My first reaction when I heard about the rapid decline in my parents’ physical state was this strange sense of panic. I’m a bigtime corporate lawyer, for God’s sake, and I don’t panic for a living, but there I was. Mom and Dad refused to leave California, and my practice is in Michigan. Whom can I trust to be my eyes and ears out there? And what can I count on from my unemployed brother? And do I really expect to build a consensus, a coherent plan of action, with my drama-queen sister?
God, I wish we’d talked about this stuff when things were normal!
—Denise, focus group participant
In the hundreds of interviews I conducted, I heard a number of tales that mirrored my own experiences ...