Preparing Your Schizoaffective Adult Child for Residential Care

An adult with schizoaffective disorder won’t get better without intervention from trained mental health professionals. Ideally, the administration of their treatment should only be done in a high-quality residential treatment center, where they can dedicate themselves entirely to the healing process. The parents of schizoaffective adult children can prepare their sons and daughters for recovery by creating a stable and supportive home environment, which will ease their transition into a comprehensive treatment program that is capable of producing outstanding results.

Adults with schizoaffective disorder can be severely stressed by sudden disruptions or abrupt life transitions. Residential care has the potential to be just this type of experience if your adult child is not fully prepared for the rigors and demands of a high-level recovery plan.

As their primary caretaker and most loving advocate, you feel you have a responsibility to help your son or daughter recover from this stressful and dramatically life-altering condition. Once you’ve made the decision to send them to a residential facility, you’ll need to get them ready to face some immense challenges over the coming months.

Your supportive approach will make all the difference, maximizing their opportunities to heal, grow, and thrive.

Creating a Stable Environment


Professional care facilities make an extraordinary effort to help men and women diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder feel safe and comfortable. They know people with this condition do their best in environments that are stable, calm, routine-oriented, and stress-free, and this is what they set out to provide.

In the weeks leading up to residential help, you should copy this approach at home. Your loved one will get the most out of professional care if they enter it in a positive frame of mind, with their emotions in balance. You can help them achieve this state by fashioning a home environment that is conducive to healing and recovery.

An individual with schizoaffective disorder is subject to sensory overload. They can be bothered by a lot of noise, flashing lights outside, strong smells, or anything else that might potentially cause overstimulation. Therefore, you should take steps to make sure your home is free from such irritants. From your perspective, they might not seem so bad, but from the viewpoint of a person with schizoaffective disorder, they might be intolerable.

Individuals with schizoaffective disorder can be strongly impacted by the moods and behavior of those around them. That’s why you should avoid conflict when your schizoaffective adult child is around, along with taking other actions to make sure everyone in the house is calm and peaceful in the days before your loved one leaves for professional help. If you have tensions in the household that are difficult to resolve, try to address them in a separate environment, outside the presence of your adult child with schizoaffective disorder.

Another critical step is to keep your adult child on a fixed and dependable schedule. Make sure they eat at the same time, go to sleep at the same time, exercise at the same time, and perform all household and personal duties according to a pre-determined plan. This will recreate the consistent schedule they’ll experience in a residential facility, and it will help them maintain their emotional stability up to the time when they have to leave for the recovery facility.

You won’t be able to offer them empowering therapies, so customizing a home environment that is ideal for good mental health won’t solve the problem completely. But in a very real sense, your creation of a healthy home atmosphere will prepare them to take full advantage of the healing opportunities their residential treatment program for schizoaffective disorder can provide.

The Importance of Explaining the Treatment Process


Your loved one will be much better prepared for care, emotionally and psychologically, if they have a clear idea about what to expect when they arrive at the facility. They should know exactly what will happen during their time in residential care in as much detail as you are able to offer.

You can explain to them that they will be working with a team of skilled and compassionate counselors, who will organize regular therapy sessions for them in individual, group, and family formats. You can explain to them that you will be there for them in the family therapy sessions and that these will be constructive meetings focused on finding answers that work for everyone.

You can talk to them about medications, which generally play a central role in recovery from schizoaffective disorder. You’ll explain that the usual approach is to treat the depression or manic symptoms first, with medications that are specifically effective against mood disorders.

Once their moods have stabilized and they’re feeling better, only then will medications be offered to help them control their delusions, hallucinations, and sensations of being disconnected from reality. All of this will co-occur with therapy, which is the core of the recovery program and will continue for as long as your loved one is in the facility.

Most people with schizoaffective disorder have a hard time making their way in the world. They may experience difficulties holding down a job, maintaining relationships, or managing money. They may abuse drugs or alcohol or engage in other impulsive and self-destructive behaviors. They may not be able to finish school and may struggle to handle a whole host of daily responsibilities.

The good news is that these types of issues will be decisively addressed in care. You can let your loved one know that mental health professionals customize their recovery regimens to meet the specific needs of each client, including those who have trouble coping with their schizoaffective disorder. Your adult child should be pleased and relieved to know they will be working with experts who will mentor them and advise them on a wide range of topics, teaching them practical life skills that can help them function more effectively in the real world and when dealing with people outside their immediate family circle.

At some point, you will want to take your adult child to visit the residential facility where they will be staying to meet the mental health professionals who will be designing and administering their recovery programs. This will help remove at least some of the lingering feelings of anxiety or uncertainty your loved one may have been experiencing, as they (and you) can communicate directly with the people who will be in charge of their care.

While taking these steps will be most helpful for your child, they may still feel nervous or scared as the day they must leave for residential care approaches. You should accept their feelings and do your best to reassure them without becoming defensive, frustrated, or casually dismissive. Once professional help begins, they will be able to settle in and get relaxed more quickly if you’ve offered them a lot of comforting words at home.

Call For a Confidential Phone Assessment.

619-466-0547

Releasing the Healing Power of Hope


Residential care programs for schizoaffective disorder are evidence-based and carefully tuned to meet the unique needs of those who experience the symptoms of this confounding disorder. The combination of significant mood swings and schizophrenic manifestations (hallucinations and delusions) can be powerfully debilitating and leave those who experience them feeling there is no hope that things will get better.

As understandable as it is, this pessimistic attitude can interfere with your loved one’s recovery if they carry it with them into professional care. One of the most empowering things you can do for your adult child with schizoaffective disorder is to help them replace their pessimism with hope and optimism. In the weeks leading up to recovery, you should remind them each and every day how proud you are that they’ve survived despite the incredible obstacles they’ve had to overcome. Let them know you have faith in them and believe in their ability to transcend even the most difficult circumstances. Offer positive reinforcement daily in response to all their little successes, pointing out that their small victories today are predictors or more substantial triumphs in the future.

When they express their fears and doubts—as they are likely to do increasingly as the day to leave for care nears—you should listen to them and do your best to reassure them. You ll do this by speaking again about how effective professional care can be, and telling them how different their lives will be once their residential program is finished and they’ve learned many new life- and health- management skills.

Positivity can be hard to come by when serious mental illness develops. Nevertheless, if you are consistently encouraging and back up your words of optimism with detailed discussions about what professional help can accomplish, you ll be sowing the seeds of long-term recovery. Residential care can be tremendously successful when people with schizoaffective disorder believe change is possible and are willing to work day and night to make it happen.