Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Call it lack of motivation or laziness. I can't do it all


How have some of you caregivers gotten the person diagnosed to do more housework and yard work?


@mamakaye Nothing really works all the time with my son he just does what he can when he can but the best luck I have is putting a chore in front of something he really wants to do but can’t do without my help…Like I need the dishes done but he wants to go to a movie with me…so I might say, “As soon as you finish those dishes we can get out of here” Sometimes it will work and sometimes he will say, “I will do those when we get back” If he says the latter, the dishes may get done after he gets back OR the next day…but the “deal” works out eventually. It’s not laziness as much as it is how his brain works…instead of being a simple thought like “dishes” it is about 100 other unrelated thoughts that interfere with the action…another thing that helps (sometimes) to bring him in on the ‘action’ is just saying, “come help me” or if I’m washing dishes I hand him a dish towel…sometimes that works too…my son does enough to keep me able to do the rest…luckily we live in an apt so all the yard work is done…but he usually will vacuum, he folds his laundry which we do at a laundry mat…he shares dishes maybe 30% of the time…he takes out the trash pretty regularly…but in the very beginning he did nothing ever…I have seen the gradual changes over time and how much it helps to be calm and really low key in approaching chores and expectations…just quiet frequent reminders and incentives but no upset or emotion --and if it doesn’t get it done in a reasonable amount of time I do it but if I can’t for some reason it stays undone till one of us finally does it…I mean I would rather have undone chores than stress my son out because he didn’t do them…Stress makes everything much worse and for me its not worth it. That’s my story, best of luck.


Mamakaye, with my son it takes me doing it with him and working side by side. When he walks away, I call him back and sometimes he does come back and works. I do this with bed making, laundry, picking up trash in his room and dirty dishes. I had him dishes out of the dishwasher and he puts them away. He can mop if I get it all ready and vacuum if I’m there. Just nothing consistently or on his own. The cooking he really enjoys but it can be a little dangerous and very messy but heh, it’s progress.


Thanks to both of you. Catherine, it seems as if your son does a lot! But it is very helpful for me to hear that it has been a gradual increase. My son does his own laundry, empties the trash, and helps put up groceries. With other housework or yard work he says it doesn’t matter to him whether it is done or not! I think the real secret after reading what the 2 of you wrote is appreciating the “progress”. It is so helpful to hear from moms that really understand. My friends and family give advice to me re: consequences etc. that would work perfectly fine for a teen-age child - not a grown man with schizoaffective disorder. There is always a fine line between doing too much for someone and pushing too hard. And being a natural worrier from a long line of worriers, I am trying to figure out the right balance.:blush:


If I let my daughter know that I need her help, she is pretty good. If she is left to her own, she’ll usually clean out the litter box and feed the animals. Sometimes she still needs reminders, but does so willingly. Most of the time she doesn’t notice the other chores need doing nor does she remember to look at her chart. If there is a piece of trash on the floor she doesn’t notice she should pick it up. This is not laziness. Part of her brain just does not work that way. She sometimes calls it laziness, but it’s not. She abuses DXM and I’ve noticed when she’s used she still does not notice things, but she does ask for things to do to help me. When she comes off the DXM she is usually very tired and often sleeps all day. She’ll wake for a while and binge eat and go back to bed. If I make French toast for her I’ll bargain for her to wash the dishes before going back to bed. That works.


My son cannot enjoy a movie right now. I can’t wait till he is able to because I really miss that.


@mamakaye I am with you! balance is very hard for me too…and it sounds like your son is doing a fair amount also…and about that cooking…I let my son cook on occasion but only when my nerves can handle it because he often burns things including my pans…I have to be close by but on occasion I feel like hey…give him a chance…maybe he will feel accomplished…I don’t know it’s hard to tell…I’ve tried teaching him techniques and show him simple recipes and he gets aggravated and can’t focus and starts cracking jokes and then wanders away…he only cooks things like a pre made burgers or fries you bake in the oven…and his favorite is sandwiches but I have to limit that or he would eat a sandwich for every single meal…and snacks… :confused:


Yeah my hubs can’t watch tv or movies anymore eaither or read i have to read to him it’s the saddest thing all the little things we did are gone how do we remember to have fun together anymore?

I keep feeling like sz people might be better off with their parents but my hubs has toxic parents I won’t abandon him but he def seems sick enough to leave and go homeless


I’ve really tried to engage him in chores when I come home because I’m starting to resent cleaning up after a 22 year old constantly. So today I let him cook and thought he was going to warm up pizza. Instead he cut up onion and mushrooms sautéed in butter and put flour in it. It was good on sausage pizza and I told him so. I asked him to help me clean up. He with me directing cleaned up everything except the stove top. I handed him the dishes in the dishwasher and he put them in the cabinet. Then I reloaded. We then went and sorted the two loads of laundry. I told him I sometimes find things in the pockets and to check his clothes and I’ll check mine. He found a couple lighters.

I’m going to make it a regular practice to try to involve him each day. You all here have inspired me to continue this.


That is so good. Not only are you encouraging work ethic but you are turning it into socialization. In former times I believe people worked together commonly and it was much healthier for everyone.


Yes, it feels right. I just don’t know if I should retire and give my life over to caregiving? I won’t be here forever.


@mamakaye. - A few months ago I reached the point where I gave up on my daughter helping out with chores. Honestly, my daughter is too sick to help. Her mind is occupied 24/7 with delusions, sounds, hallucinations, depression, anxiety, etc.

I’ve reached my limits of how much I want to continue to help her. She just landed in jail because she hit her 5 year old child and me and is now out and charges were dropped but I’ve decided I cannot have her live with me. Having her in the house is destroying me and her two children I’m raising. She’s now in the hospital and I’ve told the social worker at the hospital I will not allow her back in the house. It’s all become too much for me to have her living In my home. I believe my daughter will do so much better in a group home where she can live with others who have similar challenges because her and I have clashed in a way that is unhealthy and destructive for both of us.

When our children our so ill our nagging will not help. It’s made my daughter feel less than and hopeless.

I wish you and your family the best and perhaps resolve itself in unexpected ways.


Molly, you are wise to not allow the physical violence, especially raising her children. I hope she gets the help she needs and as we set boundaries, we are actually helping them when we are no longer there. That is how we face decisions now.


I am sorry it has come to that, but hope you can find a group home that will be good for her and affordable. The only places like that where I live are apartments shared with a room-mate. A caseworker comes in once a week to check on them. It’s hard to imagine someone who is so sick being able to handle that much independence. Group homes in my state that have around the clock staff and provide meals are privately run and cost around $4,000 a month.


@mamakaye. – I’ve thought about the expense of a group home — I have no idea what the cost is in my community. I do know she will never will live with me again. Having my daughter in my house is like having five 2 year old toddlers. Her children are no problem. Both of them are wonderful, funny and bright children. My daughter’s problems are impossible for one old lady to to deal with and then run a household and raise two awesome grandchildren. Having her live by herself in an apartment will never work --she needs support to function (she will fall apart and be in and out of the hospitals). I pray that her caseworker will find it for her.


I hope they find a safe and supportive place for her to live. In a good situation, over time, she could most likely rebuild and relearn her skills of daily living so that one day in the future she could live on her own. But she really needs daily support right now. I hope hope hope there is a good place for her.


He is going to go in the waiting list but if is up to them to actually choose him. They let it be known that they are selective. They will take all of his Medicaid which is okay with me. There may be additional money needed. If he is getting therapy, it will be worth it.