My dear, sweet brother (66) with worst mental illness will be assessed by Psych for dementia on Mon-4/18.

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My brother takes daily meds for Paranoia Schizephrenia with depression, has been able to hold down a factory job over 35+, and retired in Jan 2016. He's lived alone in his own home, never married and functioned mostly alright. I've been with him through it all and he has the sweetest soul I've ever known. I am his younger sister and the only one he can depend on. Today I'm beside myself with heartbreak and tremendous grief as we start the our journey down this path. I know what's ahead. This website has been very generous and helpful to me.


Sis, what exactly do you fear is coming? It seems that despite his mental illness he has been able to function well most of his life. Losing the structure of going to work will have been difficult for him, just as it is for thousands of others. I imagine that has exacerbated his depression, which may have caused him to be less diligent about taking his meds... the endless spiral. What exactly makes you think he has early dementia? Tell us more.

What do you imagine is about to happen? People are rarely hauled away against their will and locked up in today's society if that is what you fear. Although he is still young, he may benefit from some type of assisted living arrangement where his meds are monitored and he has the ability to socialize. When he is stable he may be interested in some kind of activity to give meaning to his days, joining a club or volunteering for example.
Thank you so much for your response cwillie,
Exactly right everything you said about losing the structure in his daily life, He's bored and lonely, spends the day obsessing and over magnifying perceived "problems" to do with the transition changes. He believes he's going to lose his home because he's "going broke", isn't paying enough taxes and will owe more money, won't be able to pay for health care through Medical, won't be able to afford Rx's medications he needs, made a mistake by retiring, etc on and on. I assure and reassure him everyday everything has been done correctly, none these "problems" exist. I've made sure he has everything that he requires in these regards are properly prepared. I'm currently setting him up for Psych counseling support and networking for him to involve himself volunteering doing the things that interest him but he's so anxiety ridden nothing registers, he can only relate to the present, he doesn't have a capacity to accept future plans. Everything is a crisis. Nothing I tell him sticks more than momentairly, I have to remind him continuely we've already done this or that or have appointments to resolve issues. I have confidence and faith I can get him transitioned but his emotional level of patience is non existent. I see him once a week and talk on the phone several times a day, but he hasn't answered the phone yesterday or today 4/16. I'm calling someone to go over to see if his car is parked outside. Three years ago he was in the psyc unit of the hospital and I'd called asking for him but they kept telling me he wasn't admitted because he was on some sort of non identifiable list. Thank you so much for listening cwillie
I completely understand. Descriptions of mental illness are at best lacking. A person can only "get it" by living through it. There are no pat answers and the "med's maze" is daunting. I just go one day at a time with hope that my mom might occasionally have a good day. :(
Thank you guys, found him at home non-medication compliant, now I need to go and take him to psych hosp today. God Bless all the psych workers.
Sis, CWillie raised some good questions and offered good suggestions.

Even if someone doesn't have long term mental issues, the process of separating from the work force, from losing that routine and interaction, can be cause for anxiety and fear, as well as depression.

Does he have hobbies or interests? Could he join a club for those hobbies or interests, if not to participate just to meet others? Could he do volunteer work, such as delivering Meals on Wheels? It's a good way to meet others, even just for short periods of time, and provides a very rewarding experience to those who extend themselves to homebound people.

If he likes animals perhaps he would enjoy volunteering at an animal shelter. That would provide the double reward of contact with furry critters, which has been shown to lower BP in humans.

If you can find something to regularly substitute for his former employment, it will help take his mind off the transition to retirement.

The psych staff might even know of some support groups.

In the meantime, you might want to create a detailed financial plan, with projections, and perhaps when he's medication compliant you can review it to help him understand what his situation really is, addressing only one issue at a time and limiting the amount of data to absorb.

That financial anxiety isn't limited to those with mental issues though; people who don't have pensions and find themselves living on 1/2 of what they earned while working also face a lot of concern and financial restriction. But I would imagine it assumes a more frightening prospect for someone with some mental issues.

Group home, board and care calling it a retirement home may help.
Meds can help but you are correct to take him for help when he is not medication compliant. A board and care can give him his meds.
The smaller homes (RCFE) with six beds are not institutional-like, you can see him there often.
My dH is also a sweet soul, requires supervision, but he is so functional few believe it and would have to live with him to see it and be able to support him without taking away his independence.
The progression of dementia is different for everyone-reading that on AC for a year now. Unless you are no longer able to 'supervise' your brother and be there for him, he may improve and you will be surprised. Just when I am ready to consider placement, my dH turns himself around.
Do you have a separate life of your own, or is this it for you?
Very glad you are getting a full evaluation to see what you are really dealing with, which hopefully leads to getting the increased level of support he is going to need.
GardenArtist-yes he loves being out doors, wildlife, fishing etc, he could keep busy doing something volunteering but he's got psych mental issues and requires direction and attention for senior abilities. He's in an obsessive downward unending depressive right now so doubtful finding any sort of fit right now. I feel he need psych supervision and intensive outpatient therapy geared to seniors with lifelong mental health issues.
Sendme2help-yes perhaps a group environment would be possible, would appreciate being pointed in that direction if poss from here by Psch dept...? I too feel improvement is quite possible, just need some specific support to get there. He agrees he needs help and is okay with me having brought him here, we're waiting patiently to go with whatever they advise us to do. Thou here at hosp they said his primary care doc is one that treats for dementia, unfortunately his Doc had to retire b/c of Parkinson's and we've had hurdles linking up with new primary Doc referral. PBJ & Peace Out
Please send us messages as you can.
We will be here for you.
If you believe that prayer helps, pray sincerely for a calm heart.

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