Instead of more time spent in Florida, she’s still stuck in snowy upstate New York. She traded romps in the sea and traveling the world for her daily visits to her mom, who’s in a nursing home. Instead of the joys of living the snowbird life, she’s saddled with stress, guilt and the challenges of caring for my grandmother, who is 89 and dealing with dementia.
“This is not how I imagined my life at midlife,” my mom, who is 61, tells me.
Insufficient family leave policies force middle-aged adults to decide between maximizing their earning potential or caring for an aging parent. Of those who were working full-time while caregiving more than 21 hours a week for an aging parent, 25% took reduced work hours or accepted a less demanding position. Studies have shown that juggling a job while caring for a parents strains relationships and takes a toll on mental and physical health.
As much as she loved her 83-year-old father, 57-year-old Ginny did not love being his primary caregiver during his slow decline from Parkinson’s...