Those of us who struggle with memory issues can find everyday life difficult to organise. I’ve written before how things that I would have easily accomplished previously, have become a challenge now. Whether it’s because I confuse dates, or do things in the wrong order it always ends with added stress I don’t need. Stress when you have a brain injury can end in disaster.
Help was offered.
Many of you will know I post my articles on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. One day I got a direct message from Serg, the Founder of an app called Q-card. He explained he had been following me for a while as he too is a brain injury survivor and enjoyed my articles and how I attempt to help others. He had been in computer programming and web development since University. So he put his skills to use in developing an app to help people stay organised. He had tried diaries and appointment devices before, but found they didn’t help him the way he needed. So by having a better understanding of what it is like to suddenly be cognitively impaired he developed Q-card.
Serg offered me free access to it in hope it might support my recovery. I have no doubt that as I have vowed to share anything I find that helps me with my readers, he was hoping I would write about Q-card. But he never specifically asked me to, and I haven’t been paid.
How Q-card helps me organise my medication.
I take a number of pills. Most of which I organise myself into a organised pill box and just take them first thing in the morning. I like this because I can quickly see if I have taken today’s. As it holds a month, I know when to order my repeat prescription. However I need to take multiple iron tablets through the day as well. This is harder to organise because they shouldn’t be taken with other tablets or tea. Iron is difficult to absorb, and it if attaches itself to other drugs, it can stop them from being absorbed properly too. Also as tea is a diuretic it should be not consumed close to when you are having your iron tablets as it can decrease its absorption rate further.
I have started to use Q-card to remind me about my iron tablets. I use the “Quick reminder” tab to schedule a time later in the day reminding me to take them. This can be set to alert me every day so I don’t have to keep wondering if I have remembered to take them.
Q-card handles my appointments.
In Frustratingly dreadful with dates, thanks brain injury I explained how I can turn up to appointments days early, or miss them altogether. It is because just putting it in my diary isn’t good enough. I get confused about today’s date, so then trying to think ahead is tough. But now when I set an appointment in the “Appointments” tab I can set a reminder a few days before too. That helps me plan ahead. This is particularly helpful seeing as I have to travel 3 hours for my dads appointments and sometimes stay over. So it gives my time to consider things like, has the car got enough petrol or is there something I need to bring for him? When it comes to my Doctors appointments,it can be as simple as a reminder when I need to leave the house to avoid being late.
Everyday tasks can have simple steps recorded.
People who haven’t suffered a brain injury don’t always understand why we find “simple” activities a struggle. Today is the first time a managed to add salt to the dishwasher unsupervised! Previously I had tried to put it in where the rinse aid should go. James spent ages trying to undo my mess.
But this time I created a “Guided Task” on Q-card to remind me what I was doing. I included details like where in the salt intake is in the dishwasher. Knowing how long it takes to complete a cycle, so I scheduled it for when it would finish the load it had. I would able to pack those items away and start with an empty machine. You do have to give every step a expected time taken, the minimum being 5 mins. It doesn’t take me 5 mins to unscrew the intake or the other steps. But it’s not a big deal that it thinks in total it takes me 20 mins. I have added it to my favourites so it’s I can find it again when I next need it.
Tasks can be shared with caregivers.
As James works so hard and is as busy as Mother Nature, I don’t use this with him. But I understand you can share your schedules with another person who uses Q-card. As you can either ask it to repeat the reminder/step of the task/appointment or confirm you have completed it. They can rest easy knowing you have completed those activities. I imagine that helps reduce the burden on them. They don’t have to keep trying to think of what they need to remind you of. Or you can set tasks and reminders for each other. Now that’s what I call delegation!
How to get it.
Currently it is available for iPhone users, but an Android version is on the way. It is priced at $1.99 (US dollars) per month but for those of you in Canada and America can get it free. If you go to their website www.qcard.ca you can get a 30 day free trial which for those who would have to pay can try it out first.
Serg tells me “Insurance companies (automobile and workers compensation) cover the cost of a lifetime version. Some health plans also cover the cost under rehabilitative or assistive devices. Very true in Canada, but also applies in the USA… currently things are a little uncertain in the US when it comes to Obamacare – waiting to see what happens. But usually, as long as it is recommended by an Occupational Therapist or Healthcare Professional, it usually gets covered by insurance.”
If you want more information visit www.qcard.ca
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the product mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Are there tools that help to organise you? Would you be happy to pay $1.99 per month for a service like this?