For the past three years I have been trying to obtain a visa for my stepson who has schizophrenia. He has been permanently in a psychiatric hospital since 2015 in Russia. Because he has no relatives and no place to live if discharged we have since 2015 been paying the hospital to keep him when he is well enough to be discharged. This obviously is cruel and I would have thought was against his human rights but the courts do not appear to see an issue of him being discharged with no place to live, no family member to care for him and ensure that he takes his medication. They have in turn flippantly ask my wife what care can she give her son that he is not receiving in hospital. The purpose of my post is not looking for sympathy but hoping that people who are or have been carers can forward us information about the care a person with schizophrenia living at home requires.
We currently have to pay £460 every month to the hospital which the Home Office appears to consider the right way to deal with our situation.
This is a difficult situation for you. I hope I can pass on some things I have learned looking after my son and perhaps suggest some things you may not have considered. (I don’t mean to imply that you haven’t thought deeply about this as I’m sure you have.)
Firstly, how old is your stepson? Are you proposing to have him to live with you? What does he think about being in hospital? It’s possible that he feels supported by the structure and would be quite stressed by having to adapt to a less ordered environment. I assume he’s an adult. In this country you may have trouble getting him the help he needs in a crisis. Psychiatric services being stretched tend to sit on their hands unless there is clear danger to the sufferer or to other people.
To answer your original question, my son needs a safe, supportive and quiet environment and someone to ensure he eats properly and attends to personal hygiene. Poor memory and sleep disturbance seem to be a feature of schizophrenia so he needs reminding to keep appointments and he is often awake half the night and asleep in the day. He has monthly injections of an anti-psychotic by a qualified health professional. Like many schizophrenics he is a chain smoker though I don’t allow this in the house.
He is lucky to have his own council flat as this is by no means a given these days. He doesn’t like it much and has destroyed a lot of his possessions during one or two psychotic episodes, but over the last couple of years he has calmed down a lot. He stays with me a few days a week which suits me because he is not under my feet all the time.
I am 68 and my son is 38, and I am preoccupied now with what is likely to happen him after I die. In particular I worry about leaving him money that might affect his benefit entitlement, because once the money is gone I don’t think he’d have the capacity to reclaim the benefit.
This is just a bit of food for thought! Feel free to ask me anything else or PM me if you would prefer.
're what happens to your son, talk to a good solicitor about setting up a trust fund or leaving money or a property ‘in trust’ for him. That way the Trustees ‘own’ the money or property, not him but he receives some sort of benefit from it. I know of 2 people who have successfully bought flats for their sons to live in, but it is held in trust so the sons can live there for life but not sell it (except with Trustees agreement who can only agree if its to buy a differnt property for example). This saves Council cost of housing benefit but the sons are still in receipt of benefits for living costs. The property doesnt count as savings or capital as it is owned by the Trustees not the beneficiary. One of the families has made the daughter a joint benficiary just to make double sure cOuncil cannot try to claim it