Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Does anyone have a family member with Schizophrenia in a group home?

I was wondering if any of you have had any experience with putting your family member with schizophrenia in a group home? My brother lives on his own right now with a lot of help. I do not think he will be able to live on his own indefinitely . I would like to know others experiences with group homes.

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Our son has schizoaffective disorder and also lives on his own. But he is barely making it with a whole lot of help. We are currently trying to research group homes too. He is so independent and not sure if he would accept this sort of situation but he does do better if he has a least one person around. With his personality and past addictions he can not live with us. Will let you know if we come up with something. One person in our NAMI support group was able to get their daughter into a group home sponsored thru Lutheran Social Services.

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Years ago I had my son in a group home and it was not a positive experience. I don’t think one person’s experience should color the entire idea of group homes -I am sure they all are different—but when I got my son into one. He was not completely stable yet. We were still in the “trying all different kinds of medicines” stage. I checked out the home thoroughly, or so I thought. The lady that ran it was a retired nurse. She had all of her credentials. The home had been inspected. It was a very well kept home with a back yard.

Some decorative points I thought were counter productive like mirrored doors because that can throw people off who are not stable and she had white carpet which I thought wow that won’t last! --but I didn’t let that be a deal breaker. She had a locked safe for meds, cigarettes, personal monies, anything that needed protected.

There were 6 or 8 people in the home. It had several bedrooms and some residents had 1 room mate. My son had his own room which was a very tiny room that barely fit a twin bed. The problems my son and I encountered were that some of the other patients were much more ill, or differently ill than my son. One had very violent outbursts that my son could not handle even seeing. Another one never ever bathed and you could literally smell him when you got out of the car before you even approached the house. (that guy was not there when I interviewed for a placement) One of the residents was a kleptomaniac and stole much of my son’s belongings from his room.

The woman in charge would hire assistants for when she was asleep or had to leave the house for some reason. Alternates to take her place, often they were relatives of hers with no mental health experience. I didn’t know this until after I removed my son from the home. I discovered that these alternates would miss medication doses, not distribute cigarettes as agreed. Generally they were useless.

One day my son who had had previous suicidal ideations due to his voices was given a safety razor to shave with and left to his own and he managed to take the shaver apart and slice his wrists pretty bad. Fortunately the paramedics got there in time and he made it but I removed him immediately. He has lived with me ever since. Nobody knows my son like I do and I don’t have the patience to teach somebody how to keep my son alive and well.

Bad experience for us but I would really like to believe they aren’t all that way. Personally I would never try one again.


Hi Catherine. I’ve a couple of questions… was this a private/state-subsidized sanctioned home or a governing/state run home? Perhaps more of a ‘half-way’ house, required to pay weekly upon conditions?

To topic question: Depending on where you are likely depends quite a bit on what your options are.
If there’s a governing or state body that is held responsible, the laws that are in place for such ‘facilities’, the funding that’s allotted, legal, and insurance issues and the such, I’d think would dictate the quality of care. ‘Level of Care Required’ is a term that might make for somewhat of an all-around mess, especially when we are handling a highly functional person with MI, because they may not always be in crisis to a degree that requires nothing more than a reminder by somebody that they Trust when crisis hits.
Having the MI person file for subsidies may be affected depending on things like somebody who filed them as a ‘dependent’ or not, and then the persons’ whom filed may be looked into for financially and legal standing and affairs…and whatnot.
Or not. Hard to say. Im not a lawyer, I’m not a doctor.
I’d probably start to talk to my loved one and discuss options, if that is possible, about theoretical situations. Stay calm.
What is your loved one willing to do?
Stay calm.

Thanks for all the information. It seems like it would be a good idea to research group homes in my brother’s area in the meantime. He is still able to live in is apartment but not without a lot of help .

I was not aware that there were group homes for the mentally ill. There are halfway houses and board and care, but those are primarily used for those with substance abuse and/or criminal convictions. They are not safe places and there really is no care. And a lot of drug use. There are a very few private institutional type places that literally charge something like $25,000 a month - for real.

my Son does well on his own as long as he is on his meds and attending aa meetings. I now have a system where if he wants to stay in his apartment he has to go to meetings, go to dr and take his meds. He really wants to live in his apartment.

Me and my friends have schizophrenia and one currently lives in a group home. In Hawai’i, you need to be pretty high functioning to live there because my friend got kicked out every time she relapsed. First time I saw this happen, she disappeared and her case manager found her and put her in a shelter and her belongings were mostly thrown out. The second time, they kept her in the hospital for 5 months while her case manager applied for new housing. Her parents seem perfectly fine with her living with them and brings food to her group home every day. She also tried to run away in the beginning before I met her. I talked to the people there and don’t think it’s very safe. In support group they say most just need help but some of them are predators. I don’t even attend the schizophrenia support group these days. I find there’s this mentality that we are treated worse all around when we live in a group home or have a case manager. I have neither and just live at home where I help my mom with paperwork for her job, care for my dog, do chores and go running. My friend wants to “work her way up” to living alone. She does a lot of things not by choice such as get engaged to a drug addict when she doesn’t even drink on occasion and she’s afraid of the dark and loud noises and she acts like the case manager assigns her to new homes and jobs, etc. in a bad way. Honestly, I don’t really know the whole truth. I’m often discouraged from overthinking and encouraged to practice self care.