Repeat after me: “How is this possible?”
That is the question you will ask yourself, more than once, as we detail the last two troubling months in the life of Benjamin Alfano.
In the space of eight weeks, how is it possible that a veteran with full benefits could be trucked out of the Raleigh Hills assisted living facility he loved — on Christmas Eve, no less — and end up desperate and wounded in a locked-door dementia-care unit in Gresham?
Stripped of his telephone.
Restricted to one daily visit from his children.
Drenched in his own urine.
How is it possible that a “protected” person — in the painfully ironic parlance of the Oregon courts — and one faithfully attended by a conservator, a guardian, a lawyer and a sizable bank account could be tossed about in such a perfect storm, a tempest that culminated in Alfano’s death Feb. 26, 2011, one year ago today?
That’s the question four of Alfano’s children are still asking, four children who remained intensely involved to the bitter end in their father’s life.
A commitment to their father, by the way, that is still held against them by the overlords at the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, the Washington County Circuit Court and Oregon’s Department of Justice.
If blame is difficult to assess in the closing chapter of Alfano’s story, the fault lines are clearly visible in the vitriolic debate about who is best qualified to make decisions — and control the finances — when the elderly cannot be trusted to make those decisions for themselves.
Full Article and Source:
The Story of Benjamin Alfano and the Debate About Who Controls End-of-Life Decisions (Part 1)