Martin Schreiber is on a mission to share what’s he’s learned about being a caregiver with everyone he can. In the process, he may be teaching lessons on life, as well. 

“Marty” Schreiber, former governor of Wisconsin, combined a recent trip to see his daughter in Idaho Falls with an opportunity to speak at the Idaho Falls Senior Citizen Community Center on Tuesday. 

He made the trip with his wife Elaine, whose struggle with Alzheimer’s inspired him to write “My Two Elaines” and eventually spurred him to dedicate his life to helping caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. 

Schreiber spoke in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio about the message he’s trying to share. He knows the struggles of aiding a loved one through the difficulties of the disease and wants both the affected and their family to know how to best get through successfully.  

“They (caregivers) have to join the world of their loved ones—the new world that one develops when they have Alzheimer’s,” Schreiber told BYU-Idaho Radio, explaining the need to let go of constantly correcting your loved one’s failing memory. Instead, he advocates to learn to let go the things that don’t matter. 

“Whether your loved one does or does not have Alzheimer’s…understand their world. Understand that a lot of things are not really very important,” Schreiber said. 

Understanding the world of a loved one is a concept that reaches far beyond one disease or one situation. 

As he learned over time to find joy in small moments with his wife, he felt the need to share what he’d learned. 

“I was so angry with myself about missing out on these moments of joy and becoming frustrated with Elaine…I saw the increased pain that the person with Alzheimer’s goes through,” Schreiber explained.  

Schreiber continues on his mission to share his message of caring, prioritizing and finding joy with all that he can. 

“If Alzheimer’s is bad, ignorance of the disease is worse,” Schreiber said. 

“My Two Elaines” is available on Schreiber’s website. All proceeds from sales of the book will be used to promote Alzheimer’s caregiver support programs, according to the website.