FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN
/ Finding Wisdom
I remember the moment vividly. I was in a
hospital lobby, having just talked my way around the
security guards questioning why I was walking into
the family waiting areas on each floor. The year was
1995 and I was actually in the middle of
distributing the first issue of Today’s Caregiver
magazine to every hospital waiting area in southeast
Florida, a ritual that I personally conducted for
the first two years of publication.
These trips were significant because they allowed me
to gauge the responses of the caregivers who picked
up the magazine as they waited for friends or loved
ones. That morning, as I sat in the hospital
lobby, two elderly women sat down and one started to
peruse the magazine. She spent about twenty
minutes intently reading, until she came to the
article “Diabetic Foot Care Tips.” Suddenly,
she sat upright and started to read the tips
one-by-one to her friend. “See, Lucille, I told you;
never soak your feet.” And “White socks—it
says here to always wear white socks.” The
women started to have a conversation about the
information in the article and I knew right there
that all of our hard work was going to be
worthwhile. That conversation was a first small step
in what was to be a long and exciting road, and I
was glad to be able to witness it.
Since then, through thousands of email interactions,
phone calls, Today’s Caregiver magazine,
caregiver.com and conferences and events around the
country, I have been talking with caregivers about
what we all go through as we care for loved ones.
At our Fearless Caregiver Conferences, we always
leave ample room for caregivers to share with one
another. Even though the events are always filled
with professionals imparting their wisdom within
their area of expertise, I truly believe that some
of the best advice will always be found in the
audience, offered by family caregivers.
This is an important lesson for all of us to learn.
Do pay close attention to the experts in any
setting, but do not miss any opportunity to get the
best hands-on advice from your fellow caregivers.
Waiting rooms, pharmacy checkout lines, and even
hospital elevators are all opportunities to turn to
the family caregiver standing or sitting next to you
and learn what they know, while you teach them what
you know. You will be surprised by the value
of the tips and suggestions that they offer, and I
think even more surprised at how many important
things you have to share with them.
Fearless Caregiver Conference Schedule: