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Saturday, May 04, 2019

 

No Pain, No Gain?


Every once in a while, I am faced with a professional opportunity that gets me a little uncomfortable in my personal life. When an author approaches WOW! requesting a book blog tour, the first thing Nicole or I do is ask to read the book. We won't commit to manage a tour until we've found out for ourselves what's on those pages. I'm usually very excited to get my eyes on those lovely pages - especially if the book hasn't even been released to the public yet! I get those same butterflies of excitement that I had when Andy asked me to the Junior Prom in the 90's!

When I heard about Mindful Dementia Care by Ruth Dennis, I didn't have butterflies. I had a knot in my belly and as I read through the description, I had to remind myself to breathe. I was on the board for the Walk to End Alzheimer's, I've helped care for Dementia and Alzheimer's patients. This book should be a welcome read - right?

Not this time...

I learned about this book just weeks after visiting my special Aunt in her new nursing home. I learned about this book just a week before we put her home on the market. I learned about this book during the same time period my children were asking "why did Auntie call me Crystal? I'm not you". As I replied that I would welcome the opportunity to read Mindful Dementia Care, I kept telling myself to breathe. I could hear the wise words of my Daddy:

**One Foot in Front of the Other Pumpkin

**No Pain no Gain

**Things Worth Having Don't Come Easy

Thank goodness for those wise words. I asked for a copy of the book. I read each page...I laughed. I cried. I learned things about myself and my journey as I read about the journey of others. I no longer felt alone. I became the Blog Tour Manager of the WOW! Tour for Mindful Dementia Care.

The next bit of pain came as I approached readers/authors/bloggers and they responded with "it hits a little too close to home right now" or "I don't think I could get through this particular book". When I responded with "I understand" - I meant that from the bottom of my heart, but I want to go on record saying that sometimes getting out of your comfort zone can be very comforting. Isn't that ironic?

If you are thinking this particular book is just for caregivers or families of Dementia patients - you are wrong. This is a book that will benefit each and every one of us as humans. It's a lovely reminder to find joy in the little things and to cherish each moment. It's a lesson about patience, love, humanity, and respect - and can't this wold use more of that?

So - in closing - as my daddy told me growing up:

No Pain, No Gain!

I moved past my personal pain and I gained so much perspective by being part of Mindful Dementia Care - thank you Daddy for your wisdom, Aunt Dorothy for those moments when you remember my name, and Ruth, Velma, and Luke for writing this beautiful book!


xoxoxo
Crystal Otto




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
ISBN-10: 1948749149
ISBN-13: 978-1948749145
ASIN: B07NXV95TT

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 (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:

Website:
https://www.mindfuldementiacare.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VistaLivingCare/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VistaLivingCare

Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44643108-mindful-dementia-care





Today's post was written by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

Crystal is a secretary, council secretary, financial secretary, and musician at her church, birth mother, Auntie, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their five youngest children (Carmen 12, Andre 10, Breccan 5, Delphine 4, and baby Eudora who somehow turned 1 not long ago), two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at her personal blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Margo Dill said...

Hey Crystal:
It looks like maybe that book was put into your hands at just the right time--even though it was painful to start reading it. It's amazing how that works in our lives--if we just pay attention. :)

2:49 PM  
Blogger Nicole Pyles said...

What a touching personal account of the impact that this book had on you!

5:40 PM  

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