How to care for your loved one suffering from Schizophrenia

How to care for your loved one suffering from Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental condition that affects what we see, how we talk, and generally how we act. It messes with our brain’s emotional and behavioral response, putting patients at increased risks of either hurting themselves or easily getting into harm’s way. Loved ones with schizophrenia can experience hallucinations and delusions in the worst-case scenario, however, symptoms can generally vary from one individual to the next. These symptoms obviously present unique challenges for caregivers, which is why our senior care service set out to offer important pointers to help you and a loved one in your care cope better. Check these out. 

  • Give a helping hand with medication

Schizophrenia medication often includes a range of antipsychotics that cement a grasp on reality, among other drug solutions. The problem is that these cause uncomfortable side effects which can put off your loved one, some of them are: 

  • Muscle aches
  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Increased weight and more

It’s important to point out the positive side of medication if your loved one wants to throw in the towel. Give examples of how it is helping them be better. Perhaps they have a more active social life because of it, can now recall fond memories with ease, or are more dependable at work. Be sure to point out whatever it is. 

However, this doesn’t mean you should wave away your loved one’s concerns about their medication. Offer a listening ear, be understanding of their situation and talk to your doctor to work out if there are better options. One suggestion as a memory care assisted living provider, is to consider a compounding pharmacy that can help alter the strength, flavors, and dosage forms for fewer side effects. 

  • Replace destructive pastimes with therapy

Schizophrenia can take its toll on your loved one. When they start to see or hear things that aren’t there, illicit drugs and alcohol can become a means of escapism from their troubles. This can lead to substance abuse, which can further escalate things over the long term while leading to overall health decline. 

The first step is to eliminate any ready temptations from yourself as you work toward a more long-term solution. It’s important to have a chat with your loved one if they have a substance abuse problem. Let them know you’re worried for their safety, and that their actions are not just affecting their quality of life but affecting those who care about them.

Overall, our senior elderly care service advises the following considerations: 

  • Don’t blame anyone instead open up by slowly explaining your concerns
  • Hear them out and understand their perspective or concerns
  • Choose a good time to talk when you have time and your loved one isn’t tired
  • Discuss next steps that you’re loved one would be open to exploring

Speaking of the next steps, therapy can be a great option for learning more healthier coping habits. If your loved one is defensive about it, then don’t nag the issue. Give them space to process things and they may come around. 

  • Create a stress-free space and a nutritious diet plan

Stress is a catalyst for negative emotions and psychosis. While it is a natural part of life that we all experience sometimes, there’s much you can do to create a comfortable and soothing home environment in your home, namely: 

  • Ridding your house of loud noises that can be a trigger
  • That said, this doesn’t mean pin-drop silence and avoiding talking to your loved one. Strike a conversation regularly and reel them into helping with simple everyday chores so they feel more involved

Beyond this, ensure they get a healthy diet in, which is key to better mental health as well as suppressing the weight gain that comes with schizophrenia medication. Specifically, include lots of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and fish, which have been linked to slowing down cognitive decline. Furthermore, studies show that B vitamins, when paired with medication, can provide relief for symptoms.  

If you need advice on more foods to avoid and take, reach out to an Alzheimer’s care near me for help. At Lantern Lifestyle, we’re always open so feel free to hop on a call anytime for answers.

  • Turn to a senior care community 

Caring for a senior with schizophrenia can be a full-time job because you don’t know when symptoms can aggravate and lead to an episode. You may not be in a position to provide full-term care due to the demands of work or other obligations, making it challenging to oversee medication, safety, and other concerns. 

If you find yourself in such shoes, you could choose to look up memory care communities near me to get professional assistance for your loved one. At our senior care community here at Lantern Lifestyle, for example, we provide: 

  • Memory care assistance can take over the activities of daily living that may be cumbersome or injurious to your loved one. 
  • A wealth of special programs including therapeutic massages and other activities have proven to bolster cognitive abilities
  • 24/7 staff support to tend to your loved one’s needs and emergencies all day, every day
  • Controlled secure access so seniors with schizophrenia can safely explore the outdoors

If you wish, we also have options for memory day care for seniors to ensure you can go about a busy day, knowing your loved one is in good hands. We also have more long-term stay options, customizable to meet personal needs and ensure seniors that crave independence still have the freedom to be themselves.

Let’s discuss your memory care needs

24 million people around the world are living with Schizophrenia, according to WHO estimates, with older adults more susceptible to the condition. If you have a loved one struggling to live with Schizophrenia and you need an experienced assisted living center in your corner, Lantern Lifestyle is here for you. We improve the quality of life for seniors with schizophrenia by providing opportunities for socialization, strategic nutrition plans, special memory care rehabilitation activities, and much more. Let’s talk about your loved one’s needs today via a call. 

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