You Should Remember

“You should remember.  I told you this an hour ago!”  “You should remember.  We’ve been talking about this for the past week!”  When a family member or friend speaks in this manner to a brain injury survivor, it is often a sign of annoyance.  They are expressing frustration at the survivor forgetting what was told him or her.  However, the word “should” implies a value judgement.  The survivor “should” remember and if not, he or she failed at something that “should” have been done.

Before family or friends attempt to discuss what a survivor “should” do, the first question that needs to be addressed is whether or not the survivor CAN remember the information in question.  If due to deficits left in the wake of a brain injury survivors are simply not able to remember information, it is unfair to say that they “should” remember.  As an analogy, we would not say to a young child that he or she “should” be able to complete a calculus problem the child has worked on for a week.  We can all recognize that calculus is simply beyond a young child’s skill level.  A “should” statement does not make sense in this situation.  Similarly, we need to ask whether completing a given memory task falls within the brain injured survivor’s skill level.  If the memory task is beyond the survivor’s abilities, clearly the survivor will not remember the information.  In this case, stating that the survivor “should” remember is unfair.

The next logical question is whether anything could be done to further facilitate the survivor’s efforts to improve his or her memory.  Perhaps information needs to be written down on a note so the survivor can check the note later for the information.  Some patients benefit from constant repetition or association techniques to help bolster the memory.  There are many different methods to help memory.  In some cases though, a family member or loved one will just need to remember important information for the survivor if doing so proves truly outside of the range of the survivor’s abilities.

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center:

4 responses to “You Should Remember

  1. Who performs these driver safety evaluations in the Lubbock area?

    • Leigh,

      Thank you for your question. Driving after a brain injury can be a very tricky situation. At the Transitional Learning Center in Lubbock, patients generally test with the driving simulator at Covenant Neurosciences Institute. Use of the simulator requires a doctor’s orders. If the patient can pass the simulator, then the patient goes to the Department of Public Safety and retests with a DPS officer. This process ensures that the patient is safe to drive post-brain injury.
      If you are further interested in inpatient or outpatient brain injury treatment in the Lubbock area, feel free to contact Ty Fewin at 806-831-2666 or Jason Jennings at 281-865-8028.

  2. I wanted to reach out to you regarding an iPhone/iPad app I launched that’s helping brain injury survivors, early-onset dementia/Alzheimer’s sufferers, and others with short-term memory loss worldwide.

    The app is called It’s Done! and it’s a task-completion confirmation tool that helps users recall whether they turned off the stove, locked the door, took their medication, and other routine everyday tasks. It even notifies loved ones/caregivers when tasks are done. While many smart phone apps remind users to do things, It’s Done! is intended to help users recall with certainty whether a task is actually done. It relieves the feeling of uncertainty and doubt that accompanies short-term memory loss.

    My inspiration for developing the app was watching my late father’s struggle with memory loss that resulted from a TBI he suffered as a WWII Veteran and the dementia he also experienced later in life.

    It’s Done! has been reviewed/praised by a number of state affiliates of the BIAA in the U.S. as well as TBI and dementia organizations in Australia, Canada, and the U.K. I’ve also received good feedback from people in the rehabilitative and therapeutic communities about their use of the app with their patients/clients.

    I invite you to look at the It’s Done! app as a helpful tool for brain injury survivors. There’s more information and video demonstrations of the app at our website itsdoneapp. com .

    I’m grateful It’s Done! has improved the quality of life for people with short term memory loss. I’ll welcome all feedback


    Howard “A.J.” Lester
    Brain Injury Survivor
    Creator, It’s Done! App

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