Motivational Problem

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.

Maybe be firm about coming downstairs every day?
Do you both have comfortable recliners?
I’m thinking about her stomach issues. I had my kidney out in 2004, my recliner was very comfortable, better than being in bed actually.
Does she expect you to sit with her upstairs in the upright chair? Have you said how uncomfortable it is for you?
All this sitting around is not doing YOU any good either.
Is she now receiving PIP?
Can you afford a weekly treatment from the beautician other than electrolysis (painful!)?
Is there a local stroke club which runs activities. She is so young still, I’m sure you are very worried about how you will both cope in future is she carries on as she is.

Hi Steve,

My partner had a stroke too but in 2018, and I’ve experienced similar to what you are now.
I’ve found the fatigue has been a huge factor to get used. Once she has done a few things that i take for granted in comparison, take a lot out of her and she needs to rest and have no further stimulation. Its hard because sometimes you dont think of the brain damage and the fact that the brain is now having to work harder than usual and this makes her more cognitively tired.

And yes, its so much easier for her to tell me no than a therapist and I ideally, wanted her to be doing more for her recovery but now i just find other ways to include physio etc for her.
It took time, communication and just going with the flow. So for example, my partners left hand was affected by a stroke too and getting her to do the exercises was hard work but we have been learning to bake together and i get her to stir the cake mainly with her right hand and then i will say ok, can the claw (her affected hands nickname) give it a go? She tries and we see how she gets on. Her first goal was her tieing up her hair, it was all over the place at first but she can do it better than i can now haha so practice makes perfect and seeing progress always helps with goals too.

I notice a change year by year with what she can now achieve and we set new goals and challenges she is interested in which helps with motivation too. She also spoke to a neuro Psychiatrists and psychologist, the latter really helped her to come to terms with what happened to her because she became very depressed because her whole life changed, which effects motivation too. This may help too?

I found the stroke association and different strokes websites helpful with topics on lots of different things to better understand.


Try keeping track of what happens in a diary. Make some brief summary notes as well based on your weekly findings. Ask the visiting therapists to stay longer in order to observe her.

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Hi there,
This sounds so familiar. My dad had a stroke in 2015 and has been disabled ever since. He will only do physio exercise if prompted. It’s the same with drinking water too. it’s almost like his mind forgets, but obviously a stroke can damage the brain.

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I’d definitely recommend the stroke association as @Kerry_220812 has mentioned.
We did pay for private physio but sadly recently dad has become completely bedbound.


Hugs. Best wishes. You are in my prayers.

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Kerry, Thara and Claire

Many thanks for your thoughts and advice. I’ll be trying out a number of your suggestions going forward.

You’re all much appreciated


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