“The biggest challenge to reintegration after nearly ten years of isolation has been not to be an outsider looking into the world that passed you by.” – Eleanor Gaccetta
Finding comfortable care for senior parents is important for families who want to ensure the safety and welfare of their loved ones. It is easy to feel alone when caring for an elderly parent. Although 17% of adults find themselves in the position of caregiver to their mother or father, it is an astonishing and challenging thing to go through.
If you are a caregiver in this situation, you must take the necessary steps to make it easier for yourself and your family. Caring for elderly parents at home is typically the first step in a senior’s long-term care plan. Not only can it be a way to save money and remain in the comforts of home, but it bides time while family members assess what is needed in terms of home care versus facility-based care.
Most often, caring for older adults at home falls onto adult children. For some adult children, this increased dependency occurs right around their retirement age and after their children have left the nest. For others—referred to as “the sandwich generation“— it occurs while they still have children at home. This group is called “the sandwich generation” because they are sandwiched between two generations of people who depend on them, their children and their parents.
One Caregiver’s Journey
Eleanor (Ellie) Gaccetta, MBA, is an author, speaker, and home cook/baker. She was a legislative and policy analyst for the State of Colorado, the City, and the County of Broomfield, and after leaving government services, she was a private contractor. Ellie’s almost forty-year career ceased when her mother fell and broke her hip at age 92.
Thus began Ellie’s journey of being a 24/7 sole caregiver for her mother for the next nine and one-half years. During that time, her book One Caregiver’s Journey was born with personal memories, insight, and advice for caregivers. The book is a tell-all about the wonderful journey of caring for a loved one. It is a snapshot of caregiving’s realities, changes, and challenges. During the six months after her mother’s passing at age 102, Ellie journaled about her reintegration back into the world.
If you are a caregiver or about to become a caregiver, “One Caregiver’s Journey” is a MUST read. This personal memoir will make you laugh or tug at your heart as the author shares her experiences providing 24/7 care to her mother for 9 ½ years until her mother’s death at age 102. Drawing from personal journal entries and intelligent insight, author Eleanor Gaccetta recounts highlights from her mother’s last years, during which she was responsible for the elderly woman’s daily care. The book is an easy read, honestly written, and provides suggestions and information that all caregivers can utilize. The author wrote the book over a long time, and it is a snapshot of the reality of the stages, changes, and many challenges caregivers face over time. It is a caregiver’s blueprint. Reading this book feels like you are in the author’s living room, and she is telling her story and offering great advice and information.
Find Help Caring for an Elderly Parent
Taking care of elderly parents is a challenging endeavor, both emotionally and physically. That is why it is only natural that a caregiver may need help during this time. Finding comfortable care for senior parents requires finding balance to take care not only of your elderly parents but also of your own mental and physical well-being. The worst scenario for a caregiver is to fall ill or suffer total burnout while they are responsible for the care of someone else.
In addition, one must understand that caring for elderly parents or relatives at home is a labor of love. Whether you have a busy lifestyle, an active family, or more time to offer your parents, chances are you will need help and resources.