Legal issues


So what became obvious in the hospital was that he was not going to be able to go back to his apartment, and that he hadn’t made any arrangements, which is something I was personally a little frustrated with because I had talked to him about the problem with his mother not making arrangements and that he really should. So, the end result is that there’s nobody who has legal authority to make decisions for him. And as a result of that, a group of friends got together as a support group for him to sort of decide how we can share the responsibility of his needs. And, sort of, the end result of that right now is that we’re in the process of talking to a lawyer who is going to assess him to see if he is still capable enough to make representation agreements, where another person will take care of the financial stuff and I would take care of the health stuff.

The reason I think this story is important to include is because of the fact that arrangements weren’t made. There was no representation agreement, advance directive, power of attorney… and because of the fact that that… The family that actually was at all close is now all gone, and he’s 56 years old. And in our urban world, that’s going to become more and more the case because families don’t live in the same place and they are estranged, and for all kinds of different reasons we don’t have the sort of family community network that we would have had 50 to 100 years ago when somebody gets ill. And so, I think there’s going to be more and more cases where it’s a circle of friends that have to take over and figure out how to make things work for this person.

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