reminders! ‘Old me’ was a staff nurse when I heavily relied on lists but since medical retirement I find my White Board on the fridge invaluable! Also allow enough time to think as I always find being pushed sends me into a panic! Keep smiling Kate 😀

I know it's not technology but I hope I've done this right and a link appears to the headway leaflet.

Headway.org uk/E-booklet / 0.67MB

Hi; digital voice recorders were the way to go for me in the early days. If you are stressed memory plays havoc - of key importance is to remain calm, methodical and take your time in processing info.

headwayuk
headwayukAdministrator

Hi BlondieH,

Some great replies from our members as always! I just wanted to let you know about a similar question on Facebook that we asked back in 2015. You can read it here:

facebook.com/headwayuk/post...

A lot of people mentioned that they use notes apps, reminders on their phone calendar and other things that are still available so it may be worth a look.

You can also download our memory resources at headway.org.uk/about-brain-...

Best wishes,

Andrew

Thanks Andrew I was trying to post a link to the memory leaflet.

headwayuk
headwayukAdministrator in reply to randomphantoms

Yes thanks randomphontoms, copy and paste tends to get rid of the link when pasting into HealthUnlocked, it's a little frustrating!

Best wishes,

Andrew

Hi there...I truly empathise. I have anterograde amnesia after my TBI and 12 years on I am still reliant on memory aids.

I was lucky enough to get a place on a memory clinic programme and they helped provide me with strategies and gizmos to help,

I quickly learned that

* not all aids or strategies work for all people

* an app is only as good as the user. You are still required to enter information in order for it to generate a reminder and when it generates a reminder you must act on it.

* When we have memory issues we tend to try to over compensate and end up over complicating things... which leads to epic fails.

*It is important to find something that suits the way you live your life.

* I had to learn to make these things part of my life because I forget that I won;t remember.

IT takes practice to get things running smoothly...be kind to yourself

I did have an alert system via an app/online service - I forget the name of it now but it was relentless and drove me crazy and I ditched it. For someone a busy life but without a BI it would probably be a real boon.

I have a few simple processes that have made life easier. They all took a while to become habitual but they generally work for me as long as I follow the process

I use my mobile for most things... all appointments. for example, if I am standing at a hospital desk I put in the appointment right there, confirming the date and time as I do it and add in countdown reminders for one week before, 2 days, day before and hours before. I also use this to add reminders to pay bills, cook dinner etc I always defer an alarm/alert until the task is done otherwise I will look at the alert and then forget I saw it... so it is a case of alert and respond immediately by doing that task or hit snooze/ reset the alert.

I have a preprinted note pad and several pens by the phone. These pads have basic information like the date who called and why, what action is going to follow and who will take that action...I use these when I make calls too. If someone calls my mobile and I am home I move to the pads before I start the conversation. If I am out, unless it is a friend or family member (who all know the situation) I either reject the call or ask them to call back.

I have a white board in the hallway. All messages, notes about things that come in randomly or occur to me go on there. Nothing gets wiped until it is done or transferred to the phone/calendar.

I have one calendar which I keep next to the computer and at the end of every day I make sure I copy over anything from/to my phone and the calendar. If it is not in my phone or calendar it does not exist.

The memory aids clinic gave me a gizmo that has an alarm that can be set to half hourly intervals. You can get pill reminders that do that too and these can help alert me to a missed task. They are not specific so when these go off I know to check my phone. Strapped to this is a small voice recorder. It records short messages and I use this to make verbal notes if I am out (I find it easier than trying to tap notes into my phone) and I also use it to remind me of things...for example if I have to go somewhere alone I will record a message to myself about where I am going and why and when I find myself sitting on a bus unsure of why , I know to listen to the messages.

I realise none of the above is an app and that is what you asked for but I spent ages typing this so will leave it here now in case any of it is helpful to you or anyone who comes along later.

i have the same problem. i was left with a brain injury after my stroke 61/2 years ago, which has left me with short term memory loss. it affect my conversations with people too, ill be in the middle of a conversation and ill forget what im going to say,next thing ive forgotten what the conversation was about.

Hidden
Hidden

Hi,

As most above, calendar and notes on phone for everything, small whiteboard by door if small thing to remember that day, chalk board with main activities for week, by day next to bathroom.

Calendar/notes are google so automatically available on my laptop (although you might be i phone!).

Weekly chalk board is replica of diary so not necessary, i just find it soothing to glance at as i wake up!

Work, I take notes on EVERYTHING, directly to laptop where possible, on one pad so can't lose if can't take laptop to meeting.

Work, book 15 min at start and end of day in my diary to review/update planner.

Avoid work based conversations in passing in hall/reception/tea room etc as these are the ones you are most likely to not recall at all after the fact as you're not focused on them.

Stress has enormous effect on memory so be aware when you're sressed and make sure your notes are really thorough at these times.

Plan in time to read necessary notes before each appointment so you aren't multi-tasking reading and listening - another memory risk area.

Take your lunch and powernap. Fatigue is the enemy of your memory.

So essentially I diarise, note take, plan review time, plan to avoid multi tasking and unfocused conversations, manage fatigue with power naps and stay aware of stress.

Mindfulness and meditation are the way forward.

Having said, and applied all of this, I'm still struggling to accept my limitations - you might find that becomes your next hurdle.

Your gp can refer you to a neuro psychologist for more strategies.

You'll find your way.xx

You may also like...