Useful equipment

If anyone is looking for impartial advice about daily living equipment, I would suggest checking out Living Made Easy - 

If you're not sure what would help you, there is a quiz on the site to help steer you in the right direction.

Many of the communcations apps are available for the Amazon Fire, iPad, iPhone and Android tablets and phones. Helpful living apps for bus times, train times, shopping, radio, and tv are available too on any platform - for Kindle be sure you use the Kindle Store, not GooglePlay. For iPads and iPhones, use the App Store.  

Hi Rick, Thanks so much for sharing your advice on apps that you have found helpful and where to find them. Have you had a chance to look at mytherappy ( And if you have any ideas for apps that we might include on My Stroke Guide please do let us know. All the best, Megan


the most useful tool I have is my phone. It is very rarely used as a phone, mainly because I still find it difficult talking on the phone. Its my calendar, shopping list, a way to access Msg, but its also a great tool for my husband to find me or my phone when I leave it in some strange places. Lol

many of the apps you can use on your phone don't seem to work with a windows phone. It would be helpful if there was some that could be used with windows phones.

ACTIVE noise reduction headphones/ear buds

My stroke was a consequence of a surgical procedure, which also resulted in half my throat being paralysed; I can talk but not loudly.

I find that being in a social setting such as a pub, restaurant etc. I cannot hear the person I’m trying to have a conversation with. This is not because I am deaf but, and this is the only way I can explain it, my brain is ‘full’.  There is so much information around such as the drone of other people talking, or background music or road noise that my brain cannot process any more information such as my friend talking. On the odd occasion that I can hear the conversation I cannot reply with anything more than one or two words because I cannot even hear myself speak and I compulsively try to raise my voice, and I cannot do that for long.


ACTIVE (not passive) noise reduction technology built into headphones, either over ear or in ear (ear buds) reduces background noise. These headphones reduce the background noise, they are by no means perfect but with a bit of concentration I can hear other people speak and I can hear myself speak, thereby enabling me to keep my voice at a normal level. Previous to buying these earphones I avoided going out, even to parties in friends’ houses because of the noise and my inability to participate in conversation.

They can be used to listen to music from your smartphone but I frequently just turn them on whilst on a bus, train or in a noisy office and listen to……………..quiet.


Also used by children (+ adults) who have issues with noise or sensory overload, such as autism.  This is a very common sight in special schools and quite possibly now in mainstream schools, as staff recognise the need for sensory regulation.  

I described the use of active noise reduction headphones thinking that other people might find similar equipment useful, but I never anticipated your reply. Thank you for informing me of the term sensory overload, I have never heard of it before. 

Since your post I have been reading up on the term and the descriptions fit very well with the symptom's I experience.

Learning a new term might not be a cure but at least I have a better understanding of why I take a particular course of action, and why I am doing it. Hopefully, I will be able to explain to friends the reason for my occasional tetchy behaviour.



Glad to have been of help - since his stroke my husband finds it very difficult to cope in noisy, busy places, so I think it's a fairly common problem.  Sensory issues are fascinating, and far more complicated than most of us realise.  It's only when our 'normal' sensory structure breaks down or suffers a disturbance that we appreciate how finely balanced our receptors are.  If you'd like more info, I can bang on for hours!! Alternatively could just post some info on a forum if it might help?


I have been conscious of noise sensory overload for several years but have never been able to define what it is and consequently have never been able to adequately explain it.  I have almost lost a couple of friends due to, what I now know as overload.  I enjoy conversation and I could be out with a friend all day or at a pub for a couple of hours but there will come a point were I cannot participate any more, I have hit a brickwall and just want to tell them to SHUT UP, leave me alone for ten minutes, or more.  After a short rest I'm fine.

If you don't mind putting info on a forum then please do so.  I would like to know more and I'm sure that other people will be interested.

While we are on the subject of senory overload may I enquire about the inability to read, understand and react to directions.  I refuse to drive in cities, even when traffic is light due to an inability to read and understand directon signs.  I mention cities because in them direction signs tend to have more information.  For me, I  can only think think, that's not a sign, it's a novel to read. Can this be classed as sensory overload, or something else?



I have found a great trick for a mobile phone. Because of my speech problems I have to exercise my voice as often as I can. When out walking I read out loud any advertising signs. If there are people around I am likely to be considered as an idiot, so I hold my mobile up to my ear and everyone thinks I'm talking to a friend somewhere!



That's a good work out for your brain.  As you won't always know what will be written on the advertising signs.  

Reminds me of the first few times I saw and heard people using a blue toothed phone.  I was convinced there was suddenly a lot more people talking to themselves.  ??

I’m always using the find my phone app on my iPad because my phone ends up on the strangest of places, I’d be lost without my phone since my stroke as it’s how I have great conversation via texting because when I come to actually say what is in my head the words are lost, so until I manage to put sentences together again my phone is my lifeline. What is the strangest place you’ve found your phone? With me it was in my wellington boot, I must have put it inside when I put my boot sock back in lolwink

Hi - I am just wondering if anyone has any advice on a good lighting solution for my Aunt who has had a right-sided stroke, so can only use her left hand - she needs a good light source for reading - this would work best standing on the floor behind her chair with the facility to angle on to her reading material - I guess as well as a good light it would need an easy way for switching on and off and adjusting if necessary - just dont really know where to start looking - any wisdom appreciated!

Hi Stuart, have a look at Chatable AI on line. It's an app which is useful for people with hearing loss or difficulties; it is centred around cleaning up the speech signal. It removes disruptive background noise, using earbuds like noise cancelling earphones, but is a sophisticated system which allows you more control over what you are hearing. It was recently updated and improved. I read about it in a newsletter I get from a website called It's an interesting site aimed mostly at solutions of hearing loss but also other hearing difficulties. It has up to the minute knowledge on the use of technology and devices to aid hearing, well worth a look. 
Their Aug 27th newsletter also mentioned other devices, one which also looks of possible interest to you called The BeHear Now which is Bluetooth enabled stereo headset that you can customise to your needs in noisy situations. Have a look.... 

My husband's vocal chords were badly damaged during cancer ops, and he could only speak in a hoarse whisper.At the time, 15 or so years ago, solutions for him were scarce, only rather basic microphone set ups were available. I know how frustrating it is not to be able to contribute to a conversation and would hope there is something more up to date you can find. Good luck. Let us know how you get on!

Hi, I have a bulb in a lamp behind my chair which offers a range of brightness levels, and is controlled with a small hand held device which can turn it on and off, and select the brightness. They are available in some supermarkets, or online. If she has a problem with hand mobility, but can cope with using Alexa, you can plug a lamp into a special plug that responds to Alexa who turns it on and off. Good luck...