The AKArama Foundation’s Caregiver Conference will feature the riveting film, “The New Mother, ” a 13-minute presentation produced and directed by Chicago native Eleva Singleton. The drama explores the paradigm shift that occurs when a mother is in fragile health and the adult daughter becomes her caregiver.
Addressing this shift and offering strategies are the objectives of the Caregiver Conference, which will be held Friday, November 15 from 6-9PM at AKArama Foundation headquarters, 6220 S. Ingleside. The Conference is free to the public.
The Emmy-nominated Singleton said that the film is “inspired by the many people who have had to deal with caring for a loved one. It’s a selfless journey that many travel but few talk about. “
AKArama Foundation president Elaine Smith-Singh who has seen the film, spoke to its message and impact. “The New Mother,” said Smith-Singh, “is a powerful and sensitive depiction of the journey caregivers take as they adjust to the challenges of their new reality.” Smith-Singh said the film is a “must see” for caregivers feeling afraid, alone and overwhelmed. Because of the emotions the film will evoke, there will be a Question and Answer session on the issues raised in the film.
“The New Mother” was one of the films recently featured at the Black Harvest Film Festival. It was also shown at The Reel Sisters of the Diaspora film festival. This stirring film was also the recipient of the Best Silent Film by Oniros Film Awards and the Raymond Rea Award for Creative Expression at the North Dakota Human Rights Festival.
Singleton expanded on the significance of the film in an ABC7 interview. Inspired by her own experience caring for her mother, she said the film explores the range of emotions caregivers feel including, denial, burnout, depression acceptance, new beginnings, and understanding. She stressed that being a caregiver “is not an ending of your life. It’s really a new journey.”
In addition to the movie, the Caregiver Conference will feature staffers from the Alzheimer’s Association, the Chicago Department on Family and Support Services, Share Network, a division of the University of Chicago Hospital, and Catholic Charities. Each will share resources, and advice including providing strategies on how to provide care and comfort to those with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The information and resources will lighten caregivers’ load and illustrate the importance of self-care.
Singleton said she is “proud to bring the message to life,” which is produced by her company, Single Reel Films.
The conference is being sponsored by the AKArama Foundation, Inc. Women’s Healthcare and Wellness Committee, which is chaired by Dr. Angela Odoms-Young, Chairman. The Caregivers Subcommittee is chaired by Tamiko Clark.
For more information, go to akaramacaregivers.eventbrite.com or call 773-363-6220.