FamilyOfaVet - Real world info about PTSD, TBI, & life after combat
FamilyOfaVet - Real World info about PTSD, TBI, & life after combat.

Life Adaptations: How Technology is Your Friend



In the PTSD/TBI world, we tend to run from anything new that might have a difficult learning
curve.  Unfortunately, when we do these things, we're making a HUGE mistake in many
cases.

Developing and new technologies make it easier than ever to simplify life with PTSD and
TBI.  Phones that sync with computers, tablets that are essentially your entire computer in
your pocket or purse, and internet applications to keep track of everyone make life so
much simpler once you get past that initial 1-2 week learning curve.

Apps

For those of you who are still living under a rock (like me in many ways), I'm just beginning
to explore the wonderful wide world of Apps.  Apps is short for "Applications" and they turn
our electronic devices from single function to super multi-use computers.  They're amazing.
 Phones aren't just for calls anymore.  Using apps you can check your grocery list, send
updates to your husband's phone to remind him to pick up the kids from soccer, schedule
a doctor's appointment (and set reminders), even find out the wait time at your local ER to
figure out which hospital to go to in an emergency.  Oh - and they're great for working on
kid's tasks too like spelling lists and math facts!

My favorite app is Cozi (
CLICK HERE to visit their website).  It's free and is able to be used
from any home PC with internet access, as well as on the go on any Android or Apple
device.  What can Cozi do?  Oh, my friend, get ready to be amazed! :)  Cozi keeps your
family calendar, shopping lists, and to-do lists online.

Here's an example of why I love Cozi.  On Wednesdays we have 4 meetings back to back
and I'm not always here to make sure everyone gets to where they are going.  I can have
Cozi send my husband's Blackberry a message telling him it's time to get ready to leave
and where to take the kids as well as what he needs to bring.  Then send him another
message when it's time to shuttle them to the next event and where it's located.  No one is
late and I'm not trying to leave an important meeting or having to brush one of you off to try
and get ahold of him to make sure he's going in the right direction to the right place.

Cozi will also send him reminders about his appointments and help him remember
when/where/what building they're in.  The online format is so easy to learn.  Every family
member, even your PETS, get their own color so even kids can look at it and figure out
where they're supposed to be and what they're supposed to be doing.

On top of that, Cozi's ability to keep my shopping lists means no more forgetting what
groceries I needed to pick up when I have an unexpected run to town.  With a 30 mile one
way commute, that's essential!  My husband can also check the list on Cozi and see if
there's anything he needs to pick up as well.  This has saved me endless amounts of gas
and tons of time.






Smartphones

We wouldn't DREAM of leaving home without our cell phone.  What a difference 15 years
makes!  But the phones you use in your family can be the very technology that saves you
millions of brain cells a year.

The PDA of yesterday has evolved into the SmartPhone of today.  While the
VA is still
"issuing" PDAs to veterans (and if you have PTSD or TBI it may be to your benefit to ask
for one) many people already have access to a SmartPhone and are more used to using it
than trying to learn yet another device they need to carry around with them.  PDA's are still
great but are phasing themselves out of the market quickly - often because pulling out an
"old school" cell phone is beginning to be enough of a faux pas that peer pressure alone is
driving many families to these devices.  Whether you're an Apple or Android family, there
are tons of benefits to switching to a Smartphone - both for you, and your veteran.  The
above described app Cozi is just one example of why Smartphones are such an added
benefit to our families.


Tablet PC's

While most Tablet PC's are fairly new the market and the bugs are still being worked out -
once the prices start to come down, these things are going to be GOLDEN.  I recently got
the chance to play with a few different models including the Samsung Tab and the iPad.  
They're amazing.  I do, however, want to caution ALL of our readers about the dangers of
the currently extremely low priced models.  While the iPad will set you back $500+, getting
a lower price model can often mean non-functioning applications and other huge issues.  
Be sure to research before you purchase so you can avoid frustration and wasted $$














As time goes on we will see more and more ways technology can improve our lives.  
Keeping a MP3 player on hand in our house is essential as my TBI son often needs it to
help calm himself down when he's upset or scared.  EReaders have allowed me to bring my
main coping mechanism of reading with me everywhere without breaking my back.  Games
on my husband's Blackberry and portable Nintendo DSi keep us from killing each other
while spending dreaded hours in VA waiting rooms and our new Tablet PC allows us to
watch our Netflix while we're out running around the world.

As veteran advocates, the FOV family spends a lot of time working towards bettering life for
our veterans...and there's no reason to not embrace the technology market to help us all
on our missions.


This article was written by our own Heather Hummert, the wife of an OIF Veteran & Purple
Heart Recipient, and Contributions Coordinator for our site.  If you would like to contact
Heather directly, you can e-mail her at Heather -at- FamilyOfAVet.com or
CLICK HERE.

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CLICK HERE to return to the Real-Life Coping Skills for TBI page
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