Motivational Challenge

Good afternoon
I may have mentioned some of the items I’m talking about today before, but the situation hasn’t been resolved so I’m still looking for advice and assistance.

My wife had a stroke in late May and recovered very well in hospital. Her speech was improving, her mobility was getting better every day and when I got her home she continued to improve but unfortunately had a gastric problem with a hiatal hernia and associated infections. She spent another 3 weeks in hospital and somehow lost a lot of the enthusiasm that she had built up before.

I’ve got her at home now. She’s regained her appetite and is visited about three times a week by speech, occupational, and physiotherapists.

When the therapists come she’s motivated and enthusiastic. She works hard with them and she’s getting along very well. My problem is this motivation evaporates as soon as the therapist walks out the door She spends virtually all her time in bed now and I can’t entice her out for a short walk, to come downstairs to our family room to watch television together on the big screen or much of anything else.

She obviously feels very safe and comfortable upstairs in bed and I’m happy about that but she could be doing so much more for her own good if she would continue the work that she does when the therapist comes to visit.

I’ve been told this is not uncommon and that it is far easier to say no to a relative than it is to a therapist who happens to be a stranger that’s trying to get you to do some work. This week in concert with the therapists we took her to a beautician for a course of electrolysis which she has been looking forward to for some considerable time. This visit made her very happy and although she’s impatient to finish it quickly, I think she understands that it will be a number of visits required to finish the course. I’m hoping that this new development will positively affect her motivation to do other things: go for a walk come downstairs and spend time with me rather than me sitting in a straight back chair in the bedroom where I made the mistake of putting in a smaller television with all the bells and whistles.

I’m sure there are folks out there who have undergone the same problems with loved ones in terms of motivation and any advice or tricks of the trade would be greatly appreciated.

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@skladd it sounds like your wife has the capability to improve morebut just lacks motivation. Would booking something for her to look forward to help? Has her mood been explored? Sometimes depression can make people demotivated. Worth looking at maybe? Some tough love needed? Perhaps remove the bedroom tv?
Ultimately the individual has to want to do something & you can only push it so far.
I hope you can ger her motivated to do more.

Best wishes.


I know just how your wife feels as I tend to be much the same! My physio comes in all smiley and cheerful and I immediately feel better myself! Also it’s someone new to talk to and have a different conversation with.
My wonderful husband waits on me hand and foot - I am walking around the house with my stick but not walking outside yet- but as soon as he mentions doing my exercises I shut down! Quite honestly the exercises take a lot of effort and I am permanently tired and although I don’t stay in bed all day I am quite content sitting in my chair with I pad and books. I know I should be making more effort and I do try but the stroke was very sudden and unexpected and I and very probably your wife are finding it difficult to accept a new way of life.
Sorry I’m not much help to you but just wanted to let you know your wife isn’t alone in feeling this way. Good luck - Janet


Apple and Ann

Thank you both for your advice and comments. I’m taking it all in and will be going forward with much of what you’ve suggested. Fingers crossed.

Good luck. Really hope you can make some progress x

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Maybe i sorta understand in that a pt/ot is imparting info but exercises feel (to me just repeating by rote) nugatory

My response is to build the actions that are the exercises key points into everyday real needs
So maybe the motivation element is to translate to more directly meaningfully.
E.g. I use my right arm or at least attempt to, to stroke the cats, clean my teeth - walking of course needs both legs!

Your on the right path imho with linking to things that have appeal.
The external motivator could come from peer support and a little competition - maybe with herself?

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Hi I had my sister in law look after me when I came out of hospital . She was always saying chop chop in a funny way to get me up and moving. My granddaughters were also a huge inspiration to make me do my physio and try to get better. She needs to get some positivity somehow. It’s good she is going for this treatment. Perhaps you and your family could find some other things she would like to do. I’ve had a bad foot the last few days and it’s hard to keep up with the exercising . I do wish you well. Try a tiny bit of tough love. It may work. Suzywong

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Seeing as she’s only gone this way since her gastric troubles, she might just be in need a nutrient boost. If her gastric problems reduced the absorption of nutrients in her body then she could be in a bit of a deficit.

Recovering from the stroke alone was utilising all the nutrients she was taking in as it was, now with the addition recovery of her gastro trouble, her body is in even great need of those vital nutrients. Maybe try her with some Complan or a multi vitamin supplement.

We all know how sunshine affects our mood, we’re all doom a gloom without it, and the a bit of sunshine suddenly raises very ones spirits. That’s is the work of Vitamins D and C on our body.
Like wise a boost from Folic acid might do the same for your wife as the deficiency in that can cause a lack of energy and motivation. Maybe have a blood test to see what she is lacking in exactly.


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