My parents recently were discharged from home health PT/OT. Since then they have done very little to do any follow up exercise as instructed

My mother continues to blame multiple reasons for not following through. She continues to point out that my father is weak and not doing his exercise. My father does use his walker to go to breakfast at their ALF, but again she has multiple excuses that she can't go?

As an elderly person (83) I will try to tell you why I don't do the PT exercises other than when the therapist is here. I HATE to exercise and always have, and I have a daughter who taught exercise, She gave me all the CD's for low impact workouts and encouraged me a lot. Did NO good. Being alone does not help. Yes, I have mild pain constantly from my various medical conditions and use that as an excuse along with being on the computer so much. I am now looking to transfer from my home to a Senior Independent/Assisted Living facility. I am hoping that being able to do PT of some type with a group will provide the motivation to keep me on my feet. I will have to walk to the main dining room and other common areas for clubs, music events, etc. I also liked the idea of the PT playing music while exercising. Wish me luck, Friends.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to sebringfling
waytomisery Mar 13, 2024
Good luck !! Good for you for looking for ways to possibly be motivated.
Totally understand the difficulty to be motivated on your own to exercise .
A group with music and an instructor sounds great! I’m glad you are willing to go to clubs , events etc . You’ll socialize and meet friends .
The reasons I’ve been told ….
1) PT doesn’t work
2) I don’t believe in PT
3) OT is stupid , she makes me hang up clothes hangers in the closet, which I don’t need because the laundry staff does that for me here ( in ALF).
4) I’m fine , I don’t need that cr4p
5) Leave me alone , I need to rest ( after a stroke ).
6) They are just wasting Medicare money.
7) I don’t want to
8) I’m tired .
9) They come too early .
10) I’m not old like the rest of these people .

It boils down to they either don’t understand , have no energy , or don’t care ( depressed) or all of the above .
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to waytomisery

Sounds like my mother! Mine does horrible with PT and tries to move as little as humanly possible. And makes lame excuses for not going down to meals at her ALF. Why do they do it?? Good question!
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Reply to againx100

If she wasn't allowed meals in her room she would need to get to the dining room, where is the AL staff in all of this and why isn't she being firmly encouraged to do so?
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to cwillie

In my MIL's case, her medical team suggested that she may not be getting enough pain relief to make the PT more bearable. We were really worried about her taking the opioids. So we did agree to up the dosage. After my knee replacement I can tell you that the pain was definitely a deterant but I was highly motivate because I wanted to return to tennis. The older one is, the more aches and pains in general one has to deal with daily, on top of the injury pain.

Do your parents have memory issues? Is it possible they aren't remembering to take any pain meds?

How old are your parents? Why were they in PT/OT?

Trying to get them to be people they aren't (and maybe never were) is like pushing a boulder up a hill.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Geaton777
ElizabethAR37 Mar 13, 2024
Totally agree. They may be in unrelieved pain. I'm 87 and have chronic pain. I have to force myself to keep moving. Moving hurts. So far, I'm doing it, but if I develop a serious debilitating illness, there may be a different script.
She just doesn't want to. Period. Her mental status may not allow her to understand the consequences. She might say she does, but she can't if her brain is broken.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Fawnby

Pain. Fear of falling. Lacking motivation. Depression.

Way, I'll add one more your list.
11) No-one ever told me I need to walk.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Beatty

”I don’t want to and you can’t make me.”

After 2 years of refusing to stand or walk (she was an avid walker until the day she stopped) my mother (99) is still certain that, if she wants to, she can hop right out of bed, walk down the stairs and drive away in her car (which is long gone). She yelled at the physiotherapists to leave her alone. I think she truly believes that, when she feels like it, she’ll just pick up where she left off 2 years ago. Another dementia delusion.

Beatty, you made me snort. ‘11) No-one ever told me I need to walk.’

I asked my mother why she was being spoon fed instead of feeding herself. She informed me that nobody told her to feed herself. So I told her to pick up the cutlery and feed herself. She did. That was 2 years ago. She still feeds herself some days. Depends on her mood.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Anabanana
djenning6msncom Mar 13, 2024
I agree - my husband still thinks he can walk, so why do these weird exercises? The brain protects him from his grim reality. Not much that reasoning can do.
Your mother does not wish to partake in PT/OT, that's why. So she'll likely wind up in a wheelchair like my mother did, losing core strength and needing help in and out of bed, the toilet, and the chair. No use telling her that either, because dementia prevents the message from getting through.

It is what it is. Accept it and don't ruin your relationship with mom by constantly nagging her. That's my suggestion.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to lealonnie1

Accept that she doesn't want to do the exercises. Maybe she felt sore or tired afterwards. Maybe she didn't enjoy the exercise or the therapist. See if she wants to regain mobility and strength. Remind her that not exercising, leads to permanent physical problems. I would recommend doing her exercises with her or see if there is group activities that mimic the exercises she was doing. Sometimes doing things as a group works better.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Taarna

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