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Will assisted living take a senior with schizophrenia?

My mother-in-law has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is no longer able to live on her own. She is 78 and I have contacted senior services and in Illinois since she can't live in assisted living. Does anyone know of a place that takes cases like this? Most nursing homes won't accept her most of the time she is in her own world seems to be no problems when on her meds but physically she is losing ground. We are at the end of our rope and don't know where to turn.
Status: Open    Jan 27, 2015 - 08:56 AM

Senior Health & Nutrition, Senior Living Communities

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Expert Answers

Feb 02, 2015 - 12:44 PM

Even with dementia diagnoses ranging from mild cognitive impairment to late stage Alzheimer's Disease, schizophrenia is a mental disorder that simply requires specialized care and goes beyond the level of assisted living and well into specialized hospitalization and nursing care. Nurses are specifically trained to deal with the challenges of the disease, and, most importantly, are authorized to restrain an individual both physically and chemically in the event a patient becomes a danger to herself or others.

My advice is to continue to discuss options with the state senior services representative you have contacted. Should your mother in law become more care than your family is capable of handling, her only options may be very limited.

According to The Agape Center, there are several health services in Illinois. While I can't vouch for any health service, I recommend calling each to begin narrowing down options. After explaining your situation, be certain to ask for referrals in the event that any facility is unable to care for your mother in law.

Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital - Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Chicago Lakeshore Hospital - Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

HartGrove Hospital - Chicago, Cook County, Illinois

Linden Oaks Hospital at Edward - Naperville, Du Page County & Will County, Illinois

Pavilion Behavioral Health System, The - Champaign, , Illinois

Riveredge Hospital - Forest Park, Cook County, Illinois

Streamwood Hospital - Streamwood, Cook County, Illinois


Jul 10, 2016 - 10:05 PM

"Has been diagnosed with schizophrenia . . .?"
Elaboration and clarification of this comment might help in your situation. Major mental health diseases like schizophrenia, do not generally come on spontaneously as a part of aging. People are generally (first) diagnosed with schizophrenia in their teens and 20s.Has she been diagnosed as schizophrenic since she was younger? If she has a long history of schizophrenia then yes, care must be done in a facility that is licensed to care for this mental health diagnosis.

However, are you saying that she has begun 'acting strange'? Are you saying that she has 'hallucinations'? These can be symptoms of schizophrenia, BUT they are also typical behaviors related to 'dementia'. There are approximately 75 different causes of dementia. Each cause leads to its own group of symptoms. (Example: hallucinations are common in Lewy Body disease)

The next questions are; Who diagnosed her? How was she diagnosed? What testing was done? If these symptoms and behaviors are new onset at her current age, then the diagnosis of schizophrenia may be totally wrong. Correctly diagnosing dementia related conditions such as Alzheimer's, Lewy Body, Frontal temporal dementia, etc. is NOT EASY and not all doctors are prepared or skilled at making an accurate diagnosis.

If you can establish that the behaviors she is showing are the result of a dementia producing disease (especially one that is related to aging), then you would not need a special schizophrenia licensed facility. With an accurate diagnosis then placement in a facility that is prepared and licensed to manage dementia related conditions will be much easier for you to arrange.

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