Meet the people who have changed the face of Alzheimer’s and dementia
caregiving in our community.
Founder & Executive Director
Founder & Executive Director
“The Memory Care Alliance’s success can be found in one word: community. We find the education, compassion and empowerment we need in each other”.
David’s passion, energy and creativity are the driving force of this organization. He is the former Santa Fe Regional Manager of the Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter. Previously, he was caregiver for his mother for eleven years.
Former Executive Director at Coming Home Connection
“The whole world is waiting for a cure for dementia, but while we wait, we must not let this distract us from providing compassionate dignified care, education and support to families living with dementia right now.”
Frances Salles set up one of the first ‘caring for the carers’ programs in the 1990s, after training with Tom Kitwood, a pioneer of person-centered dementia care. In 2016 she became Executive Director of Coming Home Connection, a non-profit home care agency in Santa Fe, which in 2017 was one of the first agencies to create a partnership with the Memory Care Alliance, immediately seeing the need and potential for its work. In 2020 she moved back to Europe to be close to her own parents who were managing her father’s advancing dementia.
Ruth Dennis, MA
“The Memory Care Alliance is a deeply creative, loving and practical organization that gives families access to education, support and wisdom about dementia care, and is a blessing to families who are sorting out the everyday care of someone they love during and after dementia. This resource is so needed in our community.”
As a certified dementia care practitioner, Ruth has over twenty-five years of experience in Alzheimer’s and dementia care. She is currently Director of Social Services and Education for Vista Living in Santa Fe. She is the author of Mindful Dementia Care.
Certified Grief & Recovery Coach
“I believe in the great need for support for families going through the daily, sometimes unsurmountable challenges of dementia. I support the educational and support programs that are scheduled regularly, reaching more and more families as well as senior living communities and health professionals. There is no stopping The Memory Care Alliance!”
Eileen’s background includes over two decades of experience working with people dealing with devastating loss and changes resulting from death, divorce, or serious illness. She facilitates a variety of support and action groups in addition to her grief recovery and life coaching with individuals and couples. Eileen Joyce is a certified professional coach and grief recovery specialist. Eileen’s mission is healing broken hearts through critical conversations, ongoing support, and identifying actions for moving forward with more aliveness, productivity, and joy.
President of Vista Living
"Unlike other organizations, they focus on education and support as opposed to raising money for research. A tremendous amount of money is raised and put towards the cure, but what do caregivers and those living with Alzheimer’s do in the meantime? The MCA offers training to caregivers, family members and professionals on how to maximize quality
of life for both the caregivers and the person being cared for. Simply put, our Santa Fe community would not be the same without The Memory Care Alliance”
Luke is a father of 3 children (Joey, Kate, and Molly) and they currently live in Sylvania, Ohio, 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, Luke created an infrastructure to manage approximately 75 residential properties in the Toledo, Ohio area. After he assumed operations of Vista Living, the family assisted living facilities in 2004 (www.vistaliving.com), his passion and love for the elderly, particularly those living with dementia, and their families began to flourish. He was named President of Vista Living Communities in 2011 where he uses his extensive background to maintain the highest standards of care for those with Alzheimer’s. Moving his young family to Santa Fe for four 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 as well as 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 puts VLC as a business second, always trying to do what is right despite potential impact, positive or negative, on the profitability of the business.
2021 Memory Care Accomplishments
Some of our accomplishments for 2021
Maintained our weekly caregiver meetings and monthly Alliance Cafe in Santa Fe.
Arranged for respite care for loved-ones who cannot be left alone so their caregivers can attend our weekly caregiver meetings.
Maintained our monthly caregiver meetings in Los Alamos.
Began a weekly caregiver meeting for men.
Will begin a weekly Caregiving Group for Professionals in December
Solidified our program, created a long-term plan, become more organized.
Developed a plan to begin replicating our program starting with Taos, Las Vegas and Espanola.
Had three "Out and About" field trips. Botanical Gardens, Audubon Center, and Las Golindrinas
Offered eight online Prepare to Care programs for caregivers.
Provided the tech support for Doorways to continue their program online.
Made application to four foundations for grants. We were awarded all four.
Continued to develop relationships with other nonprofits: St. Vincent's, State of New Mexico, Anchorum, Parkinson and Movement Disorder Alliance, NM Caregiver Coalition, Taos Elder Benevolent Services, among others.
Offered a six-week grief and recovery program this past summer and again this fall.
Held our fundraiser, Trivia Night sponsored by The Montecito.
Held our fundraiser, Ride to Remember, sponsored by Vista Living.
Facilitated in over 250 people living with Alzheimer's, another type of dementia, and their caregivers in receiving their first round of covid vaccines. Thanks to Christus St. Vincent's, Southwest Care, La Familia and the VA for offering vaccine appointments.
Our Executive Director, David Davis:
- Gave a presentation at the New Mexico Conference on Aging.
- Sat in on two different committees to revise and change the state plan for Alzheimer’s.
- Was re-elected for a second term a president of the Santa Fe Eldercare Network.