Smartphones and tablets are everywhere these days, including at Special Tree, where they've become powerful therapy tools to help people with brain injury. Special Tree Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, and Physical Therapists all utilize a long list of mobile apps to help improve outcomes for clients throughout the entire rehabiliation process.
In honor of Occupational Therapy Month, we're spotlighting the apps that Special Tree OTs use most often to help improve everyday living skills. Thanks to Special Tree OT Amanda Katt Phillips for compiling the list
Week Cal $1.99 (iOS only)
The most beneficial feature of this app is the ability to color code events. Since people with TBI brains work differently, having a color coded visual cues can increase attention and memory. Templates for recurring events can be created, decreasing the chance of entry errors. Icons can also be added to events for an additional visual cue. Many people with TBI have problems with their vision. The native iPhone calendar is bright white and the glare can be disruptive. Week Cal has a dark theme which reduces eye strain and also makes the color coding more prominent (iPhone only). There are seven different views from daily to yearly which give people with TBI more flexibility to choose the layout that works best for them. If the client is already using their native calendar app or Google calendar, once installed all the prior and upcoming events can be synchronized in minutes to Week Cal. All of the days and tomorrows events also appear on the iPhone’s widget by swiping down from the lock screen.
Medisafe Medication Reminder, Prescription and Pill Organizer Free (iOS and Android
Taking all prescribed medications accurately is an extremely important part of living with a TBI. Remembering what was taken and when can be a major difficulty due to memory and attention deficits. Medisafe is a great app to help clients remember to take their medications and tracks compliance. The other benefit of this app is that it is visual based and not only a written list. When entering a new medication, the shape and color of the pill can be set. There are also symbols for injections, inhalers, liquid and powder. The pill box view gives a simple visual reminder of the number of pills to take in a 6 hour period. Refill reminders can be set based on the custom number of pills before running out, eliminating the need to count months, weeks and days. The report shows the daily number of medications taken and missed. Health measurements can also be tracked within the app including but not limited to: cholesterol, weight, glucose and blood pressure. Users can add a family member or friend that will be notified 30 minutes after a missed dose. No more taking a bag of pill bottles to doctor appointments. All the current medication information will be stored on your phone.
1Password Free (iOS and Android
1Password stores all of your usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, addresses and even has a notepad. This app is not just for people with TBI, anyone can benefit from it. You don’t even have to remember the one master password. The app can be unlocked using the fingerprint scanner on iPhone or Android. If the user enters the log in website, there’s a built in browser that can fill in the usernames and passwords with just the touch of a button. Credit card numbers can be copied and pasted within the app or another browser so there’s no more searching for your wallet. 1Password can also create passwords for you from 4 to 50 characters for increase security along with its AES 256-bit encryption. There are more features such as creating multiple vaults to categorize information in the paid version.