The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Columbia County, in partnership with Madison College, will host former Wisconsin Gov. Martin J. Schreiber as he continues the most important campaign of his life when he visits Madison College, 330 W. Collins St., Portage, at 1 p.m. Wednesday to talk about the challenges of being an Alzheimer’s caregiver.
Schreiber will share what he has learned, which is included in his award-winning book, “My Two Elaines: Learning, Coping, and Surviving as an Alzheimer’s Caregiver,” so others don’t experience the learning curve he did. The free presentation in Portage will include time for questions and suggestions from other caregivers.
“My Two Elaines” will be available for purchase. Net proceeds from book sales are used to promote Alzheimer’s caregiver support.
“My Two Elaines” is a guide for Alzheimer’s families and caregivers as well as a love story that spans more than 60 years. Schreiber’s wife, Elaine, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 13 years ago and since then he has worked tirelessly to be a caregiver and loving spouse to someone who no longer recognizes him. He refers to the woman with whom he fell in love in high school, married, raised a family and ran political campaigns as his first Elaine, and today’s sweet, sensitive woman who remembers nothing about their past as his second Elaine. He speaks about the need for caregivers to build support systems and self-care, which are among the things he failed to do early on.
Like many thrown into the heartbreaking Alzheimer’s world, Schreiber knew little about the disease. What he found most disturbing was that even healthcare providers don’t know the degree to which Alzheimer’s affects the person who lives with it and his or her family. “If Alzheimer’s is bad, ignorance of the disease is worse,” said Schreiber, a Milwaukee native who was governor from 1977-79.
Visit mytwoelaines.com for more detailed information.