Eleanor Gaccetta wrote her book “One Caregiver’s Journey” over a long period of time. It is a snapshot of the reality of the stages, changes, and many challenges caregivers face over time. It is a caregiver’s blueprint.
Who would not want to be that person who can refer families to one source that could gather the information that they need in one easy-to-access place? Caregiving can be a tough job. It often goes unnoticed and unsupported. Caregivers experience anticipatory grief, exhaustion, overwhelm, and even depression related to caring for someone at the end of life.
Eleanor’s guidebook for caregivers is one of the best caregiving resource books one could ever see. The book is an easy read, honestly written, and provides suggestions and information that all caregivers can utilize as the author gathered all the essentials of caregiving into one excellent guidebook for Caregivers.
This book is based on the author’s personal experiences and not medical findings and candidly details the unexpected daily health or age-related challenges caregivers face. Because the book was written over 9 1/2 years, the reader will experience first-hand the various stages, changes, challenges, and complexities of being a full-time caregiver. The author shares insights, practical advice, and experiences of how her caregiving routine evolved as her mother aged. The book is a caregiving blueprint that empowers readers to realize that the challenges we face are not insurmountable. The book extends six months after her mother’s death and proves there is life after caregiving. The author recognized how particular the time she spent caring for her mother was, how much she learned about herself and her strengths and how her life has been enriched.
Confronted with an ever-aging population, more and more Americans find themselves taking care of the very individual(s) who once were wholly responsible for taking care of them. “At some point in their journey, every caregiver will ask themselves, ‘When did I go from being the adult child to the parent?’” writes Gaccetta. In this respect, the author’s candid and practical, hands-on advice is highly relevant today. There is a large and growing audience for precisely this kind of material.
Though several guides for Boomers and the Sandwich Society exist, notes the author, on “transitioning into the role of 24/7 caregiving,” they fleetingly mention having the “death talk”—that is, conversation with parents about death and dying. End-of-life discussions—often taboo in one’s society—are all too important, and finding the right time and place can make all the difference. Regardless of when that transition begins, Gaccetta writes, one needs to be “in tune not only to your future but to that of your loved one as well.” That person, after all, will become an extension of your own life and, understandably, your responsibility.
Eleanor Gaccetta, a second-generation Italian, grew up in a community of small family farms where, she writes, “the village was close-knit, and the success of one family equated to the success of them all.” She does not shy away from humor and uses the device liberally and intelligently. This is true both in writing her memoir and caregiver guide and throughout Eleanor’s day-to-day interactions with her mom.
Moreover, her career spanned almost forty years working for the State of Colorado, the City and County of Broomfield, and ultimately as a private contractor. While working full-time, she earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in business from Regis University. She retired to provide full-time care to her mother after she broke her hip at age ninety-three.
Eleanor currently lives in a western suburb of Denver and enjoys an active lifestyle that includes baking, cooking, health and fitness routines, and spending time with family and friends.