My cousin is a schizophrenia sufferer. He is 40 this year. He was diagnosed, and has been on medication that has been fairly successful. I say ‘fairly’ because he can’t really completely look after himself - he lives along in a house up the road from his sister and, in a separate house also just up the road. He is never expected to work again. All this is of course helpful. He also has 2 different people sent out once a week to chat with him from the local hospital (Australia - public health system).
Outside of those 2, he never gets any visitors, and he never goes to visit anyone himself. He has no girlfriend, nor has he ever as far as I am aware (women are slim pickings in remote areas of Australia, as a rule). Part of the problem is that his town only has around 100 people. The nearest ‘big’ town, with a population of around 2000 is about 30 km away, and, he doesn’t drive anyway - although I guess his parents or sister would drive him into town if there was any point. This town has some programmes from physically disabled people (days out in a social environment etc). He was into lawn bowls, and would even visit the old fellas he used to do it with, but, that stopped when he hurt his back. He also has several other physical problems (Crone’s disease and whatnot).
He spends pretty much all day every day lying on the sofa watching TV. He was always fairly slim, but he has put on a lot of weight over the last few years.
To go anywhere else (ie, to find a city with more than 2000 people), one pretty much has to fly.
OK - slightly worldly preamble there, but, to summarise:
- No friends, and not in a position to make any with the limited number of people.
- Occasional paid visitors
- No girlfriend, hard to imagine him getting one
- No prospect of going anywhere to do anything outside with his parents/sister - and they are busy people anyway. I cannot remember the last time he left the island even then.
Now, I don’t live anywhere near him and see him very infrequently, so I am not very emotionally invested in all this, but, by chance, circumstances were such that I spent quite a bit of time with his mother (my Aunt).
Does anyone have any advice on how to make his life a bit better? As far as I can see, the only thing he does for pleasure is to maintain his garden - and it seems even that has slipped by the wayside over the last year or 2.
It was suggested to get him a dog, but he probably wouldn’t look after it properly
I have had one idea, and one idea only, which was to get him an internet connection and, a computer so that he could perhaps have some ‘internet friends’. I was thinking of also buying a subscription of World Of Warcraft or some other MMO (Massively Multiplay Online) type game which would help him get some benefits while he is doing something enjoyable - ie, playing a game). I’ve never played one of these myself (which is weird, because I am super extra nerdy).
Anyway folks, my name is Kent and that is my story.
Any and all suggestions very welcome.