October 2021
Martin J. Schreiber • Executive Editor
"If there's one thing worse than Alzheimer's, it's ignorance of the disease." -- Marty Schreiber

Permission Revisited

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Three times, every day. That’s how often I was driving the 15 minutes there-and-back to visit Elaine at mealtimes. On the heels of COVID-19 keeping us apart from our loved ones in care facilities, visiting three times daily was my way of making up for lost time. I felt relieved to once again have the chance to be there at all hours for Elaine—but also, as a caregiver, responsible for being there.

It wasn’t until a visit from my daughter Kristine that this new routine of mine was put into perspective. Upon revealing that my new normal was visiting Elaine for three meals a day, my daughter was taken aback and immediately started defending my own well-being. Kristine made some good points. In addition to the meals themselves, I was spending an hour and a half in the car daily, commuting to Elaine and back. All those hours devoted to caregiving left no time to care for myself—to see friends, to engage in fulfilling activities, or simply to rest.

Moreover, my daughter helped me realize that every time I left Elaine’s side, it was like tearing open a wound again and again—three times a day, seven days a week. We are blessed that Elaine now has caregivers beyond myself. Kristine helped grant me permission to rely on those professionals, giving up one meal per day in favor of my own self-care. Imagine! All this time talking about taking care of yourself as a caregiver, and even I fall into these same traps time and again.

With Kristine on my side, I feel more at peace and less burdened by guilt when I choose a bike ride over that third trip to Elaine’s care facility. The trouble is, all caregivers feel that same need for permission—permission to choose their own health and happiness once in a while, or even once a day. If you don’t have a daughter, friend, or other family member to give you that sense of permission—that it’s necessary to care for yourself, too—please consider this newsletter the approval you seek. This is your permission to prioritize your own health, happiness, and well-being so that you can truly live your best life possible.

For questions or more information about Alzheimer’s and services or programs, visit alz.org or call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900.

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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.


Upcoming Private and Public Events

Thursday, October 21 – 11 am - Noon
Graceful Aging class
Peace Lutheran Church
17651 W. Small Rd. New Berlin

 
 Thursday, October 28 - 10 am
Menominee Book Club Zoom event
sponsored by 
The Tribal Dementia Care Specialists

Friday, October 29 - 9 am – 10 am
Bryant and Stratton College Nursing Program
10950 W Potter Rd
Wauwatosa WI 53226

  Friday, Nov 5 - 10:00 am
Waupaca County Caregiver Conference
Waupaca Senior Center
407 School St.
Waupaca, WI 54981
 
Saturday in November 6 - 8:00 am
Older Adult Ministries - United Methodist Church
Whitefish Bay, WI
Tuesday, November 9, 10 am and 1 pm
Evergreen Retirement Community
1130 N Westfield, Oshkosh, WI

Wed November 10 - 2 pm
Community Living Alliance
1414 MacArthur Rd,
Madison. WI

Sat Nov 13 – 9 am - Noon
Dementia Symposium
Carroll University Center for Graduate Studies
2140 Davidson Rd., Waukesha, WI


Email authors@mytwoelaines.com for more information or
to schedule Marty as a presenter -- online or in person!

Learn more at mytwoelaines.com