AKArama Foundation of AKA to host Caregivers Conference

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A CHEF ASSISTS a young attendee at a previous community event around healthy cooking that was sponsored by AKArama Foundation of AKA’s Theta Omega Chapter. (Photo courtesy AKArama Facebook Page)

Public invited to attend free event to get support, knowledge and to be empowered

Being a caregiver is both rewarding and challenging. While it is a labor of love, caregiving can exact a tremendous financial, physical and emotional toll. According to research, in 20 percent of African-American families, men — and especially women –shoulder the caregiving responsibility.

Recognizing the demands of caregiving, the AKArama Foundation – the charitable arm of Theta Omega of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority — is hosting a National Caregivers Impact Day conference on Friday, November 15, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the AKArama Foundation Community Service headquarters at 6220 S. Ingleside. The entire community is welcome to attend this conference, which is free of charge.

For more information go to akaramacaregivers.eventbrite.com or call 773-363-6220.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate caregivers while offering a platform that will provide support, empowerment and self-care. Those who attend will:

  • Hear from other caregivers who will share their experiences of caring for family members with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and with other health challenges.
  • Gain valuable resources from agencies and professionals who have information that can assist and lighten caregivers’ loads. Among the agencies and professionals who will share critical materials are the Alzheimer’s Association, the Chicago Department on Aging, Share Network, a division of the University of Chicago Hospital, and Catholic Charities.

Participants will have the opportunity to view a short film, which tells the personal story of a caregiver. There will be a Q & A and a discussion of the film.

The conference is being sponsored by the AKArama Foundation, Inc. Women’s Healthcare and Wellness Committee, which is chaired by Dr. Angela Odoms-Young. The Caregivers Subcommittee is chaired by Tamiko Clark.

According to the Caregivers Committee Chairperson, research proves that the information the Conference will provide is vital and necessary.

A February 2018 report by  Caregivingmetrowest.org reveals that:

  • African-American caregivers experience higher burdens from caregiving and spend more time caregiving on average than their white peers, with 57 percent of African-American caregivers meeting the standard of “high-burden” and averaged spending 30 hours per week caring for their loved one. That’s compared to 33 percent of white caregivers, who averaged 20 hours per week, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures
  • More than half of African-American caregivers find themselves “sandwiched” between caring for an older person and a younger person under age 18, or caring for more than one older person and 66 percent of African-American caregivers are employed full or part-time.
  • African Americans are also more likely to be in need of care as they age.

Conference co-chairs Odoms-Young and Clark declared that the information the event will provide is impactful, powerful and life changing.

“This Conference will deliver knowledge and resources in three hours that can take years to find – if ever,” said Odoms-Young.

Echoing her sentiment, Clark stated, “This Conference represents the AKArama Foundation’s gift to the community and mirrors our commitment to address real-life issues that they address daily.”

Elaine Smith Singh, president of the AKArama Foundation and of Theta Omega chapter, encourages the community “to attend this conference, have their hard work acknowledged and gain valuable connections and sources that can assist in their caregiver journey.”

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