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Adult Protective Services
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I've dealt for years with Child Protective Services, since much of my career over the years has been oriented toward children and youth, the care and education thereof.

What I didn't know is that there are Adult Protective Services, too. My poor, addled neighbor has a sister in New Jersey (the rest of the family is in Brazil). She and I and the family have been in constant contact ever since the young man (38) decompensated.

She called Adult Protective Services here in Los Angeles and they forwarded her to the Mental Health Team. The Team evaluated him and last night they came with an ambulance and took him in for involuntary observation, 72 hours.

After observation and evaluation, the decision will be made for his further treatment (or not).

His sister, who is 8 months pregnant, did a very smart thing, I believe. I didn't even know there were Adult Protective Services, or I would have recommended it last week when he hit bottom (and started to dig).

His parents in Brazil are distraught and I've run up a $400 phone bill with them, trying to reassure them that we're all doing everything we can, and that it's NOT THEIR FAULT. He didn't give any obvious early signs and not everyone falls apart like that when the going gets tough. Some do, some don't. All we can do is to try to pick up the pieces. And get some sleep.

It could be said to me--has been said--why do I bother? Why get involved?

Because I cannot stand by and see someone suffer or be at risk, and do nothing. If we don't help each other, even the stranger, who will? The parable of the good Samaritan comes to mind....

A friend commented that they, the loneliest and lost, gravitate towards me. It does seem that way. The learning experience for me has been to offer help without becoming an enabler or endangering myself. Still working on it.

Why? I truly do believe we all are one family.

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