Make your own free website on Tripod.com


 





 

LACK OF INITIATIVE

Initially or early in the recovery process from injury to the brain, apathy or lack of initiative will often develop. Your family member is confused and unable to conceptualize and plan activities. All projects or goals, however small, are overwhelming, so it is less threatening and less anxiety provoking to just sit and do nothing. This lack of initiative is extremely frustrating to families. They are aware of the precious time that is taken away from rehabilitation efforts when the patient says, "I don't want to do anything."

Examples

1. Your family member may be content to spend most of the day in front of the TV set, watching either movies or soap operas. He says he doesn't want to do anything else.

2. He may plan the activities for the day in great detail. However, he may not get past the first activity on the list because it may take him all day to accomplish it.

3. Your family member may no longer be interested in his previous hobbies. He may have enjoyed his computer before his injury. Now you may not be able to perk his interest in any aspect of computer programming or game playing.

4. He may be improving in following his list for the day. However, when a friend called after he finished task two, he never got back to his list.

Management Techniques

1. Help your family member make a daily schedule. Set up his schedule the evening before. Have him write time flames necessary for each activity. For example, if making phone calls should take 30 minutes, list "9:00-9:30---make phone calls."

2. He may become easily distracted. For that reason, it is important for him to check off his activities as he completes them. If you are away, calling him periodically during the day to cue him will also keep him on his schedule. Perhaps other family members can take turns with daily phone calls.

3. Give your family member time to develop new hobbies and interests. More active interests may hold his attention and keep him moving. He may now enjoy a fitness program more than something requiring concentration and problem solving. He may feel more of a sense of accomplishment with the physical activity.