Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Mom is in the hospital, our first time as caregivers


#1

Hi everyone, this is my first post and thank you for all being here.

My mom is a paranoid schizophrenic and has been living with us for the past year and a half and it has become progressively difficult. She has a delusion that I kidnapped her and that my husband brings men to her room to watch her sleep. She has cycled through 3 different medications until finally she has been given the invega injection. She is a lot better in that she is no longer aggressive and she even gave me a hug. I thought she was improving, but on Thursday night she started to complain about leg cramps and said she wanted to go to the hospital. I took her to the hospital and it turns out that the cramping was due to very low potassium because her diet has been so poor- she has refused to eat anything other than chips, cookies and soda for about 5 months. While we were there she started crying and said she was afraid of me and wanted her husband (he was very abusive which is why she has been living with me). They decided to put her under a mental health hold. Yesterday she was transferred to a psychiatric hospital and I was told today that she doesn’t want to see me, wants to live in a shelter instead of with me, and that they have now put her under a short term hold.

Sorry about the essay, but does anyone have any idea of what comes next? How long do you think she is likely to live there? Do you think she is likely to come home with us? We have been working with medicaid and she has recently been approved for assisted living but because she doesn’t have social security (she had refused to cooperate) she hasn’t been able to go yet. Do you think the social worker will help her to get to an assisted living facility?

Thank you all for your support!


#2

Depending on where you live, time in the hospital is usually brief. Longer stays are more therapeutic, so hopefully she will be there long enough to feel better. Short term hold is only 24 to 72 hours. Hopefully she will be placed on a long term hold.

A good social worker will help her with Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and finding an assisted living facility.

Let them know that you would like to honor her wish to live away from you as this will improve your relationship with her since her delusions have started to involve you. Social workers will help her apply for Social Security and will likely find someplace for her to live where she receives some level of care and supervision IF you do not volunteer to have her live with you. If you tell them she lives with you, that will almost automatically be their discharge plan.

Let the doctors and other professionals do their work and just emphasize that you want to abide by her wish NOT to live with you, but that you do want to be part of her life and would like to visit as soon as she allows you to.

Yes, the social workers will help. However, they will default to her living with you if you guide them that way because so many people need help.

Best to you and your mother.


#3

You have found a good forum for support and information. While I am not thrilled with the lack of support we have seen with mental health workers, I recognize it is the system more so than the people. Try to establish a relationship with the social worker. Although your mom may see social security disability as a bad thing, keep trying. Someone in the family needs to consider becoming a rep payee and maybe guardianship, and if you are in the US, remember to get and keep HIPAA paperwork complete and up to date.
It is not easy to help someone who is terrified of the help but don’t give up!!


#4

Thank you all for the support. I feel so guilty and find myself overexplaining to her doctors and pastor that I am helping her and not hurting her. I will definitely stress that we want to abide by her wishes and have her live somewhere else.


#5

My brother has been in and out of the hospital for year. Each stay lasts between 2-3 weeks and then he is released. My dad is his financial guardian and that helps him manage his money that he receives from Medicaid. Maybe that would help with your mom. It’s important to have someone that can help with the guidance of the Medicaid money so it is used properly and not taken away. Depending on where you live assisted living is very hard to get accepted into regarding mental illness. It’s all about managing the illness as it will never fully go away. Good luck!


#6

I have been through the same thing you are going through with your Mother. My Son is schizophrenic paranoid type and thought I had kidnapped him and that his Dad was a killer. There is hope. My Son is on a great medication now and has stopped with that delusion. All my best to you and your Mother