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One of my brothers is moderately schizophrenic; he does well on his medication but is increasingly unable to live alone. He and I are not close and are very different people, but when our mother went into a nursing home several years ago, he came to live with my wife and me. Several other siblings living close declined to take him in.

My brother can’t live alone for a number of reasons, including forgetting to take his meds and not being able to take care of himself or his living quarters. Otherwise, he is a good person, a brilliant artist (that was his career path) and tries hard to be considerate. Schizophrenia is a terrible thief of independence.

my wife simply does not want to live with my brother during retirement. I admire her compassion for agreeing to take him in years ago, but he does require care and patience.

We must find some other arrangement for my brother. My wife speaks relatively lightly of putting him in assisted living. Doing so will decrease his quality of life drastically. Our income has allowed us to help him extensively with everything from dentures to art supplies. He has little except his monthly Social Security check.

Ethically, how responsible am I for my brother? How do I justify making arrangements for him to go into assisted living so I can enjoy the retirement we planned on, knowing that his quality of life will diminish? How do I set aside this strong sense of disappointment in myself?

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