My 70-year-old father, who is in the hospital due to stroke, was showing more alertness and being more talkative than in weeks past on Wednesday evening and on Thursday morning. I brought a favourite movie of his on my laptop to play for him, which he consented to watching. As it started he called out the name of the star ("Gene Tierney") but then in the middle of the first scene the occupational therapist came in so I stopped the movie and as she started talking to him he was all of a sudden like a deer in the headlights in response to her questions and just stared at her instead of answering. And he was similarly withdrawn when the speech pathologist came in and asked him to cough, which he couldn't or wouldn't. (It felt like a scene from the old cartoon about the singing & dancing frog who refuses to perform to anyone but when alone with the construction worker who finds him.)
Was all the talking with me that morning and the previous evening and the movie "information overload" for his condition, causing him to withdraw to a less communicative state? Should I avoid playing movies or asking him too many questions? Is there a way to know when the brain of a stroke patient is ready for new input and when it needs more rest? Is Gene Tierney too exciting for stroke patients?