There are a lot of things I have been meaning to do. Pushing 50 and moving back in with my parents wasn’t among them.

People react kindly when I tell them I look after my folks, but things are not as selfless as they seem. I care, but I am also captive. When I first came home, temporarily I imagined, to help them through a difficult patch, I had a house, a marriage and some semblance of a career. That was more than 12 months ago. Then the work project that had absorbed the previous two years and all my money came to nothing, my relationship collapsed, and there was a further decline in my parents’ health. Which is more or less how I found myself back in a room and a town I left in the late 80s, caring for people in their late 80s. My siblings work and I am the best person for the job, in part since I have nowhere else to go.

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