Bruce Willis’ wife Emma admits she is ‘not good’ as she copes with life as a caregiver

Bruce Willis, in a blue suit, smiles next to Emma Willis, who has long, brown hair and wears a sparkly shirt.
Emma Heming Willis is a caregiver for her husband, Bruce Willis, who was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.
(Charles Sykes / Invision / Associated Press)
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Bruce Willis’ wife Emma Heming Willis is calling on other care partners to take care of themselves as she admits to struggling while caring for her husband. The “Die Hard” actor was diagnosed earlier this year with frontotemporal dementia.

“I don’t want it to be misconstrued that I’m good, ’cause I’m not — I’m not good,” Heming Willis said Monday in a video on Instagram. “But I have to put my best foot forward for the sake of myself and my family because, again, when we are not looking after ourselves, we cannot look after anyone that we love.”

She acknowledged that it might look like she is living her “best life,” but said such appearances come with struggle. She said she has to make “a conscious effort” to live for herself, her two children and for “Bruce, who would not want me to live any other way.”


In interviews with The Times this month, nearly two dozen people who were on set with the actor expressed concern about Willis’ well-being.

March 30, 2022

In March 2022, Willis’ family announced that the “Armageddon” actor was diagnosed with aphasia and had stepped away from work. The 68-year-old is living with frontotemporal dementia, which can affect a patient’s personality, decision-making skills, speech and language comprehension, according to the Assn. for Frontotemporal Degeneration.

Since her husband’s diagnosis, Heming Willis, 45, has served as a caregiver as well as a de facto spokesperson, asking photographers and videographers to give her husband space and stop yelling at him when he’s out in public.

On social media, she has built an audience around caregiving for a partner who has dementia, regularly inviting experts and other health influencers onto her Instagram for live discussions and interviews about coping as well as spreading awareness about cognitive disorders.

Bruce Willis’ 9-year-old daughter, Evelyn, is teaching herself about dementia after he was diagnosed, says his wife Emma Heming Willis.

May 24, 2023

Prior to her recent video, Heming Willis had requested her followers who are also care partners to send her encouraging photos. The video was a response to those photos, which she said were a way “to break up our thinking, which can feel, for me, very much like doom and gloom.”

“Your pictures are making me happy,” Heming Willis said before encouraging her followers to find similar moments of joy amid the struggle of caregiving. “I just want you to take a moment out of your day, and I know that your day is stressful and I know that your day is hard, but I just want you just to break it up for a minute, just for a second, and just look for something beautiful.”