Bruce Willis' wife Emma Heming explains how she copes with the mental health toll of being a caregiver

Emma responds to critics who say she's taking too much "me time" amid Bruce Willis' dementia diagnosis

Emma Heming on Bruce Willis' dementia diagnosis
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Emma Heming has been putting on a brave front while taking care of Bruce Willis, but critics have judged her for taking time to herself while simultaneously taking care of her husband - and she gave a response to those critics. 

In February of 2023, Bruce Willis' family announced that he had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia - and thus, Emma, Bruce's wife, has of course assumed the role of his primary caregiver. 

It's been buzzing on the internet that Emma has a disregard for Bruce's state, with fans noticing that she has been posting images of her riding bikes with their kids, and other fun activities of that sort.

Emma, 44, made a post on Instagram addressing those who were critical of her lifestyle, making a video that explained her reasoning for continuing to indulge in these fun daily activities with friends and family, including their two daughters, Mabel Ray, 11, and Evelyn Penn, 9.

"I know it looks like I'm out living my best life. I have to make a conscious effort every single day to live the best life that I can," Emma said in her Instagram post. 

She said in her video that she believes Bruce would not want her to "live any other way," stressing how important it is for her to fill her life with joy despite Bruce's diagnosis.

This isn't her first PSA to Bruce's fans - in the past, she's had to ask paparazzi and fans to stop "yelling" at Bruce while they're out in public. "Allow for our family or whoever’s with him that day to be able to get him from Point A to Point B safely. That’s my PSA," she said in an Instagram post.

She also stressed in her most recent post that, despite the efforts she's making to try and continue finding happiness in her day-to-day, she's "not good".

"I don't want it to be misconstrued that I'm good, because I'm not. I'm not good. But I have to put my best foot forward for the sake of my family," she said.

In her caption, she continued her reflection, "When we are not looking after ourselves, we are no good to the people we love who we want to show up for and take care of. I don’t have this down to a fine-science either, but I try."

Emma Heming on Bruce Willis' dementia diagnosis

(Image credit: Getty)

Overall, she stressed that she's doing the best that she can - and that's all any of us can really do. She finished her caption with a word of advice to her followers, saying, "I ask that you’ll consider to keep looking for that one beautiful thing or moment in your day."

In the comments, people showed their support to Emma, encouraging her to keep being strong through this difficult time. 

"The fact that you feel as though you have to defend yourself for having “you” time every now and then is sad. You have one of the toughest jobs on this planet," one fan wrote. 

"Caregivers—one of the very hardest jobs on the planet that not many can comprehend unless living it. Take good care of you, it’s so very important," another said.

Madeline Merinuk
US Lifestyle News Writer

Madeline Merinuk is woman&home's US lifestyle news writer, covering celebrity, entertainment, fashion, and beauty news.

She graduated in 2021 with a B.A. in Journalism from Hofstra University, winning multiple student journalism awards, including a National Hearst Award, during her time there. After graduating, she worked at, the digital site for the Today Show, where she wrote pop culture news and interviewed big-name personalities like Emily Ratajkowski, Haley Lu Richardson, Emma Corrin, and more.

Her personal interests, in no particular order, are: cheese, Joni Mitchell, reading, hot yoga, traveling, having multiple chapsticks in every handbag at all times, and dancing to ABBA songs as if she were in the Mamma Mia movies.