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News10NBC Advocates For Viewer Desperate For Help

Updated: 08/11/2015 6:14 PM
Created: 08/11/2015 5:27 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean – @whec_bbrean

One of our viewers in Brighton called us this week desperate for help.

There are parts to her story that are tragic and we hope that by telling her story we can help her and help others who are in the same situation and don’t know where to turn.

We’re just trying to get the people involved in this story to be flexible. But we’re also trying to say there are things you can do so that you never find yourself in the same position as our viewer, Lois DePotter.

“It’s the worst time of my life,” says DePotter.

This is what has happened to DePotter since mid-July: her son — who lived with her for eight years — died. Then her stepdaughter put her house on the market and it sold overnight.

Berkeley Brean: “Did you want to sell your house?”
DePotter: “I knew I couldn’t stay here alone, but I didn’t know things were going to happen so fast.”

The closing date is the end of August, but Lois can’t move into a new senior apartment until the start of October.

Miles Zatkowsky of Dutcher & Zatkowsky says, “For the senior, what they need to do is slow down a little bit.”

Zatkowsky is an elder law attorney. We went to him and asked what can people like Lois do?

“Don’t sign anything until you get a consult with someone who is looking out for your best interest,” says Zatkowsky.

He adds, “So don’t rush someone into transition. If someone has been living in the house for 40 years, that’s really scary to pick up and move somewhere else.”

We tried to advocate for DePotter. We called her real estate agent to ask if they could push back the closing date. We called the senior living apartment complex to see if they could push up the move-in date. Imagine living in one place for four decades and all of a sudden, you don’t know where you’re going to sleep.

DePotter says, “At first they told me I had to be out of here in three weeks and I’ve been here 42 years.”

The senior apartment complex in Greece says the ground floor unit DePotter is signed up for is occupied until September. It won’t be ready until October.

Her agent told me he made a request to the buyers to push the closing back. She’s making arrangements to stay with a cousin. She’ll have to move twice and in her condition that’s not easy.