“When Phyllis Funke hit bottom, the court appointed a guardian to prop her up. The remedy is like prison, she said. But ‘at least in prison you have rights.’”
For Ms. Funke, every item in her apartment has a purpose or a story. But when the building called it hoarding, it started her on the road to guardianship. Now she can’t get out. – CreditCredit: Lily Landes for The New York Times
By John Leland
“The last weeks that Phyllis Funke could legally make decisions for herself, she climbed into bed, planning to stay there for a while. It was the end of 2016 and she felt disillusioned with the election and wounded by her brother’s recent move to Texas.
“She wasn’t considering suicide, she said. She just needed to go under the covers until she could figure out how to deal with the rest of her life, so totally alone.
“She had credit cards, a car, friends and financial advisers in Maine and New York.
“When a caseworker from Adult Protective Services and a city psychiatrist entered her apartment on March 3, 2017, clipping the security chain because she did not answer the door, she was unraveling emotionally and physically, at risk of becoming homeless or worse. She had no idea what price she would pay for the intervention.”
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