"If there's one thing worse than Alzheimer's, it's ignorance of the disease." -- Marty Schreiber
You Live –
Not Where You Live
As I have shared my message of My Two Elaines in Wisconsin and many other states, I have met truly wonderful people. Caregivers, heroes, who journey with their loved ones with Alzheimer’s. They tell me how hard they work every day and how important it is for them to keep their loved one at home.
“My goal is to do everything I can to make sure my wife doesn’t have to go into assisted living,” one man recently told me.
That was my goal at one time, too. Now, because I know better, I suggested a different goal for him: to make sure you and your wife can live your best life possible.
There are many caregivers who became ill and some even died prematurely because they “wanted to keep their loved one at home.” You can’t provide the proper care for your loved one and stay healthy if you are emotionally drained and exhausted yourself.
That happened to me while I was taking care of Elaine in our home, believing I could do it all. Not only did I become ill, but because I was stubborn and not taking care of myself, I was not being the best caregiver or husband.
I learned there are many who struggle with caring for a loved one, just as I did. We want to beat Alzheimer’s, we won’t give up until we do. “We’re men and we can handle it,” we say. That’s a selfish and self-destructive perspective and in the end, if we don’t change course, we let Alzheimer’s get the better of us.
I had to come to terms with the fact that I no longer could take care of Elaine at home. I began to realize the importance for me, as Elaine’s caregiver, to do whatever I could to allow both of us to live our best lives possible. For Elaine’s benefit, for her to have the best care, for her to live her best life possible, that meant it was best for her to move to a memory care community.
Around the time Elaine moved, I found notes she had written years earlier, describing some of her hopes for our life together even as her Alzheimer’s was progressing. Her thoughts and words later became a foundation for
, a new memory care addition to
The Lutheran Home
where Elaine now lives.
Elaine's Hope -- that we would help each other continue to live our best lives possible.
Marty is the primary caregiver for his wife Elaine, for whom his book is named. He compassionately promotes the value of learning about Alzheimer's and caregiving via personal appearances and serving as a media source. You'll enjoy his honesty and even his humor.