Aiding in Your Loved One’s Recovery

CAREGIVER’S ROLE IN RECOVERY

As a caregiver, you take on a number of different responsibilities to help provide support throughout your loved one’s treatment. There are times when it may be helpful for the Treatment Team to share patient information with you so you can support the treatment plan. Make sure you have a conversation with your loved one so that they understand the importance of signing these privacy authorizations, since the treatment process is enhanced with help from a caregiver. Some other roles a caregiver might fill include:

  • Going to doctor visits together after a schizophrenia diagnosis
  • Keeping in contact with healthcare professionals
  • Helping maintain a daily routine at home
  • Making sure the patient is taking his or her medicine
  • Watching for worsening symptoms
  • Supporting him or her through relapse / times of crisis
  • Helping him or her to manage his or her finances / navigating insurance
  • Helping ensure a healthy diet, enough sleep, and regular doctor and dentist visits to maintain good health

It’s important to be proactive about your loved one’s health. Consider putting a plan in place early, such as agreeing with them on establishing limited power of attorney. Taking the right steps ensures that you can help your loved one in a crisis. This time can feel overwhelming, but there are resources to help both of you.

Together, you and your loved one can start deciding what his or her future can be. There may be some challenges along the way; that's why it is important you both work with his or her Treatment Team to develop a treatment plan. A long-acting symptom control schizophrenia medication like INVEGA TRINZA® may help your loved one stay on track so they can pursue his or her treatment goals.

On INVEGA TRINZA®, your loved one will receive medication only four times a year, so he or she can spend less time talking to his or her healthcare professional about taking his or her medication and more time talking about his or her treatment goals or other parts of his or her treatment plan.

 

HELPFUL COMMUNICATION TIPS

Communication can sometimes be difficult because of the nature of schizophrenia symptoms. As a general rule for effective communication, speak kindly, clearly, and simply. Some other tips include:

Be prepared.

It’s better to have conversations about patient confidentiality and hospitalizations before a crisis. Consider having your loved one carry a card in his or her wallet that includes important contact information and a list of his or her medications. Have conversations about power of attorney, and privacy authorizations, so that if a relapse happens, you can act with your loved one’s permission.

Listen actively.

Active listening means paying close attention to what a person is saying and, to confirm your understanding, repeating back to them what you've heard. By doing this, you show the person that you are really listening, ensuring there are no misunderstandings, and demonstrating your respect.

Acknowledge the patient’s experience.

As a caregiver, it’s important that you show you are sensitive to what your loved one is feeling. Seeing things from his or her perspective will help you better understand and communicate. Remember that, at times, a patient may believe things that are not real but that seem very real to him or her. Acknowledge that these beliefs are real, without supporting the actual delusions.

Uncover what motivates them.

Many times an individual with schizophrenia may say or do something that doesn’t make sense to you. If this happens, ask thoughtful questions to uncover his or her motive. You may be able to leverage the motive to encourage a desired behavior.

 

Additional Tips

 

  • Maintain a low-stress environment
  • Have one person speak at a time, and keep voices down
  • Use language that is positive and supportive instead of critical
  • Be encouraging and understanding
  • Keep conversations short and simple
  • Do not argue, even if your loved one argues
  • Use “I feel” statements rather than “I think” statements
  • Make sure you take time out to take care of yourself