My parents were fiercely independent, having grown up during the Depression and having helped to care for their own elderly parents, who never fully recovered from the economic woes of the Depression. My mother had a couple of strokes and Alzheimer's that developed over years, beginning about 15 years before she died. My father was determined to care for her for the rest of her life, so to respect his feelings, I had to try to find work nearby, check on them often, and be available for doctor's appointments, all without being intrusive.
Finally in the last six months of their lives I resigned my position in order to come and stay with them so they could be at home with hospice care. It was one of the great privileges of my life to do so, and I don't regret it a bit. However, it took me several years to recover emotionally and physically from the stress of caring for them and of their deaths, five days apart. I also have not recovered financially or professionally.
One penalty we Boomers pay for caring for our families is that when we seek to return to work, no one wants to hire someone in their fifties--and there are -so- many of us out there. Nevertheless, I still would not have done anything differently...and I'm still wondering how others handle this.
More information about formatting options