Should I quit my job to take care of my elderly parents?


Q: Should I quit my job to take care of my elderly parents?

A: Before considering quitting your job, I would first recommend having your aging parents' overall situation assessed to determine what their current needs are. Contact your local Council on Aging who, in many areas, will conduct a free assessment to determine what the level of care your elderly mother and father would require and what resources are available in the area. Visit

Secondly, I would get a handle on what your parent's financial situation is (income, expenses, house value) to determine what they are able to afford for in-home services. Based on income levels and need, there may be resources available to them.

Also, if one parent is a veteran, they would also be entitled to benefits -- If they need additional care that you or an aide are unable to provide and your parents could afford it, suggest looking at assisted living facilities – ow there are many resources and support -- caregiver groups, Internet and books that can provide the help you need. If you have siblings, suggest you have a family meeting and determine how they can get involve and help.

Gail M. Samaha is the founder of GMS Associates. She is a successful management consultant who from her own personal experience along with her background as a hospice volunteer and 30 years of business management, created an elder care planning division for elders and caregivers and trusted advisors.

GMS Associates

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3 yrs ago I quit my job at age 48 and moved back to mom's house She has PD. Would I do again? No. But at the time(3 yrs ago) I assumed (remember what they say about that?) that I would be able to get a job in my field and mom would have in home care while I was at work. What is that they say about wanting to make God laugh just tell him your plans. Now, no job and the prospects of getting one when this primary caregiving role has ended don't look great for someone in their 50s and out of the job mkt for years. My mother is a wonderful sweet person and helps me financially (she even wants to see if her LTC policy can start to pay me but I don't knowi f they will since i'm a relative and frankly I hope they don't so that could be a push toward others to be here besides me) But I wouldnt' do it again because it's not practical or healthy to just give up your life beccause of your parent's health because you will resent them sooner or ltr no matter how much you love them and get along with them. You just get tired of being tied to a person 24/7 and having no social life except for going to the store and MAYBE a brief weekend 2 or 3X a year -- IF YOU"RE THAT LUCKY (I have been but some on this site NEVER get a day off). If I had to do it over, I would not have done it and would have worked VERY hard at convincing mom to go into some type of assisted living facility. Would have been better for her to because they at least have activities there. Here it's just the 2 of us 99% of the time because her friends only make the birhtday/Easter and Christmas visits.
I took care of my mother for over 10 years.I quit my job five years ago to take care of her and would do it all over again.The time I got to spend with with mother was price less.She was happy and loved me unconditionally and I did her. It is hard to loose your free time,personal life,and most of your friends due to being with your parent 24 - 7.But when my mother passed November 17th 2012 I knew I did everything I could do for her.It does take a toll on your health,body,and social life but that will work its self out in due time.I will never regret the time I got to spend with my mother bad and good.My mother raised me to be a strong man I will never forget what she taught me.I will never forget my mother and happy I was blessed to be able to take care of her like she did me.Spend as much time as you can with your parents while there alive,its to late when there gone for ever,

Darren Aubrey
I would say think it over very carefully. I left my job and brought my child here so that I could take care of my Mother. She is still very active at 95. I feel I traded my life for hers. I don't know what I will do when she departs this life. I haven't found a good job for a few years. I am older now and have not a clue what I will do for income. I have worked part time, but if I work she will not likely want to live. I feel I can endure this for a little time more. I explain that when I go to work, she will not be able to go out and do what she does any longer. I know she will get unhappy. I go through bouts of depression and it is not bad now. I would probably do it again, personally. I love my Mother and she has always been good to me. I feel that if I didn't, I might look back and regret that I didn't help out. I don't get much time off, but I don't have a lot of physical care for her either. If she needs it, so far she has insurance and VA. Me? I go to a free clinic for now, only if it isn't an emergency. I am thinking about selling some insurance from home. I have to look into that. I just don't know what I will do when she passes. I try to live in the now.