How to get care for a schizophrenic in denial?

Follow
Share

My grandmother was diagnosed with schizophrenia/dementia, but as part of her delusion, she does not believe she is ill. In fact, she frequently says it is my grandfather who has been diagnosed schizophrenic, and says she is going to file for divorce and have him declared incompetent so that she maintains control of all finances and several rental properties they own. She has accused the entire family of being possessed by demons, says she stopped and alien nuclear attack, and is president of the United States. She has been in all of our area hospitals within an hour drive of our home, including the ONLY involuntary inpatient facility for the elderly in our region. Every hospital sends her home because she fights the staff, calls the police, refuses treatment, and refuses to eat. My family is at a loss at this point, if even the hospitals, which should be trained for cases such as hers are refusing to treat her. She was just released hours ago from the newest hospital (after local police had her committed), she is refusing to go home, and threatening to cause my aunt to crash the car if she tries to take her home. My aunt just drove her to ANOTHER hospital because we don't know what recourse we have at this point... HELP!!

2

Answers

Show:
I too am wondering where the diagnosing doctor is in all of this.

Does she refuse medication? If she can be medicated properly her symptoms might be able to be managed but it sounds like the trick is going to be getting her to take medication.

I've never heard of an elderly person being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia usually manifests itself in the late teen-early adult years although some children are being diagnosed now. No matter. That is her diagnosis and that is what you have to work with.

Some people are unable to be treated because of a mental illness or addiction. Or both. I've seen it happen with adults. If an adult refuses medication, even though it will increase their quality of life and because they so desperately need it, there's not a lot that can be done. No facility will force medication on someone. But it's that medication that allows families and facilities to step back, take a deep breath, and decide in a calm manner what the best course of treatment will be going forward. If a person is in constant crisis (along with the family) it's very difficult to treat that person.

Will your grandmother eventually wear herself out thus becoming more agreeable to medication? I think this is your best bet. Do you have medication for her available? If so, let her spin until she wears herself out and then begin the medication.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Eyerishlass
Report

Oh! How sad and difficult!

She is refusing to go home. Where does she want to be?

Is she a danger to herself or others? If she is busy stopping alien attacks at least no one is getting hurt, right? Does she have authority to and capability of interfering in managing their assets?

How is Grandfather handling all this? Do the two of them live alone?

What events lead up to her being taken to a hospital? Does she get violent?

Who diagnosed the schizophrenia? Doesn't that doctor have some suggestions for treatment? Or placement? She may have to be declared incompetent so a guardian can be appointed.

Have you talked to your state's department that deals with mental illness? There is probably an office in your county.

The person I know who had schizophrenia first exhibited it in high school. I didn't know it could strike in old age. Has Grandma always had some challenges relating to reality, or is this totally new? The person I knew was on a number of drugs over the years. It was difficult to get the dosage so it would calm her but not make her too sedated.

I guess I don't really have much to suggest, but I did want to at least reach out to you.

If you can provide some more details, perhaps someone else her will have ideas based on experience.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to jeannegibbs
Report

Related
Questions