Cenetta Lee

Welcome to Eclectic Caring, the Web site that provides family caregivers with the latest information and resources on elder care. Our goal is to make your caregiving experience as informed and stress-free as possible. We also want to connect you to other caregivers. Click here to hear comments from Cenetta J. Lee: Site comments.

As a librarian in the Northeast for 17 years and later as a businesswoman with a mail-order book business for 10 years, I have spent my professional life providing people with information. More recently, however, I have spent considerable time caring for several elderly loved ones. In fact, being a caregiver inspired me to create Eclectic Caring, an endeavor that allows me to lend my professional expertise to my personal experiences. In addition, I have written a book, Stepping Up: A Companion and Guide for Family Caregivers, to assist you. Whether you’re already providing care to an aging relative or want to learn more about the process, Stepping Up and this web site will provide you with the resources and information you need.

According to a USA Today/ABC News/Gallop Poll, 41 percent of baby boomers with living parents are helping to care for them financially and hands-on. And as modern medicine continues to extend Americans’ life expectancy, more and more of us will need to prepare, emotionally and financially, to care for aging relatives. For more facts and statistics about elderly caregiving, go to The Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving Web site.

The responsibility of being the primary caregiver and advocate for an elderly loved one—a task that I call a “gift of love”—is difficult. For starters, you must stay focused and on top of what’s important. You must manage not only your health, but also your loved one’s. Ideally, you know the status of your health, but learning the details of your relative’s health may be problematic. A life-changing situation has caused him or her to need your help, and you may have to venture into places and seek information outside of your normal frame of reference. This is what I experienced caring for three of my elderly loved ones. Click on Components of Caregiving, above, for information about items that you as a caregiver should understand.

To be a family caregiver is to be a part of a rarified club. The experience can be both frustrating and rewarding—and it can sometimes test our endurance. While Eclectic Caring is first and foremost a clearinghouse for caregivers, we also want to be a hub of support. If you have a specific request, please email me on my Contact page or share your suggestions and ideas on my blog page.

Thank you for taking time to help us help each other.

The information and suggestions offered on this Web site are not intended to be a substitute for consultation with your loved one’s doctor, lawyer and other professionals. We provide you with information and perspectives to support and augment professional advice.