Thank you WOW! Women on Writing for the opportunity to participate in this book blog tour - and thank you Michelle Del Ponte for excitedly volunteering to read and review this important and unique book.
About the Book:
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
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:
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, 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, 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 (www.vistaliving.com) 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:
---------- Upcoming Blog Tour Dates
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*****
Mindful Dementia Care Lost and found in the Alzheimer’s Forest, by Ruth Dennis, is a raw and honest view of what being a caregiver all entails. As a professional caregiver I see these stories play out every day. Sometimes our loved ones get lost in their mind and appear to forget what was once so beloved and those most close to their heart. Too many times families wait too long to find a place for their loved one; not wanting to accept the fact the aging loved one is no longer safe in their own home. All too often this procrastination (albeit well intended) means accepting whatever care they can get in an emergency. Regrettably, that limits options for the patient and their families. Sometimes quality of care is sacrificed because the home closest to child A seems more convenient for the family. I will be very frank, not all nursing/care facilities are created equal. Some are better staffed and equipped to handle certain types of patient needs.
Even if loved ones have the time to choose the perfect home, families often struggle with the symptoms, and stop visiting their loved ones. Would it help you to know that, even if they don’t show it, they know you deep down? They love you. Your presence is needed in their lives. Ruth Dennis lovingly illustrates an entirely new environment of caring for those with Alzheimer's and Dementia. Could this be better than the common institution in which we currently use? As a caregiver, I recommend not only the book, which is a fast read, but also the care model shown throughout Mindful Dementia Care. At the very least, I think we can all feel hopeful in knowing we are doing all we can for our loved ones, related or not, during their most vulnerable time.
I absolutely can't say enough about this important book - the greatest take-away for me is the importance of choosing the right facility and doing so early.
About today's Reviewer:
Michelle DelPonte is a busy mom and health care worker. Her two sons are the focus of her life and she works diligently to raise awareness about autism in the community. She loves reading, anything to do with history and geocaching just to name a few of her many hobbies. Michelle, her husband Ben and their two sons Sebastian and Asher live in Manitowoc, WI on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan where they enjoy walking and biking on the Mariner’s Trail and spending time at the Library.