updated 4/1/2005 8:06:37 AM ET 2005-04-01T13:06:37

Joan Kennedy’s son said her fall this week was a “wake-up call” that he hopes will convince her of the reasons he is seeking to become her permanent legal guardian.

Kennedy, the former wife of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., was recovering at Massachusetts General Hospital after suffering a concussion and broken shoulder. A neighbor found her Monday lying on a street.

It remained unclear exactly what happened to Kennedy, 68, who has battled alcoholism for years.

Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, D-R.I., said he and his brother, Edward M. Kennedy Jr., will meet with their mother this week to discuss her future care.

“This was a real wake-up call and I think the silver lining may be that we’ll be able to make her understand that all we’re trying to do is be of help,” he said.

Joan Kennedy’s children recently took temporary guardianship of their mother to ensure she receives treatment for her alcoholism. Patrick Kennedy is seeking to become her permanent legal guardian.

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