Martin Schreiber Untangles His Two Elaines: Caring for a Wife with Alzheimer's
“If there’s one thing worse than Alzheimer’s, it’s ignorance of the disease,” says Martin Schreiber, author of My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver, where he tells the story of his caregiving journey with his wife, who recently succumbed to her illness. Written with Milwaukee author Cathy Breitenbucher, the book was recognized by Caring.com as one of its Best Caregiving Books of 2017. Initially self-published, it was recently published by Harper Horizon.
Martin is the former governor of Wisconsin and an award-winning crusader for Alzheimer’s caregivers and persons with dementia. His work on behalf of older citizens dates back decades to his 16 years in public service as a state senator, lieutenant governor and governor where he focused on improved quality for nursing home care and development of the in-home Community Care Organization. He went on to become a successful insurance executive and publisher before he started his own government relations firm in 1988.
Prior to writing My Two Elaines – and while he still cared for his wife at home – Martin helped the Alzheimer’s Association launch Operation: Stronger Together. The multi-year awareness program initiated in 2015 has helped the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter connect record numbers of families to education and resources that are vital to successful caregiving. He also collaborated with Wisconsin’s state government and business groups to help create the Dementia-Friendly Employers Toolkit, which is used by human resources departments and employee assistance programs. Such initiatives have led to Schreiber being recognized with awards from the Alzheimer’s Association and other organizations.
Martin attended Valparaiso University and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and earned a doctorate of law from Marquette University.
He and Elaine are the parents of four children, Kathryn Lyon, Martin Schreiber, Kristine Haas, and Matt Schreiber. They have 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
In this episode, we discuss the all-around ignorance surrounding dementia, Marty’s special message to men caring for their wives, the value of therapeutic fibbing and redirection, and the realities of moving a spouse into assisted living.
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