Ever since a serious accident, New Jersey resident Donna M. has had trouble with remembering things. The single mother of three was referred to the Advancing Opportunities Assistive Technology Center through the New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Fund. Kristen Russell, Assistive Technology Specialist at Advancing Opportunities, worked with Donna to assess her needs and goals and find the most suitable AT tools. Donna needed assistance to support her memory and organization skills, to help her manage her daily schedule and those tasks most parents do every day, such as pick up her children, take her medications, and plan on what to cook for dinner. During her evaluation, Kristen realized Donna already had much of the hardware: a smartphone and a laptop. The smartphone already had several tools that could help someone like Donna with memory and organization. Most notable was the reminders app, a place to keep to-do lists and items and alert her when she needed to do those things, in case she forgets.
“Advancing Opportunities has given me given me hope, because learning to live with a traumatic brain injury and learning how to manage everyday stuff like shopping and taking medicine and paying bills, and just even leaving on time for a doctor appointment—all that becomes extremely overwhelming,” said Donna. “The technology and training that Kristen has provided for the technology makes some of these things more manageable and makes me feel like there’s hope and that things will be okay.”
Added Kristen, “For most of us, using smartphones and tablets and computers makes our lives easier, but for people with traumatic brain injury it makes things possible.”