Tablet/Ipad resources for a Stroke/brain injury patient?
April 6, 2016 5:16 AM   Subscribe

My mom had a stroke, she's doing ok but is having a lot of trouble talking clearly and has some fine motor control issues. Any suggestions for apps or resources for Android or Ipad apps or resources that could make it easier for her to use them?

Sorry I haven't done more research on my own about this but it all happened pretty quickly. My mom is doing ok but stuck in a rehab. She's an internet junky and I feel sad she's not able to get online. Internet at the facility is apparently intermittent (I'm going up there tomorrow). Looks like she may be in rehab for a while.

She usually uses a gigantic laptop, she also has a crappy tracphone which is more or less useless. She's had trouble accessing the phone, as far as my dad tells me.

I'm thinking about buying her either an Android tablet (much preferable by cost) or an Ipad (if necessary). But only if I can find some apps that would make one of them very useable for her.

I don't see a lot of apps that are particular for people with trouble with movements. Particularly I'm concerned about the login screens.

She's bored and depressed, neither is good. I think if she could watch videos online or look at facebook or text with me, or words with friends, it would do a lot to cheer her up.

Thanks so much for help with this poorly researched question.
posted by sully75 to Technology (2 answers total)
I don't have a specific recommendation about apps - but definitely make use of all the resources that are available at the rehab facility. There are social workers and PT people she's probably seeing a lot of - bug them (or tell your dad to bug them) with your questions about helpful apps and technologies as much as you humanly can.

My dad had a stroke in his 40s and had similar issues. Rehab didn't know quite what to do with him and we ended up figuring up a lot as we went - especially once we were back home. I know we're all internet junkies these days (and my dad's stroke was 20 years ago) but we did a lot of things with just paper, pens, signs, and sticky notes. If there's some element of what she's getting from the internet you can recreate in a more "analog" way, that might be good until she gets her fine motor back.

And what she's able to do will change *dramatically*. What she's capable of physically and cognitively will change day by day. Brain injuries are so variable it's really hard to predict how much recovery will happen and at what pace. Which is just to say, hang in there and be patient. It's super hard, though, I know.
posted by pantarei70 at 6:42 AM on April 6, 2016

The other person to talk to would be your mum's speech therapist, since we work with technology to support speech, which means we get to know a bit about physical access to technology as well.

There are various apps for Apple or Android that might be useful to your mum, but she should really try one out before you commit to buying one. Something that sounds good on paper can be very disappointing when you try it.

There may be non-obvious adaptations that can be made to help with the physical problems - for example see Apple's page on physical accessibility

There are lots of apps that will speak what you type, if she finds a way to type easily. Or consult your speech therapist to discuss further apps to support communication.

For easy googling, the term for technology helping with communication difficulties is 'Alternative and Augmentative Communication' - or AAC.

Good luck.
posted by kadia_a at 9:31 AM on April 6, 2016

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