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Best Apps For Stroke Recovery 2023
Stroke recovery is a long and complicated process, and it can be difficult to know where to start. With the overwhelming number of apps available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the selection and unsure about which one will be best for your needs.
In this article, we’ve done all the research for you. We’ve compared over 30 different apps and narrowed down our list to five that we think are going to be most beneficial for stroke recovery.
Best Apps For Stroke Recovery
These apps for stroke patients conveniently provide access to therapy straight from your phone or tablet. While it’s always best to work directly with a therapist during stroke rehabilitation, daily outpatient therapy is typically not indicated and not covered by insurance.
Therefore, your therapists will encourage you to do your therapy “homework” between therapy sessions, and that’s where apps can help. Between outpatient therapy sessions, you can use the following stroke recovery apps to get your daily dose of therapy.
Best Apps for Stroke Patients
Here are the best stroke recovery apps as of 2023. They help with a range of stroke side effects from balance to cognitive function.
- “ELEVATE” Brain Training App
Helps with: memory and cognitive function
list of best apps for stroke patients
Elevate was designed to help you improve cognitive function through educational games. Elevate users reportedly improved 69% more than non-users across four key skills.
Furthermore, users that train 4 times per week improved 18% more than users who trained 2 times per week. This backs up the principle that repetition and consistency are key to recovery.
- “Clock Yourself” Physiotherapy
Helps with: coordination and balance
latest apps for stroke patients
Designed by an Australian physiotherapist, this app helps you “think faster on your feet.” The app introduces progressively complex activities to help you react more quickly with your body. This can be especially helpful for stroke patients that lack balance and coordination, and therefore are at a heightened risk of falling. The Clock Yourself app is considered pre-habilitation, but for stroke patients, it can make great re-habilitation.
- “Calm” Meditation App
Helps with: sleep, post-stroke depression, and anxiety
top rated apps for stroke patients
Calm is a meditation and sleep app that’s topping the charts as the #1 app in Health & Fitness, on the Apple Store. Meditation apps can help stroke patients that struggle with post-stroke depression, insomnia, or anxiety.
- “Recognize” Rehabilitation App
Helps with: left/right discrimination, explicit motor imagery, mirror therapy
physical therapy apps for stroke patients
Some therapists recommend the Recognize app for stroke recovery. It tests your “Left/Right Discrimination” which can help stroke patients on a variety of levels.
Price: $9.99 per app (separate apps per muscle group)
- “Lumosity” Cognitive Training App
Helps with: cognitive function
apps for stroke patients and psychological wellness
Lumosity is a premium “brain training” app designed for adults of all ages. While it’s not intended for stroke recovery, many stroke patients find it helpful.
- “What’s the Saying?”
Helps with: cognitive function, memory, and recall
Fun apps for stroke patients
Stroke patients that struggle with cognitive function can benefit from brain-stimulating word games like ‘What’s the Saying?’
The app takes you through various clever games that help stimulate your critical thinking skills. This one is only available through the Apple App Store.
- “What’s the Difference?”
Helps with: cognitive function and visual skills
free apps for stroke victims
This app can help stroke recovery by improving attention, and even visual scanning. It challenges you to identify small differences between otherwise-identical pictures.
Best Apps for Speech Therapy After Stroke
If you struggle with speech, language, or cognitive function after stroke, these apps can help:
- CT Speech and Cognitive Therapy App
ipad showing speech therapy app for stroke patients with example exercise
Designed by expert speech-language pathologists, this app can help you improve speech, language, and critical thinking skills. It contains over 100,000+ exercises to help retrain the brain.
This app is great for patients that can’t talk after stroke. It works by providing the user with quick access to symbols for “core words.”
Surprisingly, studies show that just 200-400 words make up 80% of what we say. Proloquo2go provides quick access to these core words, which provides a much-needed means of communication to stroke patients that can’t talk.
- Tactus Therapy
Tactus Therapy is also designed for stroke survivors with aphasia. It requires multiple apps if you have multiple areas you want to work on (whereas the CT App provides it all in one).
Price: $199 for the 6-app bundle
Learn more about Tactus Therapy »
Best iPad Games for Stroke Patients
Fun is a critical element if you want to stay engaged with your therapy.
Here are the best apps with games for stroke patients as of 2023:
- Brain Out
screenshot of fun ipad games for stroke patients
It’s an “addictive free tricky puzzle game” that will challenge your mind while providing some fun.
- Trivia Crack
screenshot of trivia ipad games for stroke patients
With over 20 game languages, Trivia Crack provides endless fun and challenge with a variety of trivia questions.
word games for stroke patients on ipad
Once everyone got sick of Words with Friends, they moved over to Wordscapes, which offers a variety of fun word games.
- Sort It 3D
fun app games for stroke patients
This app involves sorting colored balls in the tubes. Simple, yet addicting. It’s #1 for a reason.
- “2048 Balls 3D”
top rated gaming apps for stroke patients
Stroke patients can exercise their math skills with this addicting strategy game. Drop the balls and merge their numbers. See if you can get to 2048!
Which Stroke Recovery Apps Will You Choose?
After a stroke, daily therapy will help you see the best results possible. While some forms of therapy can be boring, you can help make it feel less like homework by adding some fun to the mix.
For a better experience than an app, you can try gamified rehab devices like Flint Rehab’s MusicGlove hand therapy and FitMi full body therapy. They add the element of gaming and fun to your rehab exercises.
Brain exercises for stroke recovery
Stroke patients who experience poor memory or impaired thinking may benefit from cognitive exercises.
You’re about to discover some effective cognitive exercises for stroke patients that you can do at home.
Let’s start with a quick explanation of why these exercises are important during recovery.
How to Improve Memory and Thinking with Cognitive Exercises
Cognitive exercise can help sharpen your memory and thinking, but need to be practiced consistently. Consistency is key for neuroplasticity, which is how the brain heals after stroke.
Although memory may be impaired due to the damage from stroke, neuroplasticity allows the brain to heal and recuperate. Specifically, it allows the brain to form new neural networks and rewire itself to heal from the damage.
The brain develops and strengthens neural pathways based on the patterns that you repeatedly practice. That’s why therapists recommend you to do specific exercises repeatedly. The repetitive stimulation helps rewire the brain and improve those skills.
The more you practice cognitive exercises, the more your memory and thinking may improve.
If you need help with cognitive rehabilitation after a stroke, it’s a good idea to work with a speech-language pathologist. These experts can help diagnose your problem areas and create a treatment plan just for you.
Recovery is more successful working with a therapist at least once a week, then practicing cognitive training exercises on your own between sessions.
Cognitive Training Exercises for Stroke Patients
The following cognitive training exercises can help stroke patients improve their critical thinking skills.
Choose the activities that resonate with you and practice them on a regular basis. Consistency is key to rewiring the brain to recover cognitive skills needed for daily life.
Here are some great cognitive training exercises:
- Card Matching
Card matching is a visual memory game that helps with recall and scanning.
For this cognitive exercise, place a deck of cards face down, spacing them out on a table in front of you. Then, uncover two cards at a time. Try to find matching pairs. You cannot uncover more than two cards at a time. Each time you uncover a pair, you must return them to a face-down position. This challenges you to remember where different cards are.
- Visual/Spatial Processing Games
While designing your cognitive therapy regimen, it’s important to include activities that exercise your visual/spatial processing. This includes tasks that challenge you to identify visual differences and how they are positioned in a space.
The What’s the Difference app is a great example. It challenges you to find one small difference between two otherwise identical pictures. You can use this app as part of your cognitive therapy regimen.
- Alphabetize Sentences
For analytical reasoning as a cognitive exercises, all you need is a pen and paper and some reading material.
Take a sentence, and write it down. Then, re-write the words in alphabetical order. This sequencing is a therapeutic activity for the brain.
- Count Money
This cognitive exercise helps with quantitative reasoning. Place a handful of varied coins on a table. Gather 10-20 random coins and count the total value. Counting will help stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function.
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- Brain Teasers
“Brain teasers” like Sudoku, word searches, and crossword puzzles are excellent cognitive exercises for stroke patients. They are challenging and can improve your analytical and quantitative reasoning.
- Simon Memory Game
The classic game of Simon is effective cognitive therapy for stroke patients, and focuses memory skills.
The device highlights a pattern, and you must recall the pattern. It starts with a short sequence and grows longer each time.
- Board Games
Classic board games and card games are great cognitive exercises for stroke recovery.
To stimulate the cognitive skills of scanning, deductive reasoning, split attention and organization, consider Checkers, Connect Four, Rumikub, Mahjong, Rush Hour, Set, Blink, Spot It, or Qwirkle.
- Strategy Games
If you don’t have any games lying around the house, you can check online for some free options. For example, Games for the Brain has an abundance of online games for you to try. Generally, games that require memory or strategy can double as great cognitive therapy.
- Cognitive Therapy Apps
ipad with screenshot of speech therapy app and example cognitive exercise for stroke patients
Cognitive therapy apps, like the CT Speech & Cognitive Therapy App is specifically designed for stroke survivors.
The cognitive exercises in this app were designed by Speech-Language Pathologists (therapists in speech and cognitive therapy). They include everything from visual/spatial processing to quantitative reasoning, and more.
- Meditation Apps
Meditation has been shown to help stroke patients improve cognitive function as well as reduce stress and anxiety. Specifically, it improves the cognitive skills of attention, mental flexibility, and information processing.
There are many apps or YouTube resources that guide you through meditation or provide relaxing music. Your brain can only think of one thing at a time and when you can redirect your thoughts to something positive, it reduces your stress level and promotes clear thinking.
For example, Aura is a meditation app that gives you a different guided meditation every day. YouTube has multiple videos for guided imagery meditation for sleep, anxiety, and healing.
Getting Help with Cognitive Training After Stroke
If any of the cognitive training exercises above resonate with you, try to practice them on a regular basis. Repetition is key to recover after stroke, including cognitive rehabilitation.
Consider therapy with a speech-language pathologist that can create a custom regimen that targets your problem areas.
If you do not have access to a therapist, try using an app created by speech-language pathologists, like the CT Speech & Cognitive Training App.
As long as you’re doing something therapeutic for your brain on a regular basis, you can maximize your chances of recovery.
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