Monday, January 07, 2008

Ten Degrees of Separation - One Thousand International Units of Frustration

Over the last few days, I've had the distinct impression that I am either a non-person, or a person who may commit a crime at any moment. I'm pretty sure I'm a person and I haven't committed any crimes, or at least none that I can recall. But at first people were distinctly unhelpful.

It all started when I became concerned because I couldn't contact a dear old friend. I tried and tried, since we had agreed I would visit him last Wednesday, but I couldn't get an answer. So, I went to Toronto and discovered that he had fallen and had been taken to hospital. I visited him there. I know that am his one and only contact and that he had given my name to his doctor and others (including the CCAC), I tried to get information on his status. I pestered the nurses and the hospital social worker for his unit. No one would tell me anything. Privacy laws protected him and that's fine, but I knew my name was down on the list somewhere, only no one would bother to look. I was in Toronto for two days and then had to return home and try connecting with the people in charge via long distance calls. Yes, now I am ranting, sorry about that.

After a lot of calls to Toronto, including several to the CCAC whose whole computer system was down for hours, I was finally able to confirm that I was listed as the 'consent' person. That allowed me to pry a little information from the nurse responsible for my friend's care. She tells me he is making some progress toward recovery and he wants to know where his shoes are. I can't help with that, and no one seems to know where his personal things have gone.

I guess more long distance calls will be in my future, and I know I'll be making sure my daughter is still aware of where to find my Will and my Power of Attorney. My friend has not made a Will or chosen a substitute decision maker and should he not recover his wits, there will be a huge mess. So, if anyone reading this has postponed making a Will, or enabling someone to act for you, should you not be able to make decisions, then - DO IT NOW

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