Author Cristie Merce, who loves a good story and loves to write, recently joined the ranks of published authors with "The Woes and Wisdom of Eldercare: An Educational Learning Guide."

Merce has written more than 30 books, but this is the first to be published. The guide is for caregivers, eldercare educators, home healthcare aides and families.

It is her hope that her experiences will help families and their loved ones, as well as employers, through the eldercare journey.

"It is my hope that by sharing by experience and wisdom — the dos and don’ts and the try and don’t try advise in this learning guide – the journey shared with your loved one will be easier," said Merce. "I’m not an expert. I just want to share what I know and what I have learned from others."

Merce was an eldercare caregiver for more than 28 years. She is not a nurse and doesn’t have a college degree, but she is writing this guide from her years of hands-on experience, and asks that you please consult a medical professional if you question any of the advice shared in this learning guide.

"Of course, each journey will be different; calm and patience will help ease your load," Merce said. "Don’t be afraid to ask for help; you should not expect to go through this alone. You have to take care of yourself, too."

She encourages people to share the guide with anyone they know who may be facing a caregiving journey of their own.

Merce is a member of the Coshocton Write-on-Writers Guild and The Ohio Storytelling Network. She is a former member of the Coshocton Business and Professional Women and the Progressive Valley Grange.

Merce attends the Isleta United Methodist Church in Newcomerstown, where she regularly tells the children’s ministry stories.

Married since 1974, Merce and her husband have three sons, two daughters-in-law, and a precious granddaughter with whom they spend oddles of time.

The book is available for purchase for $20 (tax included) and a mailing fee of $5 by contacting Cristie Merce, 58547 Township Road 109, Kimbolton, OH 43749 or 740-545-7377. Call Merce for more information on available workshops.

A book signing at the Coshocton County Senior Center is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18.