Apps to improve memory and cognition in stroke survivors

A stroke is a brain attack. It happens when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off. Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to your brain. Without blood, your brain cells can be damaged or die.

The words weekly planner are visible on a digital tabletA stroke can affect people’s ability to concentrate, and to remember things because of the damage to the brain resulting from a stroke.

Typical problems people experience are being able to follow a TV programme or read a book, to remember what they were doing and work out how to do everyday tasks such as prepare a meal.

Problems are usually worse straight after a stroke but can improve especially in the first three months following a stroke.

Some apps can help remind people to take their medication.

There are also organiser apps to aid memory, and apps to improve cognitive function.

Category Therapy ($14.99)

A screen shot from Category therapy. Various items on screen relating to the category 'toy' (doll) and some that do not (piano and a spirit level)An app designed to help people who struggle to put items into categories as the result of brain injury, stroke or autism. It's for speech therapists to use in professional settings, or for individuals to use at home. 

It has four categories within it with challenges ranging from simple to the more complex.

At the most simple, you'll see and hear a picture of a category (e.g. fruit) and are then asked to tap something relating to the category such as a banana. 

At the more advanced stage, you're asked to pick an item to exclude from a particular category. There are hints if you need help along the way.

There is a Category Therapy Lite version available free if you want to try before you buy. 

Download Category Therapy for iOS

Cozi Family Organiser (Free)

Four different screen shots of the Cozi Family organiserWhile the advertising pitch is at young families, and busy ‘Moms’ Cozi is for anyone juggling a busy life. The electronic organiser stores event (including social events, and medical appointments), or you can co-create shopping lists and store recipes. Plus, the app lets you set reminders for other people.

Cozi Family Organizer rates well on iOS and Android and boasts a clutch of awards, and there’s even a Pinterest board.

Download Cozi Family Organizer for iOS

Download Cozi Family Organizer for Android

Lumosity (Free, in-app purchases)

Four screen shots from the Lumosity appLumosity is a brain training programme that challenges you to tackle three brain training games per day, and overall has a collection of some 50+ activities to choose from.

The app claims to help improve memory and attention, with games co-designed with researchers worldwide. 

There's a ten-minute 'fit' test so people can get a baseline score and check how their memory - and other - functions improve over time. 

Download Lumosity for iOS 

Download Lumosity for Android

Medisafe Medication Reminder (Free)

Image of the app on a phone. Screen shows medication names and a time (8:20 am)Pill reminder App Medisafe enables you to set personalised reminders for multiple medications for more than one person. It’s free to download but offers premium functions in-app.

The app scores highlight (over 4.5) on the Apple and Android stores.

There are also electronic pill reminders. The Tabtime Vibe Vibrating Pill Timer Reminder, for example, has different compartments for different medications and beeps and vibrates when it’s time to take them. It costs around £20.

Download Medisafe Medication Reminder for iOS

Download Medisafe Medication Reminder for Android

The Problem Solve It app ($14.99)

Screen shot from problem solve it - shows a maze to depict problem solvingPublished by the Virtual Speech Center Inc. this app is targetted specifically at stroke survivors or those suffering from dementia

The focus is on problem-solving, as the name suggests.

There is a variety of different 'problem-solving' tasks relating to different areas including social communication, health, literacy and education.

There are six different tasks included in the app. For example. there are problems relating to everyday math solving problems (any stroke survivors suffer from numeracy as well as language issues following a stroke), as well as sentence completion and short scenario-based tasks. 

Download Problem Solve It for iOS


Free webinar for Stroke Survivors

A stroke can impact in a number of ways. It is the commonest form of aphasia. People who are affected by aphasia, and can cause issues of cognitive and physical impairment and is a common cause of anxiety and depression.

Technology can be part of the solution. Our free webinar will showcase the Stroke Association's online tool My Stroke Guide, which offers information as well as access to peer support from other stroke survivors.

AbilityNet volunteer Lawrence King will be on hand to share his experiences of helping stroke survivors find solutions that can help them to adapt.

The webinar will take place on March 31 2020. Sign up to our free webinar for stroke survivors and their carers

How AbilityNet can help stroke survivors

AbilityNet has a range of products and services that can help you make tech more accessible including consultancy, design reviews, auditing and user testing.

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people.

Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm on 0800 269 545.

Arrange a home visit. We have a network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.

We have a range of factsheets which talk in detail about technology that might help you, which can be downloaded for free. You may find our factsheets talking about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.

My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Related Factsheets from AbilityNet

Support for stroke survivors

Call the Stroke Association Helpline: 0303 3033 100

Connect to other stroke survivors and carers via My Stroke Guide

Search the stroke association for local support by postcode

Think Ahead Stroke: 01942 824888

Factsheets from the Stroke Association