schizophrenic brother - FamilyEducation
schizophrenic brother
07/30/2010 at 13:00 PM

My brother, who is nearing 60, has been schizophrenic since he was a young adult. For about 3 or 4 years, he was medicated, but he couldn't tolerate the fuzzy, slow thinking that the medication caused. He has been unable to hold a job for about 30 years. For nearly that long, he has lived in cars or stairways or garages or behind buildings, mostly in the town that I live in. He refuses to apply for social security or disability.

Last November he started living with my widowed mother, far away from me. That is working out OK, but my sister who lives nearby is having a hard time. I've had 30 years of being close enough to the situation to understand that it probably is as good as it can be. I've been through those phases of grief--but she is just in the denial phase and she keeps wanting him to be less crazy.

Anyway, at this point, my sister will inherit the house my mom and brother are living in when Mom dies. My sister started asking the question, what happens to this brother when that occurs? I suggested that he could inherit the house instead of her. I also suggested a conservatorship. I did not suggest that she inherit the house and kick him out. I did not suggest that she inherit the house and allow him to live there, with her (or other family members) taking responsibility for paying for the utilities, etc.

Can anyone see other options?

An assistant living home for idividuals w/ similar disabilities. I think this wld be best for all involved.

Thank you. It had not crossed my mind to even propose such a notion. I am too close to the situation. It is worth proposing when the time comes.

When my grandmother died, my mother and 3 sisters sold the house and equally split the money. If your sister is agreeable to that option, you could help your brother purchase a smaller home or move into an apartment type assited living. Talk over the various options with your mother, sister and brother now and see if you can all agree on a plan. Good luck and God bless.