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09-Mar-2017 22:50

She was on her own, raising two children on a bookkeeper's pay. When it was time for Linda, her oldest, to go to school, Mary Casavecchia did an unusual thing for a woman in 1965: She bought a rowhouse by herself in Northeast Philadelphia.She took the first house she looked at, and she's still defiantly living in it.In late life, increasing medical and cognitive problems are harbingers of the inevitable.How does a family set goals for its oldest generation's last months or years?If parents will accept help - and many balk - modern technology and in-home services can help seniors stay at home, but not always to the end.

"Extensive parental longevity is a pretty new phenomenon," she said. The symptoms were worse when the living parents were in poor health.

he story of Mary Casavecchia and the house she won't leave began decades ago.

There was a brief, disastrous marriage to a man who made her heart flutter, then abandoned her.

Leslie Boyle, a Swarthmore woman whose mother - now in her 90s - is even more adamant about not moving than Mary Casavecchia, agonizes.

"It's probably the hardest thing I've ever done," Boyle said.

"Extensive parental longevity is a pretty new phenomenon," she said. The symptoms were worse when the living parents were in poor health.he story of Mary Casavecchia and the house she won't leave began decades ago.There was a brief, disastrous marriage to a man who made her heart flutter, then abandoned her.Leslie Boyle, a Swarthmore woman whose mother - now in her 90s - is even more adamant about not moving than Mary Casavecchia, agonizes."It's probably the hardest thing I've ever done," Boyle said.Even loving families can find themselves in a standoff, each generation unable to see the other's point of view. She was working part time as a bookkeeper until three years ago.