Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Trying to get son into long term care

Hi
I’ve posted here about my 21 year old son (he’ll be 22 this month, November 2019)
He’s currently in the hospital after most medications have not helped. They put him on clozapine, which I hope will help. But, my question is: how do I get him to agree to go to a longer term facility?
The hospital is waiting for the med to get to a therapeutic dose in his system, then he’s going to a crisis residential for only 2 weeks. They want him to go to a long term facility after that (6months-one year).
I’d like him to go. He’s destructive and mean when living with me. He’s telling them that he will go home and live with me (even though I told him he can’t) or he says that he will live on the streets. I really want him to go to this long term therapeutic residence. The hospital is telling me to get a restraining order on him and call the police if he shows up, so he knows I mean business. I don’t want to “throw him out”, he has a brain disorder that needs treatment - not dumped on the streets. But when he’s home with me he is destructive and mean.
Anyone have suggestions as to how I can convince him to go to this residence?
What has worked for you? Thanks

Search the forum for the LEAP method, Dr. Amador, and his book “I Am Not Sick I Don’t Need Help”.

The LEAP process will likely take longer than your son’s stay in the hospital, so the legal route is advisable as well. It all takes time, the saying is ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint.’

Getting in touch with your local NAMI chapter is a good idea in the US, because commital laws and mental health programs and services vary from state to state. Best of luck to you and your son.

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The negative symptoms of this disease are what cause him to not care about his treatment and his living arrangement. I would start working with the hospital social worker and psychiatrist right away, to get temporary or permanent guardianship, or to get his health care proxy affirmed, so you are in charge of all aspects of his medical treatment.

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yep, smart move and about all you can do other than talk till your blue in the face, or and if you can afford to buy him a house condo or a trailer somewhere, manage him from a distance, controlled debt with linked accounts

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I can’t really offer much here because I lived through the “destructive and mean” times with my son in my home and that is definitely not for everyone. It was a complete nightmare and it took it’s toll on me. Once he was finally stabilized on the clozapine for several months I never again saw the “destructive mean” side of him after that.

Again, sitting in the trenches with a severely ill loved one is not for everybody and I am not even suggesting it is. I just don’t think my own son would have recovered as well as he has -had I not been there by his side through the worst of it. Everybody is very different, so I wish you the very best in your efforts to help your son.

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I’m hoping the new medication works. I wish I could keep him home, but it’s only me. No family to help. He’s home alone all day while I’m at work, and I know that is not good for him.

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I get it totally, I was all by myself the entire time, no spouse, no family and no friends that could help. It was a devastatingly hard time and I thought it might never end. I am just very grateful he and I made it through it and are much better now. I ended up on permanent disability due to a myriad of chronic health issues, that allowed me to be home full time. Otherwise I couldn’t have managed as well as I did for him. I wish only the very best for you and your son. The clozapine takes time to reach it’s full efficacy but once it does I found it to be a real godsend.

Each situation is different. I was advised by two professionals to tell the hospital that our son could not come home. I did not want him home because I knew he would not take medication and would not get better and would end up at a hospital again…or worse. Our son’s doctor (at the hospital) made a special effort to get him into a well-respected residential treatment program even though he wasn’t med-compliant. The hospital and treatment program came up with a plan to have our son sign a “contract” saying that he would be med-compliant after giving him a 30-day injectable at the hospital. The residential program interviewed him on the phone and somehow, that worked, although even then our son backed out at the last minute and I was ready to drive away leaving him in the parking lot. The agreement was that he would go or I would take him to a homeless shelter. He apparently did not want to be homeless! (I know that is not always the case, but I will say that I have learned that even when homeless, persons with SMI can be very resilient. Admittedly, this prospect is very scary for parents. But I had to risk it.) It took a couple more hospitalizations, but our son has been med-compliant (switched to Clozapine) for well over a year and is very stable in a group home. We visit him often and he comes home sometimes. We enjoy all of those times. He is looking for a part-time job and we hope to get him out of the group home to even more independent living!

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When my son really and truly understood that he had nowhere to go after the hospital, he went to long term care and it was the very best thing thst happened for all of us. He is so incredibly much better after spending two years there and attending a recovery program 3 days a week. He would tell you now that he is really happy he went.

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Thanks everyone. He is currently in a step down crisis center. I’ve talked to the caseworkers there, and told them that he cannot come home. It’s so hard, I just want to hug him and take him home - but I know it’s not good for him. - or me.
Thanks so much for all your input, it is very helpful - and gives me hope.

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Did you have to be on Medicaid to get put in a group home?

I am not an expert on this but here are my thoughts. Perhaps you are thinking of Section 8 housing which is a federal program available to low income persons who also meet other criteria which may includes such things as being 62 or older or having a disability, for example. Section 8 housing is just residential and is not to my knowledge geered toward supportive services for those with serious mental illness. This may still be useful for someone with SMI who is verified to be “disabled” (such as someone receiving SSI benefits due to disability). Group homes can be private pay (and typically quite expensive). If there are group homes (with supportive services) for lower income persons, it baffles me how to find these places. A paid case manager may be able to help.
Also, the kind of group home with which I am familiar is voluntary and requires medication compliance, although there are some programs that have extra security to prevent risk of “flight”.

UPDATE: It took me getting the courts involved. Luckily, my county has an Assisted Outpatient Treatment program. They help mentally ill people through the courts, if they’ve been hospitalized too many times in one year, the courts get involved to find treatment. So, through this program, he was able to be placed on a residential treatment facility about 20 min from my house. He loves it there, it’s an old retirement home. So there are TV rooms, video gaming rooms, exercise/yoga rooms. Therapy, medication, and meals!! It was a long and horrible road. Now I’m am getting my house back in order- fixing holes, painting, etc. it’s a wonderful feeling, knowing that he is on a good place and happy!!
Don’t give up!

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WOW @cher thats wonderful news !
Do you mind me asking what State you live in thats offers this type of program for court assistance and guidence?

Hi,
I live in contra costa county in California. The idea is to get them help before they end up in jail. He is really happy there and doing so well!

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