When I look back to the days before my role as a
caregiver and the publication ofToday’s Caregiver Magazine,
I can barely believe what a difference these past eighteen
years have meant to my life. Not unlike so many of our
readers, my personal journey and that of my family’s took a
new direction once our family members needed our support.
I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of that
journey with you in these few pages. I’ll start in the era
that I refer to as B.C. (before caregiving).
Summer 1994 – I was living in Atlanta,
having just accepted a position as a video producer with an
Atlanta production company and looking forward to much work
due to the upcoming 1996 Olympics. I spoke with my Mom,
living in Miami, every weekend, but this weekend was
different. She had been caring for family members since my
dad became ill in 1990 and passed away in 1991. Mom didn’t
ask for help, but I heard in her voice that I might need to
return home to help.
Two weeks later, I was living in Miami and beginning my
life as a caregivers caregiver, supporting Mom in any way
Within the next few months, between contract work
assignments, I spent my time with Mom: in hospitals; working
with insurance companies; checking out nursing homes;
dealing with family members (good and bad); waiting in
doctor’s offices; waiting in emergency rooms. You know, the
typical caregiver’s daily calendar. It was after one of my
visits to my grandmother in the hospital that I first
thought of what was to become Today’s Caregiver Magazine.
December 1994 - I walked into
Mom’s house with a large box containing the computer, which
would produce the first issue of the magazine. We still have
the computer and it still works.
January 1995 - I visited my first
healthcare event. A golf tournament hosted by the local
Alzheimer’s non-profit agency. I was ready for blank stares
and an armed escort off the course, but rather found a group
of dedicated professionals who grasped the concept of the
magazine immediately. As a matter of fact, I think that
Elaine Schumacher, of Miami Jewish Home and Hospital
introduced me to every single person at the event.
March 1995 - Eureka, I sold our
first ad. It was to a long-term care insurance agency.
July 1995 - The first issue
of Today’s Caregiver Magazine rolls off the presses. On July
fourth, in a rented truck and a friend in tow, we went to
the print house and took delivery of the first issue
of Today’s Caregiver magazine. It was raining cats and dogs.
(A good omen, I hoped).
September 1995 - Our first letter
from a reader arrives by mail. It was a compliment and a
question. We were able to respond to reader the day we
received the letter. To this day, that is the rule of the
October 1995 - I applied for and
received the Internet domain name, “caregiver.com” and the
website was born. The magazine moves from out of Mom’s back
bedroom, at an opportune time, as the house flooded, not
once but twice. (My article in that issue is aptly named
July 1996 - Our first annual issue and
our first celebrity interview. On the cover subjects were
Dr. Joanna Bull of Gilda’s Club and Gene Wilder. My lifelong
friend, Salha Mishaan, joins the magazine as Editor. Grandma
Helen passes away.