At our Tuesday night social group at Walkergate Park, we have introduced a “Spotlight” series, where we ask guest speakers to share their expertise and experiences. Headway Tyneside member Michael Thompson launched the spotlight series, talking about his love of technology and how it can be used in everyday life.

Michael is always keen to help people with any tech-related questions so please feel free to speak to him at any of our Headway events!

Now, I’ve always been into up with technology pre-brain injury and I thought when I had my injury I need something to occupy my mind and so I’m not bored doing nothing.

So I thought technology is definitely the way forward in life and it’s the future! So after talking with Jo [Headway Tyneside Clinical Lead] about our shared interest in technology we decided because we’re up on technology and we know so many people aren’t confident nowadays that we would like to embrace Headway Tyneside with our knowledge to make their lives better.

So, we did a short presentation to whet everyone’s whistles. We started with how technology can help people in terms of health, memory and organisation. We also explained how smart home technology can also help you within the house.

We discussed how there are apps which track and log your health like Apple Health and Samsung Health. We mentioned how these apps can track things like your sleep, to ensure you get a good nights rest so you’re raring to go for those Headway events! We also mentioned how you can track and log your medication, because the majority of people who have suffered a brain injury take medication. We also discussed how these devices can track your physical health, such as calories, steps and walking so you can keep healthy.

We discussed how you can use apps like the calendar so you don’t forget about appointments and meetings, like Headway events! Reminder to keep on top of things in the house, such as putting the bins out. Notes so you can remember important things. The clock for things like cooking timers so you don’t burn your dinner! Weather so you don’t put the washing on the line when it’s going to rain. Contacts so you’ve got everyone’s number and email to keep in touch. Passwords so you don’t forget your logins for important websites. Photos so you can take photos of things to remember, including physical objects and taking screenshots of things on your phone.

We talked about smart home technology and the 3 main players in the market, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Home. We discussed smart speakers for things like asking Alexa what the time is, using your voice. How your speakers can also play any music which tickles your fancy! Kitchen-based tasks like timers for cooking and recipes. General knowledge and games. Automated routines such as “Hey Siri Good Night” to turn your lights off. The possibilities with this are truly endless!

Overall I think it was a successful talk with many questions and discussions, exactly what we wanted!

Huge thanks to Michael for talking so expertly sharing his knowledge with Headway Tyneside members. If you have a suggested topic for a future “spotlight” session, or would like to share your own story, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!