Becoming a caregiving partner

A family of four poses for a photo. Two girls are holding small dogs.
Robert Gerloff, Lynette Lamb and their daughters Julia and Grace, smile for a photo.
Photo by Scott Streble

Lynette Lamb’s husband was only 45 when he had a stroke that left him unable to speak fluently, use his left arm or work again. Overnight, the Minneapolis writer went from an equal partner in her marriage to a caregiver and the primary parent to the couple’s two young daughters. 

A book cover reading 'Strokeland'

Taking care of a partner after a serious health crisis profoundly changes a relationship. There is before and there is after. The caregiver often loses the companionship they took for granted and acquires a host of new and sometimes crushingly lonely responsibilities. 

Lamb writes about the 15 years of marriage following her husband’s stroke in her memoir “Strokeland: My Husband's Midlife Brainstorm and its Ambivalent Aftermath.” 

MPR News host Angela Davis talks with Lamb and a caregiver coach about the challenges of becoming a caregiver to a partner.

A woman smiles for a portrait.
Author Lynette Lamb.
Courtesy of Lynette Lamb


  • Lynette Lamb is Minneapolis writer and author of “Strokeland: My Husband's Midlife Brainstorm and its Ambivalent Aftermath.”

  • Sarah Gavin is a licensed social worker with Family Means in Stillwater where she facilitates caregiver support groups and is a caregiver coach and consultant.

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