06/26/2014 10:30 am ET Updated Jun 26, 2014

For Women In Midlife, Career Gains Slip Away

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Tracy Murphy was managing a nonprofit agency five years ago when her mother became seriously ill with heart problems. She promptly left her job to care for her, a task that has consumed Ms. Murphy ever since.

“For me, it was a no-brainer,” said Ms. Murphy, who lives in Syracuse. “When I was growing up she sacrificed for me.”

Ms. Murphy, 54, set aside her career aspirations, drained her savings account and eventually sold her gold jewelry to help make ends meet while shuttling her mother, who is 85, to doctors’ appointments and running errands.

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