Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My mum is 77. What can I do when she cares for my schizophrenic sister

Thanks so much to the people on this forum.

I wonder if I can just ask for suggestions

I’m worried as my mum hits her late seventies she will at some point not be able to care for my sister.

Just suggesting anything at this point might help

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Hello, I can just make some general suggestions and hope they are possible where you live. One idea is looking for assisted living facilities, or buildings, depending on how much your sister can do for herself would dictate how much help she could get.

Here in Ohio they have apartments that are considered assisted living, the person can live alone if they are able but someone visits with them every day to make sure things are going okay. They often have a shuttle also that will go around and pick tenants up to go shopping or go to the doctor. Each one may be run differently.

I don’t know if your sister is on disability through social security but that will be a must if anything happens to your mom and I hope your mom is well for a good long time. Some of those assisted living places require that the tenants are on Social Security disability which comes with Medicaid and Medicare for health coverage and sometimes some of the services for these places are billed through that so it’s important she is signed up for it.

The fastest way to do it is with an attorney that specializes in social security disability. Another idea would be once she is set up on social security disability/medicaid/medicare/possibly even food stamps or snap whatever your area has to offer/ if she is still not very able to care for herself or if she can’t manage her money to pay her bills then she has to have a rep payee (that could be you just for paying bills and managing money for her).

However if you don’t feel like she can live with you (for whatever reason or you can’t take over care giving for your mom if anything ever happens to her then you can ask Probate Court to assign your sister a legal guardian.

You have to apply through the court and there would be a court hearing and you and your mom or just you would have to present all of the specific reasons your sister can’t manage on her own, every detail, self care, not paying bills, not steady on her meds, cooking, cleaning, whatever applies.

Other witnesses or family members can speak at the hearing that know first hand and you can present letters from doctors or whoever can attest to your sisters abilities or lack there of.

The guardian can also be the rep payee as well. They have to make sure your sister has suitable housing, pays her bills goes to the doctor, takes her meds, etc etc…it’s their job. She won’t be without a guardian until and unless she can show that she can properly care for herself and manage her own money and healthcare.

I know this information is a lot and I probably used way too many words explaining it but all of this depends also on where you live and what laws apply in your area. That can change everything so if you have other questions or if I was unclear on something feel free to message me.

I have been my own son’s guardian and rep payee since he was 21 and he is 36 now and doing very well, It was a long hard road though and not everybody can handle it and there’s no shame in that. It is a gargantuan task to care for a seriously mentally ill loved one.

Let me know if you have further questions or you can message me anytime.

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Thank you so much Catherine I looked into some of these things and found a couple of helplines reminds me that when I phone the helpline all they do is push me to another helpline it’s useless… My mum I just spoke to her she says it’s far too early to think about and of course I’m thinking about it during these times… I will look into power of attorney At a later stage but thank you so much for your post isn’t it lonely when you think your family is the only fucked-up one

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It’s so good to hear that your son is doing well now… Such a struggle to find recovery

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im in my 70’s and my sz son who is 44 lives with me…he has no friends at all so we as parents are his only social contact…when we pass on (which we’ve spoken to him about) we expect him to avail of the services of a group home…i think you know what they are…well we think its best for him to reside there as he willl relate to the people

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I know that had I never met my husband on line, I would be in the exact situation as your son. I think it would not have been a bad life, but my husband has changed my world and I’m very lucky.

My sister probably is slightly lower on the psychosis spectrum Probably schizoaffective because of her unbelievable depression and sometimes the ability to cook for mum and her although her beliefs and speak are affected.

Bless you having a schizophrenic son. Is he doing okay other than isolation or is it generally quiet bad?

Have you investigated whether he has mild autism?
I do and have huge problems socially but so does my husband
If he does there might be some help from another angle

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It can be if you think that way but I know that everybody has their problems big and small -no one really escapes them even if they choose to hide them from the world. Also “power of attorney” not the same thing as guardianship and not as much power for the holder of it. Just an fyi.

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It was a huge struggle but so incredibly worth it and I would do it again.

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I really enjoy my son’s company now and we get along really well together. I think he is such a sweet guy that he would make a great boyfriend for a woman that understood him BUT that is my fantasy for him. He does not care. I can’t make him care. He says he is very happy. Who am I to argue that? If he is happy I am happy. As for autism, I suspect he may have been on the spectrum as a baby but in the early 80’s it was not a subject anyone discussed or at least not where I lived and where my son went to the doctor. Now that he is 36, treatment for autism is non existent without an early formal diagnosis. I researched this. He also has an unspecified seizure disorder that is well controlled with medication. He thinks differently and feels differently than many of his 36 year old male counterparts in the world. He is unique. He has a huge heart. I love him just like he is today. I use to spend a lot of time being sad and depressed that he wasn’t like others, today I am very grateful he is the person that he is. I am happy for him and extremely proud of him.


I wanted to make the suggestion because of potential Aspie interests or get togethers

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It’s great to hear you say all this… I didn’t mean to sound like he needed fixing…

my husband was alone until I met him age 35… I believe him when he says he was happy and without worries before we met

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Sorry I just countered with my position
What you said is beautiful

I love how you talk about him,

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I enjoyed this conversation with you very much. Continue at anytime. :slight_smile:

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I’m glad you two found each other :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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