You’re at home with your loved one, curled up on the couch and watching TV. A commercial for an assisted living facility plays. Your loved one turns to you and half-jokingly says, “Never put me in a home, okay?” It’s easy to laugh this off when you are young and healthy but there may come a time when you have to have this conversation for real. There are several reasons that assisted living strikes fear in the hearts of so many and most derive from stigmas associated with those living in assisted care. Our minds make an immediate connection between old age and loneliness; sickness and death; and the loss of autonomy and freedom. An assisted facility seems to be the embodiment of those connections. The reality is that most elderly or sick people are place in assisted care because they are loved very much and their family wants to do the best thing.
My reaction to being (put into a fricking group hole)
Yeah, I am just about at the point where the only place I would have my son live is in a place I create myself, and where I have control of who lives there, where it is located, the staff that is hired and what goes on there. Most places we have tried just don’t meet the needs or meet up to our standards.
I lived in an independent/assisted living place for seniors. Your words accurately portray the many elderly I saw people come + go through assisted living. A big cause I think was lonliness. When they had just had a visitor some became more animated, talking when they hadn’t before - That was my grandson! Sometimes people had someone visit so seldom they disowned them. That wasn’t my daughter! Most of them sat and sank into themselves. Lawrence Welk night caused a ruffle across the room
What’s the difference between that and assisted living for the mentally handicapped.
I didn’t ever get married because . . . Well, all the reasons. But I’m 64 now and have a 64 year old girlfriend, and she says to never put her into one of those places. She says she’d rather die.
I remember being 22 years old and having been in the mental hospital against my will a couple or three times and drinking with a young friend who had also been in against his will, and he swore if I ever got scooped again, he’d break me out.
And then I did get scooped again. Alan was an honorable guy. He did come visit me in the state mental hospital with my sister, but he was relieved that I didn’t call him on his promise to bust me outta there.
If I ever end up where my quality of life is worse than I need it to be, I’m taking the easy way out. No more carrot cake.
What is an assisted living place for younger schizophrenics like? What kind of assistance is given?
In my experience, true assisted living for young adults with mental illness is far and few between. We have tried several places. All were larger than I would have preferred, and the average age of the residents was considerably older than my son. In one place, it turned out I couldn’t even feel confident that he was getting his medications as prescribed, and much of the population was also dealing with substance abuse issues. My son has been physically assaulted, and has had all of his belongings vandalized.
Staff understanding of mental illness and ability to address symptoms varied widely. In his current setting, the staff is overall very good - yet my son has still had to deal with a staff person cursing in his face. He is currently on what is called a ‘level 2 unit’ in a nursing home - which is deemed able to meet the needs of mentally ill people. There is a social services staff, but quite honestly, I don’t see much involvement on their part. They are there if the residents want to interact with them, but there is not any real active support. Planned activities are not really geared to a young adult.
I see my son almost every day. There are a few other young adults on his unit, but there are also very elderly people on his unit. Meal times include eating with people who drool and dribble and snatch other people’s food. There isn’t really any kind of “hang-out spot” where the younger residents can relax together without having other residents coming in. I am sad to see my son at 24 living in this setting, and we are hoping to make changes soon. I expect to continue to provide almost daily support for quite some time.
@valleypenne , Thanks for opening our eyes and letting us know the situations in this kind of arrangements. The environment doesn’t look normal OR healthy to have people in this setting. I know it’s not easy to take care of our adult children either. Specially if they are abusive towards the parents and other family members. After I saw your posts I too have made up my mind to have a place for my son and when he is ready to leave. We will some how get a decent place for him in a good neighborhood. It’s very sad why the laws won’t make sure there is a safe place for people who are ill.
I would not consider any of the settings we have tried to be normal for my son or especially therapeutic for him.
I would not, however, be down on anyone who felt this might be a necessary step for a family member. I’m sure there are good places, and in some cases I’m sure it can be helpful for an individual to develop some independence. I would just suggest that the decision be constantly re-evaluated for whether it is the suitable arrangement for their specific circumstances.
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I don’t believe in housing a bunch of people with problems together like a fuck up farm or something. I don’t think it helps when you’re highly dysfunctional together when you can’t have the right to interact with a normal society.
I would never, ever live inside a mental home after I’ve been diagnosed or not. I just don’t believe in it. As for home care I don’t have that any longer either, I shut down my living assistance fund from the VA because I Don’t need it… I’m moving forward and I believe that if there were a bunch of diagnosed guys living in a house they’d probably take their leave to go to a strip club. I just think that’s one of the worst ideas.