Elaine  Sanchez

Elaine Sanchez

Author of, Letters From Madelyn - Chronicles of a Caregiver, Elaine Sanchez has been described as part Erma Bombeck and part Garrison Keillor! Caregiving audiences appreciate the manner in which she deals with the grim reality of aging and illness, and proves that grace, humor and faith can transcend tragedy. Elaine's tender, gritty and uproariously funny "one woman show," has the audience laughing through their tears! Her two workshops: Boomer Bootcamp-designed to help families gather the information they need to make major care-giving decisions and Caregivers Survival Training-recognizing and coping with the stages of caregiving receive RAVE reviews.

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Through her own experience of caring for family elders, Elaine K Sanchez developed a passion for helping others cope with the emotional stress of caregiving. She is the author of the unflinchingly honest and uproariously funny book, "Letters from Madelyn, Chronicles of a Caregiver". She is the co-founder of CaregiverHelp.com, a video-based caregiver support program and writes the daily blog, "Caregiver Help Word of the Day". She has developed several online continuing education courses for nurses, long-term care administrators and mental healthcare professionals.

Elaine has been described as part Erma Bombeck and part Garrison Keillor! She approaches the changes of aging and illness, and proves that grace, humor and faith carries us through. Elaine's tender, gritty and uproariously funny style of delivery has the audience laughing through their tears!


Creating A Caring Community
Keynote - 60 to 90 minutes
Workshop - 2 1/2 to 3 hours
(NAB Approved for 3.75 CEU's for long-term care administrators and nurses)

Caring for those who can no longer care for themselves is physically and emotionally exhausting. Because of the physical demands and the associated emotional strain, both family caregivers and professional caregivers have a tendency ignore self-care, and they frequently encounter situations that cause them to experience anger, guilt, depression and grief.

When both types of caregivers understand the challenges and rewards experienced by the other, they can work together more effectively to provide the best possible care for their care receivers.

With a unique delivery that touches the heart and tickles the funny bone, Elaine delivers a message that bridges the gap between family and professional caregivers and helps build caring communities.

Her presentations are based on her unflinchingly honest and uproariously funny book, Letters from Madelyn, Chronicles of a Caregiver, and Dorothy's Journal (a book in progress). Madelyn Kubin, a Kansas farm wife, (Elaine's mother) wrote letters to her during the six-years she cared for her husband following his debilitating stroke. Dorothy Tucker is a nurse who journaled her thoughts and experiences during the 30 years she worked in nursing homes and Alzheimer's care communities.

By comparing and contrasting the experiences of these two women, Elaine provides insights into the challenges and emotional stress experienced by both family and professional caregivers. She offers practical, applicable step-by-step process to help them implement their own personalized caregiver survival plan, tips on dealing with challenging behaviors, and insights on how both types of caregivers can work together to provide the best possible care for the patient.

Elaine has been been described as a combination between Garrison Keillor and Erma Bombeck, but don't let the entertainment value of this program fool you. The message is profound.

Both healthcare professionals and family caregivers love the keynote and workshop, because it speaks to the heart of all that is good about caring for those who can no longer care for themselves; it gives attendees permission to be human, and it offers strategies for dealing with others when they are most vulnerable, demanding, and sometimes disagreeable.

Finding Hope and Humor in Caregiving..."and for this I take vitamins!"
Keynote - 45 to 90 minutes

In this presentation Elaine brings compassion, hope, and humor to some very difficult and delicate issues faced by family caregivers. The stories are based on her book, "Letters from Madelyn, Chronicles of a Caregiver" and her own personal experience of caring for family elders.

Although this keynote is laugh-out-loud funny, it delivers a powerful message about understanding and coping with the emotional stress of caring for an aged, chronically ill, or disabled loved ones. Take-away messages:

~In order to care for the aged, disabled, and chronically ill, a person must first learn to care for him/herself
~Even in the very worst end of life situations, that there is still opportunity for mental and spiritual growth
~As long as we have the ability to think and reason, we have the power to control our attitude toward any person, thing, or event

To get the most benefit/impact from Elaine's keynote, add one of her workshops:

WORKSHOP: Caregiver Survival Training


Caring for an aging, chronically ill, or disabled loved one is one of the most difficult and generous acts of love any of us will ever be called upon to perform. There is nothing that can make the job of caregiving easy or stress free, but once you accept the fact that self-care is not about being selfish or self-centered, it may be easier for you to understand that in order for you to maintain the physical and emotional strength you need to care for your loved one, you must first learn to care for yourself. This workshop is designed for leading caregivers down the path of recognizing and coping with the anger, guilt, depression, and grief associated with caregiving. Caregivers also learn how to develop their own survival plan and the importance of:
~ Setting limits
~ Getting the right equipment
~ Learning something new
~ Staying connected socially
~ Savoring happy memories
~ Redefining fun
~ Developing your spiritual nature
~ Accepting help
~ Discussing death
~ Controlling your attitude

Workbook available to support this session.

WORKSHOP: Boomer Bootcamp

Due to advances in science and medicine, we're living longer than ever before. When we enjoy good health and financial security, age seems irrelevant; we can almost believe we will live forever! But the truth is, most of us will need some kind of help managing our health care, our financial affairs and the eventual distribution of our worldly possessions. We have two choices:
1. We can make those decisions ourselves ahead of time and control what happens...or
2. We can relinquish that control and let family members and/or courts of law decide.

Boomer Boot camp, called "Boot Camp" because it's hard, is a program specifically designed to help families conduct the difficult conversations and gather the information they will need to make decisions about issues such as long-term care, life support, and the distribution of material belongings. When families receive specific instructions and clear directions, they not get the tools they need, they feel a tremendous "peace of mind." Topics covered include:
~ Starting difficult conversations
~ Assessing their safety
~ Creating a support network
~ Gathering and organizing important documents
~ Finding resources to help keep them in their homes
~ Checking out long-term care facilities
~ Negotiating the Medicare/Medicaid Maze
~ Completing end-of-life documents

Workbook available to support this session.

KEYNOTE: So, God, what are WE going to do today . . . a spiritual journey through love, life, loss, and laughter.

From lightening strike irreverence to a profound and personal relationship with God...Elaine's presentation - part narrative, part one-woman play, are perfectly suited for anyone with a heavy burden and an open mind. It's 100% entertaining and inspirational. She engages the audience by telling real-life stories that touch the heart, tickles the funny bone and shows how the path to a personal relationship with God is sometimes filled with detours and potholes.

Dancing Through Aging - Making Sense Out of Change
The British philosopher Alan Watts said, "The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."

But who wants to learn how to dance through disaster? How do you maintain your emotional equilibrium when a parent develops dementia, a child gets divorced and moves back home with a couple little ones, or a spouse suffers a stroke? How do you adapt, adjust and move on when the plans you had for your "Golden Years" suddenly change?

Elaine K Sanchez, author of the unflinchingly honest and uproariously funny book, "Letters from Madelyn, Chronicles of a Caregiver" brings hope, humor and heart to the challenges and opportunities that come with the unfamiliar and sometimes frightening changes that accompany "older age".

If you're surprised by the image in the mirror, if you're stunned that everyone in your high school graduating class looks so old, if you're frustrated because the smart phone you bought last spring is already obsolete, and you still don't know what to do with a hashtag, you will want to learn Elaine's three-step process of developing an "Attitude of Creative Indifference" toward the unwanted and unwelcome changes that are forcing you to reorder your routines, attitudes and plans.

Life doesn't become less complicated as we age, but it can be richer, fuller and more meaningful when we learn to become aware of our feelings toward the people, situations and events that cause us the greatest amount of stress. When we can accept that maturity makes our lives more complex, and that we have a choice about how we will respond to any given situation, we can come to a place of peace with change. Elaine shows how it is even possible to "plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."


Support Materials

  DOWNLOADAfter booking Elaine-Bio Information
  DOWNLOADAfter Booking Elaine-Hi-res Photo
  DOWNLOADAfter Booking Elaine-General Introduction
  DOWNLOADDad Did What? Dealing with dementia-related inappropriate sexual behavior

    "Elaine was an outstanding, engaging, informative presenter. She used her personal story to illustrate principles and practice that our members could immediately go back and apply in their organization... and in their own lives."

    -LeadingAge Kansas

    "Elaine is a storyteller extraordinaire. She channels Madelyn straight from her heart through her own words. She had me crying, laughing and learning as I listened to her interpretation of her mother's struggles with a twist of humor and creativity."

    -Rocky Mountain Hospice

    "Attendees raved about Elaine's workshop on caregiving. She handles a difficult subject with humor, grace and poignancy. Her program is filled with touching stories, useful information and resources, and it leaves you inspired and hopeful. She has a remarkable gift as a speaker and trainer."

    -Lifelong Learning Institute

    "Elaine's presentation was uplifting, entertaining and enlightening. She presented in a manner that was both humorous and entertaining while still educating the entire audience on the challenges of caregiving. That's a hard combination to achieve, but she did it with style and grace. Her ability to connect with the audience is a true gift!"

    -OSU Gerontology Conference

    "Elaine Sanchez is an unsurpassed author and speaker on elder care. She puts her heart, her incredibly savvy insight and amazing sense of humor into her work. Ms. Sanchez is original, inspiring, hilarious, down to earth, and practical all at once. For anyone who has been, is, or will be in a caregiver role, the wisdom she has to offer is a must."

    -Alzheimer's Division, Mississippi Department of Mental Health

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