Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My experience with guardianship and Group Homes

There have been some questions about group homes and guardianship and I thought I’d let you know mine. My son was 19, second time in a M hospital. He refused any treatment so the dr told me that I should do a request for guardianship. The dr gave me a letter stating his support. I never knew about guardianship so this was all new to me but I wanted to listen to the dr thinking he knew what was best. We were able to get a temporary one through the court system. A court appointed lawyer represented my son. When I got this temporary guardianship, I was allowed to give approval for medicine and placement to a group home. He had never been in a group home and I knew nothing about this system. However, we had run out of options and this was the only option other than the streets. (Home was not an option as we have young children and my son was out of control in all aspects. )Anyways, that group home experience was awful. An old crippled lady ran it and it was in a bad area. 6 beds in 1000 sq feet home. He was kicked out after sometime due to stealing and drinking alcohol. We got him into a private run group home and a nice day program but my son ran away again. He was in a family care home for two months after that and it was nice but it ended with my son stabbing the caretaker with a kitchen knife. Jail time, many horrible Emergency room stays, homelessness and
I decided that I was not capable of being my sons guardian. I gave up an immediate release of guardianship and he became a ward of the state overnight. Phew, what a relief! My son, because of so many evictions and behavior problems, qualified for more services and was able to be in a special group home for mentally ill and behavior problems. He has stayed in this home for almost two years! It is a small home but only two beds and they matched him up with someone his age. It’s not perfect and he has setbacks but for now, this is the place that keeps him safe and medicated. With hope he will start to learn of his illness and hopefully( I keep pushing the dr) for the very best medicine for my son. I don’t think he has gotten it yet. He is on Haldol currently.
Being a guardian took most of my thoughts and time. I’m glad I tried because I might have always regretted not trying. It also gave me insight into this crazy mentally ill caretaking world but it is very nice to be just his mom for now and let his new guardian deal with all the major decisions. Please know I love my son dearly and all decisions have been for his best interest not mine.

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Thanks for sharing. I believe we all have to try everything within our power to help our loved ones. But we must also acknowledge reality and it seems you’ve made the investment in exploring options and also a wise decision on drawing a line.

Clearly, you love your son. The question we ALL must answer is “what does love look like in this situation?” Love always wins. But love doesn’t always look the same depending on the application.

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