Even though I am an OT I stop doing a home exercise if I do not see what I hope to get from it.
I think non-compliance is more likely when exercise does not feel personal. My OT had me slide a towel on the table with my hemiplegic hand. That exercise was to help me........ what was that exercise for? The hand can reach to pull up pants or sign a credit card slip. Unlike the foot, the hand is so versatile it is hard to know what sliding the towel on the table would do for me.
Here is another example of how confusing exercise can be. My neighbor complained to me about OT. Her OT had her put clothespins on a clothesline. My neighbor said "I told that young girl I had a clothes dryer, but she made me use the clothespins anyway." As an OT I knew her therapist was working on tip pinch. However, I did not know my neighbor well enough to know why she needed a strong tip pinch in her non-dominant hand. If one OT cannot tell what another OT's end game is how can clients understand the value of the exercises we prescribe?
Linking a specific Activity of Daily Living (ADL) to a specific exercise motivates clients.
Stretch shoulder = Don shirt. When my shoulder was tight I laid on my back on the bed and stretched it while I rested after a shower. Stretching my shoulder just before I dressed made it easier to get my arm in the sleeve when I donned a shirt.
Leg lifts = Boardwalk. Before I walk on the boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach, I hold onto the railing and do a few leg lifts to wake up the weak hip flexors and abdominals on my hemiplegic side. Leg lifts keep me from stubbing my toe on the edge of boards that stick up.