Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Anyone here have any ways they’ve been able to motivate themselves/their relatives to bathe/shave/exercise more often?

Asking for my uncle, who has been schizophrenic for 20 years. Research has shown cleanliness and exercise to be beneficial to those with schizophrenia and mental illness in general, but he doesn’t really spend too much time on these things and frequently goes a month or more without addressing either. I just found this forum and hoped that some of you might have some helpful insight.

My thing with my son was just going for a walk together somewhere green. It always helped a lot (he walks a lot under his own steam these days to control his weight and he cooks healthy food)

This is a hard one because in my experience, there is no pushing someone with sz to do anything that they don’t want to do. I just kept asking my son to go for walks with me. Told him that I was feeling out of shape. Months later, he suggested that we get a membership to our local gym, which I pounced on while he was motivated. Now he is going daily, usually for 2.5 hours. and it has changed his life (as well as taking meds properly). He still doesn’t like to shower too much, or care if he wears the same clothes over and over again, and honestly, I gave up on pushing that. I just figure that when the time is right, he will start doing that more on his own too. Best of luck with your uncle.

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Over these many years with my sz son, and considering he has been stabilized for awhile, I succeeded in getting him to shower every 3rd day now as opposed to once every week or two in the beginning. He shaves within a half a day of his shower, either before or after (he did that on his own). He will only brush his teeth once a day even though he has lost at least 3 and has been told by his dentist and me that twice a day would be better. I take him with me once a month for a haircut. As for exercise, the only way I keep him at it is by joining him. He will walk with me almost any day that I say I am going which is at least 5 days a week. He has a free gym membership at a local gym through Silver Sneakers and I pay only $10 a month so when the weather is bad we go there…but he won’t go unless I go. In the beginning he wouldn’t go at all…but then I rarely did either. My goal this summer is to get him to go swimming with me. Fingers crossed I mentioned this before about the bathing but I will say it again, I use to refuse to take my son where he wanted to go in my car because he smelled so bad, I said, “As soon as you shower we can go” --that worked 3 out of 5 times until he got sick of me saying it, then he started doing it every 3rd day. It is much harder in the summer to deal with the 3rd day thing. I would love to see his every 3rd day become every other day at some point. Time will tell.


I take my son for a haircut once a month. The stylist also trims his mustache and beard. So shaving is covered.