Emma Heming Opens Up About Caregiver Struggles And Strengths Amid Bruce Willis’ Ongoing Battle With Dementia
May 30, 2023 by apost team
Emma Heming, the wife of actor Bruce Willis, had a powerful conversation with Ty Lewis, who works with dementia coach Gertrude Jordan, as they discussed the challenges of caring for a loved one with memory loss. Heming’s superstar husband was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in early 2023, and she immediately sought guidance on how to navigate the heavy load of caring for someone with a medical condition to avoid having caregiver burnout.
During the video chat on Instagram, Heming opened up about the tendency for caregivers to “over function” while everyone around “under functions.” She admitted her struggles to ask for help from other people and/or delegate some tasks.
But Lewis provided valuable advice and suggested that Heming must allow members of her community to step in and assist with certain responsibilities. For instance, she could let other people drive Willis to his doctor's appointments or spend time with him while Heming focuses on self-care.
The mom-of-two also shared the difficulty of handling friends or relatives who feel unsure about interacting with her husband because of his condition. Heming acknowledged that seeing someone they knew in a different state can be “tricky” for people who are unfamiliar with the condition.
In March 2022, Heming and the rest of Willis' family announced his forced retirement from acting due to aphasia, a language disorder that profoundly affected his ability to communicate effectively. However, in early 2023, Willis' condition took a turn for the worse and turned into frontotemporal dementia, a degenerative brain disorder that impacts the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Some of the symptoms of this condition include personality changes, speech difficulties and motor or muscle impairments, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
The complexities of managing Willis’ disease underscored the growing challenges of becoming his caregiver. To maintain a positive mindset, Heming discussed her daily practice of starting the day with gratitude and focusing on her goals and priorities. She emphasized the importance of not dwelling on negative thoughts or the challenges they face. She also immersed herself in other activities when she was not caregiving.
"You know, I have my moments. It just depends," Heming said when Lewis asked how was doing. "I'm hanging in there and doing the best that I can," she said.
Last summer, Hemming posted on social media that her grief over Willis' condition "can be paralyzing,” but she's "learning how to live alongside it." However, her constant activity online to update Willis’ fans and friends about his health was seen as attention-seeking behavior.
Addressing her critics, Heming said that she has made it her mission to raise awareness about aphasia and frontotemporal dementia in public and she has also pledged to use her platform to shed light on her husband's illness and highlight the invaluable role of caregivers. She expressed her determination to turn her grief, anger and sadness into something positive, per E! News.
“I'm going to take my 5 minutes and I'm gonna turn it into 10 because I'm always going to advocate for my husband,” Heming said.
Heming has been married to Willis since 2009. They have two young girls together, Maybel and Evelyn, while Heming is also close to Willis' three adult daughters — Rumer, Scout and Tallulah Willis, with ex-wife Demi Moore. The older daughters and even Moore have been publicly rallying behind Heming.
The wife of Bruce Willis is committed to supporting caregivers and ensuring that her husband's journey brings global attention to his debilitating disease. What can you say about Emma Heming’s advocacy? Do you know anyone with a similar condition or experience as Willis or his family? Tell them about this story.