Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Can We Caregive?


From Homie01:

My son 23 is doing so very well now that he was transferred from hometown hospital to institutional mental health ctr. He has earned full privlages after one month and although soft spoken speaks well when spoken too, with good eye contact. He has been diagnosed with negative schzo. and was to start clozopine, but an ecg discovered hereditary heart issues, so that can’t begin. As much as I would like him home once ready, my husband’s heart failure will not handle the stress, is it possible for us to caregive? Or is it better for him to independantly live , my fear is he’ll just not be ready and will get into trouble. any suggestions?


@homie01 I am so happy to hear that your son is doing very well, that is wonderful news. I was thinking about your dilemma and these are my thoughts. Maybe they can both be in the same home with you and you could have both your son’s and your husband’s doctors refer them for some extended home health care to come in either daily or weekly (whatever the insurance or local social programs will cover) to help with whatever needs to be done and in some cases they will transport, maybe help with appointments and daily menial chores. If your son is doing as well as you say then the stress for both you and your husband could possibly be managed better with the extra assistance.

While the stress of your son in the home might be hard on your husband’s heart condition in some ways, the stress of managing independent living could be just as stressful on your son’s heart condition and his mental wellness just the same. If you can put a solid support system in place to share the burden of care and give you a chance to not only care for yourself, but have quality time with both your husband and your son…it might work out well. Just my thoughts. My best to your family.


To me, it sounds like Homie01 would be the caregiver for two people. Without backup, it’s hard to be the caregiver for one person.

I think a good thing to do might be to have a family meeting with a social worker or counselor and talk about this stuff openly with everyone involved; find out what resources are available for each situation.

Where we live there is no help for home caregivers of people with mental illness unless we could afford to hire someone out of pocket. People with serious mental illness who live independently or in group homes tend to receive more services and Medicaid hours. Everywhere is different though.


Have you thought about assisted living for mental health people? I have my son in one as I work fulltime. I visit often. It meets his and my needs. He started in a 3 week in patient psych hospital with a year of out patient services. That way the doctors could keep and eye on him and he was learning coping skills and social things through group therapy. He has stopped the outpatient program 1 1/2 years ago and is doing well. Something to consider.


Thank you for the input and comments, we are so frustrated right now. My son did an intake for early phycosis intervention before hospital visit (suicidal thoughts) and was denied because it wasn’t believed he had phycosis, the mental hlth ctr contacted epi feeling he would be accepted with his diagnosis, giving him full support, he was denied again because he’s been sick for too long. The group homes in the city we live in are full with waiting lists and the only home available is in the city 1 hour away. My husband has been on disability for many years, his heart stopped a year ago, and we are on borrowed time. He gets no assistance, other than a disability check, he sees 3 specialists regularly and our old car is also on borrowed time. I’m lookin for 2nd job to meet the bills. The only resources now avail. for our son is something called ACTT and is not available to people living in group homes. The way I see it we are all screwed, but I’m still hoping something works out.


Truly untenable situation. I’m sorry you are going through this.

The ACT team where we live is known to be pretty helpful. If the team where you live is as good, I think it might be okay to have your son under their treatment if he can be in a living situation that qualifies. Lots of ifs in that sentence.

Best to you.