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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

5 Star Review of "Mindful Dementia Care" by Ruth Dennis with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab

Thank you WOW! Women on Writing for this opportunity to participate in this book blog tour - and thank you Tara Forst for today's insightful review.

Mindful Dementia Care

Mindful Dementia Care is a book of stories and a book of love. It is a book without denial, without any papering over of the challenges that can be involved with being a caregiver, and the sadness, anger, and frustration they may bring. It is also a life-changing source of information that can revolutionize relationships with one of the most vulnerable populations in our midst. In her decades as a caregiver, Ruth Dennis witnessed the tragic results of the medicalized and institutionalized way of caring for people with dementia. And equally clearly, she saw a better way. Mindful Dementia Care illustrates alternative methods for making a difference and achieving results through care that honors the whole person. The key is creating an environment with countless enriching touchstones to the inner person through facilities that are filled with art, animal companions, music, dance, books, laughter, and wholesome food. It is an approach that embraces creative and artistic processes to shape a more loving, spiritual approach for elders and their families.

Print Length: 170 pages
Publisher: Golden Word Books (February 26, 2019)
Publication Date: February 19, 2019
ISBN-10: 1948749149
ISBN-13: 978-1948749145

Mindful Dementia Care: Lost and Found in the Alzheimer's Forest is available in print and as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local independent bookstore.

About the Authors:

Ruth Dennis :
In her decades as a caregiver, Ruth Dennis witnessed the tragic results of the medicalized and institutionalized way of caring for people with dementia. And equally clearly, she saw a better way. Mindful Dementia Care illustrates alternative methods for making a difference and achieving results through care that honors the whole person. The key is creating an environment with countless enriching touchstones to the inner person through facilities that are filled with art, animal companions, music, dance, books, laughter, and wholesome food. It is an approach that embraces creative and artistic processes to shape a more loving, spiritual approach for elders and their families.

Ruth Dennis has worked in mental health, the arts, and community education for over twenty-five years. She is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and, for the past two decades, has worked closely with palliative care, hospice, and grief support. Central to Ruth’s life is her role as caregiver to her brother Morgan, who has Down Syndrome. He is the bravest man she has ever known.

Velma Arellano:
Velma Arellano, MA, CDP, CALA, Director of Operations, has been working in elder care for the past 2 decades, and is the longest standing administrator in Santa Fe. She has overseen $2 million in construction and design to create two state of the art, intentional Alzheimer’s Care homes in New Mexico, and very recently acquired a third, non-Alzheimer’s, 14 bed, cozy, Assisted Living Bungalow in Santa Fe. The latter, Vista Hermosa is drawing on the cutting edge of culture change by incorporating the ideas of permaculture with elder care. Both Memory Care homes are the only two Eden Alternative Registered homes in New Mexico, and Vista Hermosa is well on its way. Eden Alternative is the honor society of long term care, and is an International Movement which truly changes the culture of how we care for our elders. Velma introduced “real” pets to our homes for elders to enjoy, goats, chickens, peacocks, and recently a 10-week-old German Sheppard puppy named Silver.

Ms. Arellano is a certified assisted living administrator (CALA), Certified Dementia Practitioner through the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP), and an Eden Alternative Associate. Velma has served on the board of Directors of the New Mexico Alzheimer’s Association and was only one 7 citizens who started the first Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Santa Fe, Espanola and Los Alamos. She is a member of the 305th annual Fiesta’s de Santa Fe Council and was instrumental in the legislative passage of Helen’s Law. This law protects endangered elders, which eventually gave attention to the Silver Alert Program, like Amber Alert, but for memory impaired adults. Ms. Arellano is also a member of the National Biodynamic Association (Tierra Viva) and the Earth Citizens Organization (ECO) and is committed to mindful living and a sustainable world. Velma is active with Shim-Sung, Brain Yoga. Shim meaning heart, and Sung meaning open.
Ms. Arellano holds a Masters Degree in Agency Counseling and Psychology from New Mexico Highlands University and Bachelor’s Degree in Television Broadcast Journalism/ Mass Communication and Spanish.

As a volunteer, Velma is a member of the New Mexico Health Care Association and NM Assisted Living Task Force Committee (NMHCAALF) . She sits at the table making her voice heard in guiding NMHCAALF’s advocacy in the New Mexico long-term care delivery system. She helps identify and establish policies and provide resources that give people a real opportunity to improve the quality of life and quality of care in New Mexico’s frail elderly and intellectually-disabled populations.

Luke Nachtrab:
Luke Nachtrab, Owner, is a father of 3 children (Joey, Kate and Molly) and married to his lovely wife Kara. They currently live in Sylvania, OH where they were both raised and where Vista Living Home Office is based. He started his career shortly after completing his undergraduate degree at The Ohio State University. As first employee of Northaven, the Nachtrab Family Business Management Company, Luke created an infrastructure to manage approximately 75 residential properties in the Toledo, OH area. Assuming operations of Vista Living, the family assisted living facilities in 2004 ( his passion and love for the elderly, particularly those walking with forgetfulness, and their families began to flourish. He was named President of Vista Living Communities in 2011 where he utilizes his background to maintain the highest standards of care for those with Alzheimer’s. Moving his young family to Santa Fe for 4 months in 2014 he began to set the company up for growth. His passion for this business and making a positive impact on those with Dementia and their families is evident in his approach and philosophies. Using values taught by his parents he brings integrity and compassion to business. With this as a guide he operates VLC as a business second; always trying to do what is right despite potential impact on the business.

Luke has a wide a diverse business background being intimately involved in executive leadership with global internet businesses, restaurants, real estate and logistics. He has been on numerous organizational boards in the Toledo area. He currently serves on the St John’s Jesuit High School Board and Finance Committee. Engaging with the Industry he is also active on Argentum, panels on their mission to Expand Senior Living.

Continuously improving, Luke has completed many non-degree courses in the last 15 years and in 2011 completed his MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He is an instrument rated pilot, loves skiing, golfing, soccer, squash, fishing, culture, traveling, watching The Buckeye’s and being Dad! He looks forward to raising his children to someday be involved with the business.

Find Mindful Dementia Care Online:





----------Blog Tour Dates

April 29th @ The Muffin
We launch this book blog tour with a giveaway for this unique book!

April 30th @ BreakEven Books
Today, the author spotlight at Breakeven Books belongs to a delightfully unique book called Mindful Dementia Care by Ruth Dennis with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab. Don't miss the opportunity to learn more about this informative book and it's authors.

May 1st @ Bring on Lemons with Tara Forst
Readers at BringOnLemons will hear from guest blogger and book reviewer Tara Forst as she reviews the unique book Mindful Dementia Care by Ruth Dennis with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab. Don't miss this opportunity to hear from a health care professional as she provides honest feedback about this touching book.

May 4th @ The Muffin with Crystal Otto
In today's Muffin post, Crystal reveals her thoughts and feelings about promoting a book that hits a little too close to home. Find out more about Mindful Dementia Care by Ruth Dennis with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab while hearing some inspiring thoughts on getting out of your comfort zone by WOW!'s very own Crystal Otto.

May 7th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Madeline Sharples reviews Mindful Dementia Care by Ruth Dennis with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab for readers at Choices. Don't miss Madeline's insight into this unique book.

May 8th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Michelle DelPonte reviews Mindful Dementia Care for readers at Bring on Lemons blog. Find out what this Wisconsin Healthcare Provider has to say about this unique book that deals with topics Michelle is submerged in each day as a caregiver for aging patients.

May 16th @ Lisa Haselton
Lisa Haselton interviews Ruth Dennis about her unique book Mindful Dementia Care; Lost and Found in the Alzheimer's Forest. Find out more about Ruth and her beautiful book.

May 17th @ Coffee with Lacey
Lacey reviews Mindful Dementia Care; Lost and Found in the Alzheimer's Forest for readers at Coffee with Lacey - don't miss her insight about this touching book.

May 22nd @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto
Crystal Otto shares her review of Mindful Dementia Care with readers at Bring on Lemons blog.

May 24th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Linda Appleman Shapiro, distinguished author and psychotherapist offers her insight in a review of Mindful Dementia Care.

May 28th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles Reviews Mindful Dementia Care and shares her thoughts about this unique book. Readers at World of My Imagination will benefit greatly from Nicole's insight and this touching book.

May 29th @ Lisa M. Buske
Author Lisa M. Buske reviews Mindful Dementia Care for readers at her blog. Don't miss Lisa's insight into this unique and beautiful book.

*****5 Star Book Review by Tara Forst*****

As a former alzheimer's and dementia caregiver this book really spoke to my heart! I would recommend this book to anyone who works with or has a loved one with dementia (or really any cognitive impairment).

This book is absolutely amazing for anyone new to dementia care (or even people well-versed, as I learned things I hadn’t known from my work with dementia patients). This book provides a brief description of the most common dementia and Alzheimer’s diagnoses as well as possible treatments, including natural/holistic ones.

I also really appreciated the numerous reminders to caregivers that self-care should be first and foremost. This is something that has become very important to me over the years I have worked in and around the healthcare world. Caregiver fatigue is a very real and painful thing. We all need the reminder to take care of ourselves when we become caregivers. We give so much of ourselves to others, sometimes we aren’t left with enough to take care of ourselves afterwards.

I also loved the stories about dementia patients the author/s included. It brought back so many sweet memories for me. Dementia care is such a special experience and for me personally, was one of the most wonderful and traumatic things I have ever done, and sometimes I miss it greatly. The author/s also included personal stories about her/their own health and caregiving experiences which is why I think this book would be great for any caregiver (not just dementia). There are many similarities across all caregiving that makes this a great resource for anyone!

I also really appreciated the fact that the author/s referenced many other related books (several of them have gone on my “to read in the future” list) as well as the many other resources available to patients and caregivers including websites and government agencies. I feel that sometimes caregivers struggle with “what do I do next” and having those resources highlighted for them can really make a difference in their journey and alleviate many of the struggles and unanswered questions that they might not be able to figure out on their own.

One thing that really stood out to me and something I always try to remind people is to start early when planning for the future of a loved one who is having health problems. Things can change quickly and we can’t predict the future. It’s best to be prepared. I saw this issue first hand when my own grandfather started to decline and his 2 children took on his full-time care between themselves. It was very hard on both of them, and despite my insistence that they get some help in the home and provided them with resources and agencies, they were in denial and waited until they were both overwhelmed to start seeking help. This was very hard on them and my grandfather. Always seek help, even if you don’t think you need it right now.

In short, this was an absolutely fantastic 
book and I highly recommend it to anyone!

About Today's Reviewer: Tara Forst lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their young son. Tara owns her own business: Worn Forever - dedicated to helping mamas with babywearing and attachment parenting.


  1. Thank you so much Tara for the kind words and taking time not only to read our book but complete a review. Wishing you the best. :)

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