Letters from Madelyn
Chronicles of a Caregiver
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Madelyn Kubin was a 70-year-old Kansas farm wife. She appeared to be fragile because of her thinning white hair, macular degeneration, osteoporosis, congestive heart failure, and severe hearing loss. But when her husband Quentin suffered a debilitating stroke, she was forced to summon all of her physical, emotional, and spiritual strengths in order to care for him at home. Madelyn managed her isolation, loneliness, and stress by going to her computer, disengaging her emotional monitor, and writing letters to her daughter Elaine. Madelyn’s story of faith, courage, and love is told through her unflinchingly honest and surprisingly funny letters written in real time over the course of six-and-a-half years. Although she prayed every day that she would be a willing channel for God’s love and compassion, there were plenty of days she felt like telling God to go find himself another servant. Madelyn wrote unabashedly about her anger, guilt, depression, and grief. When Quentin displayed dementia-related inappropriate sexual behavior, Madelyn eventually learned how to handle it with grace and humor. She was an example of how it is possible, even in the very worst end-of-life situations, to experience mental and spiritual growth.
WriteLife Publishing, 9781608081660, 322pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2016
About the Author
Elaine K. Sanchez is an author, speaker, and co-founder of CaregiverHelp.com, a video-based caregiver support program. Her passion for helping family and professional caregivers cope with the emotional stress of caring for individuals with progressive and degenerative diseases is based on her own experience of caring for aging family members. She is the author of the unflinchingly honest and sometimes uproariously funny book, Letters from Madelyn: Chronicles of a Caregiver, as well as numerous freelance articles for a variety of print and online publications. Together with her husband, Dr. Alex Sanchez, Elaine developed the curriculum for “Gero-407—Caregiving,” which was taught at Western Oregon University, as well as a number of online continuing education courses for nurses, long-term care administrators and mental health professionals. Elaine delivers keynotes, breakout sessions, and trainings at conferences across the US.
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