Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My sister needs my help

My sister whos 62 is now on disability, medicaid and also medication for her schizophrenia.
She lives alone in the family old home place behind my home.
I let her come live there once she received the medication needed.
She also has COPD. 2 months ago she aspirated and we had to cal an ambulance. after 10 days in the hospital she is now better physically we are maintaining her copd. my wife and I now administer her meds to be sure she takes them.
The problem now is I feel she is over medicated . she is sleepy a lot lethargic and forgetful. she takes fluphenizine and risperdone . we heard that combo can cause these side effects, i addressed these issues with her counselor and she suggested we cut back on the risperdone. we have for 3 days now and she doesnt seem to be getting better. Today was the final straw. she left tea on the stove and the house was filled with smoke. I had to unplug the stove and told her no more cooking at all. I am at a loss as to my next step. She wants to live alone, but I feel assisted living is our only option at this point. ( I travel a lot and cannot give her the care needed) I do not know where to start on getting her housing. Im in georgia and she is on medicaid and recieves ss disability. any suggestions?

Is the Overmedication/sedation new?

Sometimes, it wears off in a few weeks as their body adjusts to the new meds.
Is 3 days enough of a cut-back to see a difference? Risperdone might have a long half life, or maybe she’s a slow metabolizer.

I live in Virginia. Our county’s mental health service department is where I would start looking if I needed to find housing or other assisted type living arrangements for my son. Maybe they have something similar there?

I would think they’d know about everything in your area including who will work with Medicaid.

Yes it is new, at least the addition of risperdone. Maybe I need to allow some more time to allow the risperdone in her system to dissipate . Thanks for the advice. There is also another contributing factor i believe. She smoked for 50 years and has been tobacco free since her release from the hospital for her copd. I feel this is also a contributing factor in her system. I truly want her to be happy living unassisted and hope the meds play out and she can have the best quality of life she can. For now I unplugged the stove and told her no cooking other than the coffee pot and microwave. we will take her meals until such a time as she seems to be more alert. If not then I guess the next step is to find assistance for her. anyway thanks again for your reply.

With a lot of drugs, the smoking makes you need more.

So, without the cigarettes, she might need less. It’s an important thing to ask her doctor about.

I was going to add similar advice as slw: give it a little more time. Let her sleep if she needs it.

Also, does she have an aide? I would look into getting a senior care aide, someone who can help her prepare meals, dress, etc, and keep an eye on her while you are traveling. Medicaid probably would pay for it. You may want to try that before assisted living facility.

Did they give her the nicotine replacement patches or gum when she left the hospital?

You are a really good sister.

I am wondering whether your sister has a case manager? They could assess her need for care and help connect with services.

thank you, I am her baby brother. I always looked up to her in my youth she was a flower child and shined so brightly in those days. It breaks my heart to see her this way. and Yes I will be looking into a case worker, thanks again for your help

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Sorry I thought you were female.

You are a really good brother:)

Doctors often don’t want to switch medication if they work for positive symptoms. But to me being over medicated where the meds make you drowsy or sleep too much is a problem that needs to be addressed. I would look into changing her meds. If the Dr. Is unwilling to do so, it’s time to find another dr. I say this so she can have the best quality life for herself.