I have been on this site now for 4 years. Some of you may have followed my story.
My brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 21. He was able to hold down jobs for the first 8 years, but then became non compliant with medication and was no longer able to work. My parents
had him living with them for 2 years and then they put him in an apartment nearby and basically supported him . It was they were willing to do to have any semblance of life. My dad worked almost until his death at age 87 and my mom worked until 73.
when my dad died, all hell broke loose!
My dad had been slowly taking over all aspects of my moms life because she had a slow moving dementia taking over. With my dads death I became responsible for both my mom and my brother.
I live 2 hours away from them. I had to hire an aide for my mom. This aide became a life saver because she was kind to my brother. My brother did not function at all by that point. All he did was walk the streets. His apartment was a disaster. He relied on walking to my moms house to eat.
Things deteriorated further when my brother stopped flushing his toilet. It got to the point that the aide had to go there daily to make sure the toilet was not full of poop! After that my brother would often walk around with poop on his pants. I was very angry at the situation that had been left for me.
Thankfully my parents had saved some money so I was able to pay the aide to deal with my brother and take care of my mom. This money would not have lasted forever. I would have to eventually
choose between my mom and brother. If I did not have someone to constantly make sure my brothers apartment was not in a state of utter disgust ( poop filling the toilet , and then on the ground, garbage everywhere) he would have been evicted. If evicted he would surely just walk over to my moms house and stay there. This is what I knew I could never allow to happen. I would never have been bale to have my brother in the same house as my mom. The aide would quit, and I would never have been able to get him out of the house .
Then a miracle happened…
Last year , at age 57, my brother was roaming the streets at night on a cold February evening.
He got hit by a car. He was sent to a hospital by ambulance. He ended up only fracturing one rib.
This is not a reason for admission. BUT then they found an infection on the bottom of one of his feet. They admitted him for IV antibiotics. Since he was not walking for the 12 days of antibiotics treatment, the social worker recommended rehab! Miracle number 2 , he accepted to go to a rehab facility.
I then realized that this was my opportunity to get him into a nursing home. I had weekly meetings with social workers and stated that my brother could not go back to his former living situation . My mom was his caretaker and she now had dementia and she could no longer take care of him.
My dad had gotten him on SSDI when he was about 30 years old. He also got him on medicare and medicaid . So my brother already would qualify for nursing home care to be paid for by medicaid.
Initially my brother refused to go to a nursing home when they found him a bed . Then I talked to him and said that his landlord was not renewing his lease and my mom had no more money to pay for his rent. I told him he had no where else to go.
The next time they found him a bed. He went!
I am happy to report that after a year at the nursing home, my brother is doing very well. He never complains. He is finally properly medicated AND he told me that he likes it there! I never thought I would hear him say those words! He is a very easy patient compared to the elderly patients there who all require a lot of nursing care. He likes the nurses aides and the nurses and has become a very friendly guy. All the staff like him.
His toileting issues have gone away. They have gotten him to take showers once a week. They also direct him to change his clothes and he actually listens!
I never thought that something as good as this could happen. It was all a series of events that could never have been predicted. I know I am so lucky! Anytime I think about complaining about anything, all I need to do is think of how my brother will be taken care of for the rest of his life. That burden has now been lifted from me. My brother’s life could have and WOULD HAVE ruined my life.
I would have been faced with impossible choices that no sibling should ever have to make.
I am truly grateful for this miraculous change of events ! I hope that my story will give some people
a bit of hope .