CEMM Virtual Library

The Caregiver's Journey

Lack of Initiation

Your family member may seem to have lost interest in activities he or she used to enjoy. You may find yourself offering frequent reminders to do simple tasks, like brushing teeth or taking a bath.

Your service member/veteran may not begin activities on his or her own. This is not laziness. Injury to the brain is the reason.

What you might see:

  • Remaining in bed until encouraged to get up 
  • Spending much of the day sitting around, not actively engaged in activities 
  • Not speaking unless spoken to
  • Problems completing tasks without a lot of supervision
  • Agreeing to do something, but then not following through

How you can help:

  • Set up a regular schedule for your service member/veteran to follow. The goal is to learn a routine so well that it becomes automatic.
  • Post the schedule. Make sure it is in the person’s calendar or memory notebook.
  • Work with your service member/veteran to develop a list of goals or tasks to be completed. Help your family member check off completed tasks so he or she can see progress.
  • Encourage your service member/veteran to become involved. Having purpose along with structure can help.

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