Smartphones with apps to compensate for memory loss are great tools for some people with traumatic brain injury. However, some people who may be candidates for mobile devices and apps, may not be quite ready for a fully connected smartphone for many reasons such as they cannot afford the monthly fee or they may not have the skills to manage a data plan without going over their allotted amount.
Sometimes people forget that old smartphones (made in the last 3-4 years), no longer on a wireless plan, can still run many apps even without a single dollar spent on airtime or mobile data. Although there are some apps that require WiFi in order to work, most apps for memory loss such as ones for scheduling, note taking, voice recording, and medication reminding do not require any type of internet connection. These older, unconnected devices also supply a very important ingredient that non-phone mobile devices (i.e. iPod Touch) cannot…vibration alerts. This feature is so important, as one cannot have alarms going off at school and work, and it can make the difference between success and failure. In addition, these devices still work over WiFi in order to perform tasks such as sync with email, to surf the Internet, and to text. So inspect the junk drawers, clean out the closets, message a few relatives and find those older but still working smartphones.
Can’t find any? There is another alternative that we use here at IPAT and that is to buy unlocked phones such as these at Amazon. They are a little more expensive; however, they do not require you to purchase a plan. We demonstrate unlocked phones like these at our IPAT centers and have them available for rent, so people can try before they buy. Give us a call to schedule or arrange a rental. Not from North Dakota-check here to see if your state offers demonstrations and rentals of these mobile devices and apps.