Can anyone share their ideas or experiences with placing a mental ill adult in a supervised home? - AgingCare.com

Can anyone share their ideas or experiences with placing a mental ill adult in a supervised home?

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Hey everyone. My oldest brother, Todd, became critically ill in December and was diagnosed with Emphysema. He was near death, but turned the corner and is making a miraculous recovery. He's currently at a rehab hospital receiving physical and speech therapy, and I'm moving forward to become his legal guardian very soon. That's the good news. My huge challenge is that I need to find him a new home. He had been living in a substandard 'half way' house, run as a faith-based organization. But it was an extremely dysfunctional place, people drinking and using while the pastor running it looks the other way. No professional supervision whatsoever. (Long story why he stayed there so long...) He got on Disability back in 2006 I believe, and also is on Medicare and Medicaid. Other than his gov't check, he has NO MONEY. I need to find him a home-like place (NOT a nursing home, at least I don't think that's what I want) that provides 24-hour supervision and professional care. Is such a 'home' for Todd possible? I am feeling overwhelmed. I only have 1 other brother to help me, but his job (truck driver) keeps him on the road 5-6 days a week. Can anyone share their ideas or experiences with placing a mental ill adult in a supervised home, or? CBRF, right? I have just started working with my county aging dept. and Todd will be assessed by them for Family Care Waiver (i think that's what it's called). I can hardly think straight anymore, it's all so much. Thanks

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I was struck by your statement that WI could possibly move him 300 miles away... as if that would be a bad thing all around. That kind of a move would put him out of reach of any of the leeches who he's been around recently, and it would move him far enough away so that you *could not* fret about him constantly and be at his beck and call. You need time and space to see who you are, on your own, as a strong, independent person not controlled by anyone or anything. I honestly think state care is a great option that would allow you, your trucker brother, and your special brother the most freedom and positive personal boundaries.
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Beth I too have a schizophrenic brother who is, like yours,smart as a whip, gentle and caring. If it wasn't for him my mother's illness & subsequent passing would have been 100% worse for the both of us.
My mom used to ask me all the time for many years what was going to happen to him when she was gone and i, of course, told her I would take care of him.
He lives in NJ and I have been trying to persuade him to move near me in Maryland since she passed in 2013. I have got him on waiting lists for section 8 senior housing down here- got him to fill out the applications and delivered them myself to the management. He wants a 2 bedroom apartment but won't spend the money out of his SSDI but spends his money on clothes, home decor, laptop, electronic devices but allowed his TV/Cable to run out to be able to spend on totally frivolous items. Well, I can't reason with him (out of the question)-he marches to the beat of his own drummer. He is isolated up there with no one he can call in case of emergency, although friends of ours in the same town have offered to be that contact if he needs it.
He has bad hypertension, swelling in his lower legs but will not see a doctor or take any meds for his mental disease nor physical issues.
So....I am resigned to still try to guide him but I can't assume guardianship due the time & cost and I am resigned to just catch him when he falls, and he will. He won't come down here for the apartment interview as he doesn't want to leave his apt overnight, so I offered to drive 8 hrs two days from my home to his , bring him back 5 days later so his truck will be at his Apt & think he's at home. No one needs anything from that apartment, it's an old Jersey section 8 senior complex even though they have begun to open units to all low income people, so that place has changed.
To sum it up, dealing with a mental illness is much worse than coping with a concrete illness like HTN or diabetes. So when he declines I am just going to have to deal with it.
But you know, we still have to live our lives and realize it is what is it & we can't change our Brothers. Thus we assume the role of Mother Hen and hover and watch as they seal their own fate. I don't even think I can stop the catastrophe that will come. I don't even know if there's a chance of success. Hang in there and know you are not alone.
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Beth you are facing huge odds and I feel Pam's solution is the best. Get Todd into a group home which will ensure he gets his medications which is critical.
Having the state become the Guardian is probably the best long term solution. You are 55 and Todd is 63 so it is possible for him to outlive you. If you take action now that can continue his long term care you are planning for the future whatever may happen.
As you know Schizophrenia is not some thing someone can recover from although it is possible to control unacceptable behaviors with medications. Unfortunately the patient can not be trusted to always take the drugs, hence the need for supervision. It is important not to allow someone to wander off and get into a poor situation and probably not even have the money or the desire to buy the medications.
if Todd was satisfied with the poor environment he was living in with the pastor he will likely settle well into a better environment.
You are to be commended for your concern for Todd's future and working to get your own life back on track. it takes a lot of courage to do that.
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Have you looked into group home settings? They can manage his meds, they won't allow alcohol and they can get him into a day program. Family Care Waiver may not work with schizophrenia. Ask his county case worker about group homes. You need to have a plan in place to present at the Guardian hearing.
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cm - well said and

Beth - well done, You have enough challenges looking after yourself. Concentrate in that and let the state look after your bro. Then you can be his sister and not his guardian. Better for both of you.
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That's a great idea. I would really think long and hard before taking on such a huge responsibility, especially, if you have your own challenges right now.

I do admire your desire to help and be there for your brother, but, I have to agree with others above about how daunting it is. I have good friends who have been in similar situations and it totally took over their life. There was so many sleepless nights, worry, frustration, fear, etc. I'm not trying to scare you, but, being legally responsible for someone who is resistant to help or care can be extremely disconcerting. I hope you find peace with your decision though.
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Hi Countrymouse,

I read your post last night, went out to a meeting, then came home. It was a support group for women who have a problem with alcohol. I'm doing so much better now than 1 year ago.

Anyway I couldn't fall asleep for a few hours because I kept thinking about what you said. I DO have my own challenges, and my other brother Mark seems unaware of them or chooses to not be aware of them.

In my family, I was the one who helped others all the time, the sensitive and smart one. I've had to overcome so much and finally, at 55, I'm getting it together enough to really look forward to a happier life. Then Todd happened.

I think I am answering my question here... I myself have wasted too much of my life due to my own mental health/depression issues. Real late bloomer. Taking responsibility for Todd, though well-meaning as you said, on the flip side, what about all the issues that could arise, while I'm trying to establish a new career, find a mate, make more friends, improve my own life.

Thanks for the post. I just sent an email to my attorney regarding what happens when the state becomes Todd's Guardian. In actuality, that could be the best thing. Todd is used to living in structured or semi-structured environments, and he doesn't need freedom, he needs oversight.
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I don't know how to say this gently - and positively, positively is more important - but just remember. Your wanting the rest of his life to be better does not mean you can make it happen. Plus, if you really want to have a good chance of doing it, you have to be secure yourself.

Please take care of yourself first. You can still be involved, I just can't see that it's going to be reasonable for you to take the lead.
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Thanks countrymouse and sunnygirl.

Countrymouse, I am single but the timing of Todd's illness and need for Guardian couldn't have come at a worse time. I was beginning to undertake a job search. I need to earn more money, and to find a much better-fitting job than I currently have. I'm basically underemployed. Plus, my car is about to die...it's an old beater and I've been pushing my luck with it but I can no longer afford to dump $$$ into it. I am real stressed by my own challenges. Being miserable in my job doesn't help. I've begun to build a social network but it's taking time. I am looking for a therapist.

I have another brother, Mark, and we don't have a real good relationship. In fact, we've had 3-4 big arguments, which makes me feel literally sick to my stomach afterward. We both want to make things work, but I think we'll need professional help.

I do have an attorney, he was assigned Todd's case at the first hospital Todd was in. Since Todd is basically an indigent, the hospital (thank God) has attorneys on retainer who assemble paperwork, and file the petition, etc. at no charge to Todd or myself. (Hospital pays him.) He has been pretty helpful.

I have ruminated over becoming Guardian for about 5 weeks, the hearing is next week. I went back and forth. Mark can in no way become Guardian, his job as a trucker consumes all his time, he's on the road 5-6 days/week. If the state of Wisconsin became Todd's Guardian, I don't know what would happen to Todd! I don't want that to happen to him, that he'll end up 300 miles away, in an god-awful place. I really love Todd, we get along well. Believe me, anyplace besides that 'half way' house is a huge step up. I mean, it is an awful, sickening place. I have no respect for the Pastor. True, he got Todd on Disability, and that was huge. However, he charges Todd twice the normal rent, and never paid him for all the semi-managerial tasks Todd undertook. It was just a f**cked relationship. Mark talks to him (the pastor) but I can't.

Todd's just had a really sad life, never took care of himself, relying on exploitative men to take care of him. He's had mental and drug problems since his 20's. I just want the rest of his life to be better.
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Beth, I looked at your profile but can't see anything there - do you have your own family and job to deal with?

What you want to arrange for your brother would be ideal. Your wanting to help him is very touching. Are you *sure* you want to apply for guardianship? To take legal responsibility for his welfare?

It isn't that it isn't a good thing to want to do. What I'm questioning is whether one private citizen should take on a role that sometimes defeats whole teams of professionals.
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