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Dear Diary

1994 - 1996

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 necessary.

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 office. 

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 “Contractor Hell”).

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. 

 

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