02/05/2013 10:52 am ET Updated Feb 15, 2013

In Blended Families, Responsibility Blurs

Every year, Fran McDowell waited for the summer week when she would sing in a choral festival in the North Carolina mountains, then spend a few days in a lakeside cabin with close women friends.

That getaway grew more complicated to arrange -- but perhaps more necessary -- after her husband, Herb Beadle, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. They had a “gloriously happy” marriage -- her first, his second -- for 11 years, and she was more than willing to care for him in sickness as in health. But he could no longer manage alone in their Atlanta home.

Read more on New York Times