Daytime Care for 19 year old

Good afternoon. My stepdaughter was diagnosed as schizophrenic the past year. She is almost 19 years old. Her meds seemed to work a bit but now they aren’t working again. Since school has started back up, everyone in the family is working or at school. She can’t be left home alone and not sure what we can do for care? Her grandparents can take her on occasion.
She’s stolen her brother’s car, had someone pick her up to get a vape pen, run off to find a boy she thinks she’s “married to” and threatened his girlfriend (parents were going to press charges but giving her one more chance to stay away). Her biggest delusion is that she’s married to this boy who is still in High school.
Her mom is a school teacher, so over the summer she could stay with her mom. Now everyone is at work. What do you all do in households where you can’t take off work daily to care for your family member? She doesnt have Medacaid or Disability yet, i believe her parents are working on that (at least I hope they are, i’m just stepmom trying to be supportive).

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I wish I had an answer for you. My son has also stolen his father’s truck. We are in our second year almost to the 3rd year of trying to get him on disability. People with this illness need a controlled living environment and I have not been able to find that place. We are in Florida and after reading stories on this forum, very few have been able to find the answers. Maybe you can find a group home? Maybe you can check with the NAMI chapter in your area. The one in my area basically shut down during COVID and now offer very limited help, but maybe your area can be of assistance. Good luck to you and the family

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I had to leave my adult daughter at home alone while I worked. We built a wall in our home to divide off a space for her, and installed a door to the outside from her room/bathroom so she could come and go at her will. I couldn’t prevent her from getting into trouble and twice she was arrested. The last time she was arrested, I went to court and asked for the judge to order her to be on meds or stay in jail. By then, I knew which meds worked, so requested a 30 day injection of Haldol be prescribed. That medicine ended our nightmare. Good luck to your sorting things out. You are fighting a war, it is composed of many battles, but each one can bring you closer to a solution. The legal system was a solution for us. If your step-daughter breaks the law (assault/battery/theft) etc. you can use that to get her jailed and treated in the jail hospital. I also had my daughter Baker Acted three times from my home with involuntary stays in psych wards near us. However, every time she was released, she went off of her meds, only the court order kept her on meds which worked.

Some families get their ill family member a separate place to live, if they can afford it. I once turned my daughter out of the house and she went to a homeless shelter. She hated it and came back home and controlled herself better to stay in my home. She still lives with me now 7 years since her illness began, but is able to work and participate in life for the last several years.


My son (23) used to steal my car keys or just leave the house at night. I’m not an expert by any means. And I don’t think there’s any single answer. I had to look at what was motivating my son to leave. He was going over to his mom’s apartment to smoke marijuana. When she moved to another state that pretty much stopped. Here’s some precautions that worked for us.

  1. I never leave my car keys out. If I’m not using my car, my keys and my wallet go into my safe.

  2. I had to take my son’s wallet and ID and also place them in a safe so he cannot walk to a store to buy stuff to get high.

  3. At some points when he was not stabilized on his meds, I had to install double-sided keyed deadbolts in all the doors. He never thought to use a window. Things are back to normal now that he’s stabilized.

  4. I had to make sure he had cigarettes. They may want to consider letting he use an approved vape pen like Vuse or just giving her cigarettes so she doesn’t have the urge to leave home.

  5. I put up cameras everywhere that send motion alerts. I mostly check these when I have to run out for a while.

  6. I work from home.

  7. Try to find something that will occupy her mind when she’s home alone. Playing video games, watching movies. If she’s on social media and if it is helping to reinforce her delusion about being married, they should consider blocking social media sites.

At the end of the day, their best bet may be to try to get her stabilized on meds asap, which may take many months. During this time, it sounds like someone needs to be at home with her, somehow. Maybe consider paying her grandparents to watch her until she is stabilized.

Take care.


Well make sure her dad is applying for it. She can get SSI for sure if
not worked and SSDI which is more once her parents retire, based on
their paying in.
I wish there were more places for mentally ill to go, they have day care
for those with intellectual disabilities or if you can show they
have some autism.
My dad went to adult day care with a stroke, so I dont know why they
dont have that…,maybe some states do

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Dr Chris Palmer… on YouTube… definitely worth a serious try. No downside

Each person is different but a person with untreated, or under-treated serious mental illness will continue to have problems. The goal is to bring about meaningful recovery, which means TREATMENT. If the meds aren’t working, does her doctor know? There should be a change in medication if that is the case. Is she still taking her meds? There ARE day supports such as Clubhouses, but the person has to agree to go and would have to be stable enough to go.

I encourage you to attend a NAMI Family Support Group. All NAMI programs are offered at no cost to participants. Some of these are meeting in person and others are meeting virtually. Some alternate and some are true hybrids (both at the same time). All NAMI support groups are confidential to the persons in the group. You can locate options by looking up NAMI in your state. NAMI also has a Family to Family Class offered from time to time which I found to be very helpful to better understand the illness, learn communication skills, etc.