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Mental Illness Guide: Care, Support, and Education
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Will my relative be able to live on his or her own?

Just because your relative has a mental illness, this does not mean he/her will have to live at home forever.† People with mental illness may do well in a number of different living arrangements depending on how much they are able to do for themselves.† Each of these types of housing requires different abilities, and each provides a different level of support and supervision.

The following are some of the housing choices and what they offer.

1.      Living at home with a family member

Living at home works best when:

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The person with mental illness has a fairly high level of functioning.

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The person with mental illness has friendships and is involved in activities outside the house.

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Young children at home will not be negatively affected.

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The family atmosphere is relaxed.

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The person with mental illness intends to use available support services.

Living at home is more difficult when:

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The main support person is single, ill, or elderly.

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The person with mental illness is so seriously ill that there is little or no chance to lead a normal family life.

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Children become frightened and resentful, and feel as if they are living in a hospital.

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The relationship of married people breaks down.

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Most family events and concerns revolve around the person with mental illness.

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No support services are used, or services are not available.

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The person with mental illness is naturally aggressive and there is a threat of violence in the house.

If it is decided that the person with mental illness will live in a family setting, the family as a should talk with the therapist about treatment issues.† A record should be kept of how the situation is working and how other family members may be affected.† This will help the family decide later whether the person with mental illness should continue to live at home.

2.   Colorado Recovery offers these forms of assisted living:

bullet Transitional living homes:  three bedroom homes in which two clients live with a therapeutic housemate who is present in the evenings and overnight.
bulletA therapeutic housemate lives with a client in his or her own household.

 

 

3.  Living alone in an apartment

This housing arrangement for the person with mental illness offers the most independence of all the housing options.† This type of housing may work well if the person is enrolled in intensive outpatient treatment and attends all services as required.

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Requires a very high level of independent function on the part of the person with schizophrenia.

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Requires family support in the beginning.

It is best for the person with schizophrenia to work with the case manager to find a type of housing that fits the personís ability to live independently, as well as the ability to cover living expenses.

Learn more about helping your relative live on their own.†