Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

SZ Dad, dimentia, short life expectency


#1

My dad with SZ had a severe stroke in October. He’s 66 years old. Since then he has lost the ability to speak. He attempted to take his life in December but was too weak to carry the action out. It is now 6 months later and he has been diagnosed with middle-stage dementia. He had been showing early signs before the stroke. But now it has advanced greatly. He is incontinent of urine, is chronically confused about situation and place, forgets the use of everyday objects, and needs to be fed. He also needs constant direction and supervision.

Recently I read about the short-life expectancy of persons diagnosed with SZ. My dad has a long hx of smoking, cardiovascular disease, ETOH, drug abuse, and 50 years on anti-psychotics/anti-depressants. It makes sense, I guess.

I am 22 years old. I am coping the best I can. I know my grandmother would want me to become as independent and successful as possible, but I also know she would want my dad to be taken care of and receive care with his human dignity in mind. I am at a crossroads. I am so sorry, Daddy. I am so sorry I cannot take care of you like grandma did. I hope someday you can be at peace with grandma and grandpa by your side, and never ever have to defend yourself against the voices again.


#2

That’s very tough on you. Is he in some kind of care home? And has he been on APs since he was 6 years old?!!! That’s really a young age to start them!


#3

I’m letting his public DPOA figure it out because I need to take care of my final preparations for graduating nursing school next month and finding a job before I can focus on my dad. I miss-spoke, I meant 50 years. He was chronically depressed at 16 and diagnosed with paranoid SZ at 19.


#4

@hpirozzoli, Speaking as a parent (and maybe I have given you this unsolicited advice before), I know how proud I would be if my child were graduating from Nursing School. That is so wonderful. Even if I were very ill, I would not my child to delay meeting goals to take care of me, especially when those needs are so great that they require round the clock, professional care.

You love your father so much; I know your work will honor him.


#5

My thoughts and prayers are with you , god bless your dad :heart:


#6

That’s more typical but still a very long time. You’ve definitely got your priorities right there. It’s one of the tragedies how a family member’s illness can have detrimental effects on the rest of the family. I think it’s admirable that you have managed to get to graduation.I hope the rest of your family members to support you too.


#7

My extended family members don’t get involved. (I don’t blame them sometimes). So they say things like, “we always knew you were smart. We knew you could do it”. To me, it sounds like if I went down the opposite path in life they’d say, “well look how her father turned out, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. I will never meet their expectations of normalcy and I’m becoming okay with that. I only wish they’d love my dad and see past his past. (and most importantly see past his SZ).


#8

Try and get some help or if a veteran, maybe a nursing home, at this point… I hope you have people to help you.


#9

I am so sorry to hear this! I agree with the others, your Dad would want you to prioritize your studies. I know that’s not much comfort, but truly the best thing you can do for your Dad is taking care of yourself and securing your future so you can be in the best position to support him. :heartpulse: