For those who care for someone with Parkinson's disease
[Home] [Forum] [Help] [Search] [Register] [Login] [Donate]
You are not logged in

Topic Keeping my unmotivated husband busy?! Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By umajane On 2014.10.02 23:11
MY husband does not really have any friends except me...So what do I do to keep him busy..... I need ideas..
What I have done so far is: personal training twice a week for 1/2 hour at our house; private Pilates class for one hour at a studio. A caregiver once a week to take a walk and go to the dog park. Shopping at Costco and Trader Joes. All his helpers are women which he prefers.
I can leave him at home but he mostly watches TV or naps. Help!!!! I wish he wanted to do something but these are all my ideas.....

By bksquared On 2014.10.03 00:16
Same issue husband with no friends or interest. So he and his anxiety have hours to be together. We go to bingo so he must interact with others Since he is fearful of driving transportation falls to me. I tried jigsaw puzzles without too much success. Luminosity keeps him busy for a half hour. I am trying to hire a companion to take him to the movies and do errands, also make him interact with someone else. Once a month we go to a Parkinson's support group for lectures. Also have him join webinars for stimulation. Looking forward to seeing what others can suggest.

By VioletV On 2014.10.03 10:33
My husband can't really engage with movies or TV, but we watch Met Opera streaming a couple of times a month. He enjoys seeing the same production over and over. (We've seen Barber of Seville a dozen times -- fortunately Juan Diego Flores is very easy on the eyes- and an amazing singer too--but I digress!).

I have also investigated websites with activities for people with dementia (like and Maybe this will be helpful. Something that keeps the hands and attention engaged, and gives you a chance to focus on other tasks, or even a moment to rest and recharge?


By Lynnie2 On 2014.10.03 11:02
My husband is the same way. He sits around a lot and then falls asleep.
He walks around the block when it's nice but now colder weather will be coming so that will cease.
He does have a recumbent bike in the basement which he can use in the winter, so that's a help.
He golfs a few times in the summer with his nephew and I also with me once. He just doesn't have the energy to do things and when he does, it bothers his lower back. The weakness is a big issue with PD.
He like to watch TV and movies and used to do games on the computer, but with the laptop, he finds it too difficult to use.
I guess we should be thankful our husband's aren't any worse yet, and try not to dwell on the future.
Oh, he sometimes gets lunch for me and empty's the dishwasher and helps dry the dishes.
It is good to know what others are going through and the support given.

By makrivah On 2014.10.03 16:40
Apathy. My PWP watches way too much TV. He likes to watch the simple plot lines of detective shows over and over. He would watch Law and Order: SVU 24/7 if I'd let him. I've begged him to engage in something...anything. Conversation has all but stopped. I asked him why he doesn't say much. He said, "I don't have anything to talk about." I agreed with him. If he doesn't do anything, read anything, talk to anyone, etc., what would he have to say? I've tried crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, on and on. He can't or won't engage. At our last doctor visit, the doctor told him that "TV is a mind killer." That got his attention for a day or two, then he slipped back into his routine.
I am VERY interested in activities that work for others. It's way too early to give up.

By umajane On 2014.10.03 16:59
Yes it is way to early to give up. I need to go our local senior center and hope he will go. It's just another thing to do in a long list. I downloaded a book for him on my Ipad which kept him interested about 10 minutes but he lost his place and could not figure it out. TV is the easy way out and not engaging at all.

By lurkingforacure On 2014.10.03 20:12
We are much earlier in this journey than many here yet my husband also sits around most of the time. Makes our kids crazy, hard on me as well. I'm not going to get into his being able to get dressed and out the door in 10 minutes to go meet a friend for lunch when he can't/won't go to any of his children's activities (another post for another day) but I do have these suggestions:

books on tape? most public libraries have lots of these, so no cost, a bonus:)

educational DVDs? things like travel videos to places you've always wanted to go, or went to already and would like to "virtually" visit again, or things you are curious about or just want to know more about (like the pyramids or 7 wonders of the world, etc.)...Netflix or similar would be a source for these as well as the public library again, I've also seen some awesome DVDs put out by National Geographic

magazines? sometimes just flipping through a magazine with pictures of things you enjoy looking at or learning about can be very enjoyable and therapeutic...again, local library may be helpful here as you can check out older issues (just not the current month's)

music, I personally think music is very music your loved one likes and make play lists, encourage him or her to sing along and get engaged in the music...I think music could go a long way in helping a lot of PWP be less anxious, particularly classical like Bach, Beethoven, Mozart which have such rich counterpoint. There is so much to hear in music and it's hard to feel anxious when you are actively listening to such beauty.

A chore chart if your loved one is able? We all need to feel useful and needed and this could be customized to suit pretty much anyone's ability level.

Hugs to everyone going through this difficult part of PD, I find it to be one of the hardest things to deal with so far.

By LOHENGR1N On 2014.10.03 20:21
Okay looking out from a Parkinson's Devastated body, a general view. First how to keep Us motivated? Well that is a matter of perspective and I'll tell you our prospective is a lot different then yours. And in all due respects to Carls doctor, yes the spouse and loved ones of a Parkie do in some respects suffer from P.D. too. He's right up to a point. And many well meaning web sites out there are up to a point right about hand and eye coordination. Keeping the mind active is also important. However there is a lack of P.D. tailored study and tips. Some things brought up here looking at from inside P.D. are well they could be more discouraging than encouraging. Puzzles, jigsaw we pick up the piece try to look at it wavering in the air and locate where it goes after a few our eyes are buggy. Reading, if we have eye tremor trying to read while our eyes are tremmoring is a strain and chore. Holding a book or magazine, news paper or the like we can't keep it still but if we rest it we may be able to run our finger along while reading so we don't lose track or where we are. But Ipads and tablets are a menace. Those touch screens have taken me on many wild and long trips into the neitherlands of the internet. A tap from a trembling finger is all it takes then like Alice in Wonderland drinking this and eating that the print grows large then small as My Parkinsonion cheshire Cat grins over my shoulder instructing my hand to tap over there and see where that will take us. I do have a hint for the laptop though, plug a keyboard and mouse into the usb ports so he can use it like a desktop I do. Also with tablets and Ipads the light screen my help but P.D. also effects the iris in our eye (think camera lens) from opening and closing regulating the amount of light let in to see so when we look up it takes longer to adjust and see clearly. Getting back to puzzles and such some may stick with them longer than others but only for so long before frustration takes over. Try attaching some vibrating device to your hand and then play a round of pick up sticks and one might get some idea of what we're putting up with and trying to do. It's not easy I know to try to fill our time up with stuff but we also have to take the disease and effects into these plans. Someone may with another disease without tremor build stronger memory but with P.D. to many it can get so frustrating and present loss and limitations it will do more harm than good and cause a more withdrawn patient. I'm sorry I can't be of more help to caregivers and have some easy answers on this subject, I can only point out things from a PWP's point of view and say lets really think this through because sometimes our problems with a task are real and not stubbornness or apathy (sometimes they are) but what some think may help can at times to us look like Oh G-d, they just don't listen or have a clue. Then the Cheshire cat nods it's head and whispers I stole your voice to so try to explain it to anyone. Hope I haven't stepped on too many toes here just trying to in a limited way to explain some of the hidden or little know facts of our disease. Take care, best of luck and hang in there

ps those are some really good suggestions Lurking thanks!

By EachDay On 2014.10.03 21:09
The Library of Congress has a books on tape program and those with PD are eligible. Here is the website
You can also get magazines and newspapers in this format too.

They provide an audio device. The tapes can be mailed to your home in a container that you can mail back by turning over the mailing label. The postage is free. They have been digitizing the collection over the years so some you can just download to your machine.

By jcoff012 On 2014.10.03 22:09
Was waiting for your response, Al! Carl's doctor is just so positive and encouraging, I don't see his comments about being in this together as anything other than that...positive...not to diminish PD or Carl's problems, but rather a statement that while Carl's life is changing, so is mine, so let's work together and not against each other.

With that in mind, I have been thinking a lot about this thread. While I don't want to sit around so much, I respect Carl's journey and if he feels tired or simply wants to sit there, I leave him alone.

When the doctor asked him if the tremors were affecting his ADLs, he surprised me and said, "Yes..." and explained how he could no longer hold the phone in his left hand, had trouble getting his wallet out of his left pocket. etc...The doctor said, "We have choices in meds...would you rather not have tremors, put possibly have hallucinations or other problems?" They talked for quite a bit...

I guess what I am saying on here is that to me, it is important to encourage him to do what HE wants, not what I want him to do...and if that means he wants to do nothing, so be it.

Maybe when we are further along in this journey, I will feel differently, but for now, I think it is important to suggest we do some things, but accept that he may not wish to do them...and that is ok.

Hugs and good luck, everyone! Jane

By ResistanceFutil On 2014.10.04 09:22
Thanks, Jane. You said what I was thinking while I read this thread, and you're able to communicate it in such a nice way:

'I respect (my husband's) journey and if he feels tired or simply wants to sit there, I leave him alone.'

Sometimes doing nothing but allowing what is to be ok is the hardest thing of all.

By moonswife On 2014.10.04 17:44
Al I awaited your comment too. It was worth it. Alice Through The Looking Glass is a perfect comparison. I giggled thinking of you making images bigger when you did not intend to, and vice versa.
Hey, if you husband is watching something made for TV in this decade you at least can watch a little with him.
Between Turner Classic Movies, the Western Channel and my granddaughters Disney channel I ache for a good news program. The Opera...I'd love that. And I do not mean a Horse Opera. Those are on waaaaay toooo much.

By VioletV On 2014.10.04 20:32
thank you. You always offer a perspective that reflects what my PWP husband says. It may be that this search for something to occupy our PWP is more a search for something to make US more comfortable.

I am learning (slowly) to just let him "be" when he tells me that he is content to sit quietly. I worry - I feel that if I'm working or writing or reading and not engaging with him that I'm neglecting him.

I just know that there are times when he tells me how sad he is that he can do so little and has lost so much. I just don't know how to help. I feel that I MUST be missing something, and I wonder what, from a PWP's perspective, is an ideal spouse/partner/caregiver?


By umajane On 2014.10.04 22:46
So many great posts and so much to ponder.... I get confused because sometimes when we do go out at my insistence he is happy once we are there.
Example....a grandson's soccer game....I almost left without my husband and later he had such a good time. So I guess it's a balance. Al, thank you so much for your insight. We can only do the very best we can each day..

By Mary556 On 2014.12.04 23:03
EachDay, thanks for suggesting digital books from NLS. We downloaded the form and my PWP's neurologist was happy to sign for her. My mother's packages arrived a few days ago. She was hesitant to start, but today we tried out her first tAlking book. Mom sat at the kitchen table and listened to her story for about an hour while I fixed supper. She seemed to enjoy it. Hopefully this will be a good, relaxing outlet for her, something to keep her interest. We are grateful.

God bless all PWPs and caregivers.

By Lynnie2 On 2014.12.07 14:35
I also have an unmotivated husband, but I've discovered that he can't help it.
I know he would love to have energy and be motivated to do something other than watching TV. Fixing things around the house is next to impossible for him.
He does read a magazine a little or weekly newspaper but never a book. He always read slowly, but now it's 3 times as slow.
We used to have a computer with a monitor and tower, but changed to a laptop, so it really difficult for him to operate it now.
I even tried some games, but his hand moments are too slow.
This summer I bought a checker game from Cracker Barrel, you know the large checkers? We sat it on the picnic table and for the first half of the game he was beating me. It was a very hot day, so we took a break for lunch and then continued the game afterwards. Well, it was like he didn't know how to play. He was getting mixed up in the directions, etc.
I guess the break didn't help things, so we stopped playing.
His memory isn't the same and most of the time when he wants to explain something, he can't find the word/words he wants to say.
It is just difficult seeing him his way.
He used to farm and hold a full time job down at the same time and be so strong......... Live isn't fair, but we try to take one day at a time.
We have been married over 45 years, so our journey will continue for 'better or worse" as they say.
It is good to know that there are other spouses of PWP going through the same thing and it makes be feel that I 'm not alone.
We are going through another health problems but not Parkinson's related so we'll find out next week, what they diagnose. Wish us luck.

By Marilyn-NJ On 2014.12.10 20:12
What incredible posts from all. I understood all the reasons why my husband reached this quiet do nothing stage. My standard answer to all those well intentioned suggestions from friends was "it's the Parkinson's" and indeed it is. It's so very hard to watch and let things be but sometimes in life that is all we can do. Stay strong all you inspiring people!

By umajane On 2014.12.13 01:29
Lynnie, Your post was amazing. They really can't help it....but so wish there was something to make it all be normal again.

© · Published by jAess Media · Privacy Policy & Terms of Use
Sponsorship Assistance for this website and Forum has been provided by
by people like you