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My homeless sister with Paranoid Schizophrenia visited

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My homeless sister with Paranoid Schizophrenia visited

Unread postby popover » 23 Apr 2012

I went to California with my Dad (84yrs)and my husband and daughter to visit my very sick sister and the children who have been raised by their father who moved on and is with a new woman.
My sister left the house and leaved in a nearby Apartment when the children were preteen. (The children are in their early 20's now.) And my sister thought they no longer needed her. That was the reason she gave but there was more to it. Regardless she protected them from seeing her illness that she still doesn't think she has.
She talks to her self having more that one conversation. In the past she had delusions of seeing relatives and friends but I think that stopped for the most part. I think the disease is progressing further as she goes untreated. She moves away quickly when she thinks someone is looking at her. She is a size zero or less. She covers her head and part of her face and she tries to cover her missing crowns of teeth.

It was extrodinarily painful for me this time. My father gave her a sleeping bag and some money. My sister asked if she could sleep in his hotel room for one night and he didn't answer but I said he's thinking about it. Dad said to us it couldn't happen because the way she looks and acting the hotel may reject her. Later my father just asked where he could drop her off and we hugged goodbye. I said may the good angels be with you. Just so painful I couldn't breathe. I was thankful that my mother who died about a year ago was not there. I know she wouldn't let go so easily.

Now dad wants to get her hospitalized something I suggested 6 years ago but now that he has a new girlfriend he is listen to her.

The social worker told my father she would have to be in danger of hurting others or herself.

But I know there is another criterial that is tough to prove but it is in Ca. Unable to take care of oneself. She has most of the criteria for it they just got to get an accessment team to agree.

Is this a good choice to get her in what could be a state hospital in California? And how would it be done send police and an accessment team to someone who has severe paranoia? Who would do it because she will know. And could they guarentee she would spent at least 2yrs in a 24hr with security place.

The social worker is her only friend in a day facility for homeless and goes there once in a while. You cannot put her on the do not trust list and my dad. She only calls him when she is desparate.

Anyway its a tall order but her life will be shortened by this lack of care she is not far off from 60 but it horrible condition.

Has anyone been thru this?

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Re: My homeless sister with Paranoid Schizophrenia visited

Unread postby AndrewBCSS » 23 Apr 2012

Hi Popover,
It does sound like she meets the criteria for being unable to take care of herself. She most likely would here in BC. If hospitalization is what gets her treatment, that's what she needs. You're right, she's not going to get better without it. I'm so sorry. Does she trust you, do you think you could go with her to a hospital, along with the social worker? Have you contacted the NAMI affilliate in the area of California where she is? They might have some good suggestions about about how to get her treated where she lives.

I have a friend I helped when she was ill. She was paranoid too, but luckily not against me. I just said we needed to go to the hospital, in a very matter of fact way, and got my spouse to drive us there. She was confused and trusted me and perhaps realized she needed it, and went with us without resistance. That, I'm afraid is the only experience I have. It reminded me a little of trying to get a toddler to do something, where you kind of distract them from what you're doing by laying out specific choices (would you like to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt? but the option to not get dressed isn't included).

Now mostly I deal with her paranoia by offering other explanations for her perceptions.

Have you read "I'm not sick! I don't need help!" by Xavier Amador? I've heard good things about it as a source of info on how to talk to people who are too sick to know they need medical attention.

Andrew Stewart
Operations Manager
British Columbia Schizophrenia Society
A reason to hope. The means to cope.

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