|A Sacred Journey Cast|
Q: Tell me about your film “A Sacred Journey” and how you’re sharing it with the caregiving community.
My film “A Sacred Journey” documents the story of my brother’s fight with ALS since his diagnosis in 2005. The viewer not only journeys with Juan, his children, his parents and his siblings in the years after his diagnosis, but also witnesses a powerful, inspiring true story that takes place in the mostly Latino neighborhood of Lincoln Heights. The film celebrates the love, unification and power that manifests when a family and a community comes together turning heartache into a blessing.
We’re bringing the caregiver community together for screenings of my film to show they are not alone. In addition to giving them a night off of caregiving duties to honor and celebrate them, we hope they enjoy a little pampering and camaraderie with other caregivers in the community. We’re also hosting a panel discussion after the screening with experts, advocates and other caregivers about “When Care Comes Home,” exploring the challenges and rewards of caregiving.
o The Chicago When Care Comes Home event took place on Aug. 21 at the Logan Theater.
o The L.A. When Care Comes Home event took place Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. (two screenings) at the Cinefamily Silent Movie Theater.
o The Washington, D.C. When Care Comes Home event is taking place Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the West End Cinema.
Q: What are the challenging parts of caregiving for you?
The most challenging part of caregiving is understanding patience. Accepting 100% that I will never understand why this has happened. Coming to terms with my own guilt, selfish needs and wants. Understanding that it’s okay to have whatever feelings I am having. It’s okay to feel for my mother and father who are aging right in front of our eyes because of the dedication they give to my brother.
As caregivers, we can often feel like we’re alone; it can also feel physically, mentally and emotionally overwhelming caring for our loved ones. Whencarecomehomes.com provides personal stories, tips and practical suggestions we can use to feel empowered in our caregiving role.
The “When Care Comes Home” survey conducted by Clorox CareConcepts and the Caregiver Action Network found that cleanliness is very important to those in the caregiving role (85 percent) and that’s true for my family as well. But more than one in three caregivers report that it is confusing to select cleaning and personal care products (37 percent) and it is difficult to find them (36 percent). In fact, half (50 percent) of caregivers wish home health care products were easier to find. We’re happy that the new Clorox CareConcepts home health care products are simple to find on Amazon.com, Drugstores.com and near the pharmacy section at select drug stores nationwide.
Q: What are the rewarding parts of caregiving for you?
Caring for my brother Juan has allowed me to continue looking at myself in a very deep manner. I’ve learned to not take my life for granted. We are so indispensible.
At any given moment I can get sick. I live my life from this place of gratitude and joy as much as I can. The documentary has brought me closer to my brother. It has allowed me to examine him very closely, which in exchange forces me to examine myself. The act of doing something that I love for the sake of just that has blessed me with beautiful people, health, love and sponsorships. I strongly believe that I am presently a perfect example of someone doing what I love and trusting that everything else will continue falling into place.
The “When Care Comes Home” survey conducted by Clorox CareConcepts and the Caregiver Action Network also found that:
o Nine out of 10 caregivers have felt needed (95%) thankful (93%), appreciated (91%) and important (88%).
o Two-thirds of caregivers believe that their role is a gift. (66%).
Q: Is it difficult for you and your family to find resources to help in your caregiving roles?
Nobody teaches you how to be a caregiver. We were forced to learn. And taking care of someone with ALS is complex. Learning about meds, equipment, finances and nursing care were all a new language to us. It was trial and error and the ALS Foundation at the time was somewhat helpful, but it was not enough.
WhenCareComesHome.com helped remove those obstacles. It offers supportive tools and products to help empower those caring for a loved one. Caregivers will find links to well-respected partners, such as Family Caregivers Alliance (FCA) and Caregiver Action Network (CAN), as well as educational content. Through the Clorox® Care Council, a panel of caregivers, advocates and experts offer guidance, perspective and encouragement.
WhenCareComesHome.com is a good source for any caregiver who wants to be part of something bigger. It helps when you can reach out for help and somebody answers. It’s nice to know that somebody is thinking along the lines of strengthening the Caregiver community.
Q: What advice do you have for other caregivers?
I have realized that no matter how much you do you will always feel that you’re not doing enough. I would suggest that you take care of yourself and continue doing what you love to do before you burn out and get sick. I’ve also learned that you cannot do it alone. Luckily I come from a big family, but even then it helps when you have others stepping in to relieve, to talk or to distract you of the potential heartache.
I also recommend visiting WhenCareComesHome.com for personal stories, tips and practical suggestions they can use to feel empowered in their caregiving roles. It offers supportive tools and products to help empower those caring for a loved one. Caregivers will find links to well-respected partners, such as Family Caregivers Alliance (FCA) and Caregiver Action Network (CAN), as well as educational content. Through the Clorox® Care Council, a panel of caregivers, advocates and experts offer guidance, perspective and encouragement.
Q: What motivated you to make this documentary? Any personal experience? Any recent study?
The reason for producing this film was to celebrate my brother. I also immediately felt that this was a way to raise ALS awareness. It wasn’t until Clorox stepped in that I realized I had a film that spoke to the masses.
Q: What is the main message you try to deliver throughout the film?
The language we speak in this film is the language of love. I want people to understand that despite our deficiencies, political views or differences love can heal the world.
Q: What are the challenges you came across while shooting the film?
The biggest challenge for me has been the emotional impact it has had on me. The film has been part of my healing tool, a therapy of sort. Separating the emotional from the creative and technical can be difficult sometimes. There are days where the image of Juan taking his last steps doesn’t affect me whatsoever and there are moments where I have to stop and walk away from the edit bay to compose myself.
Q: Is there anything you learned and found surprising that you didn’t know before making the film?
I didn’t know that I had a film that spoke to the 66 million caregivers in this nation. It wasn’t until the day that I received a call from Robin Santos at Clorox that I realized that my film did not only have the potential to help heal my family and community but a significant number of people in this nation as well.
"A Sacred Journey” will be screened on November 13th in Washington, D.C. at Clorox CareConcepts' event “When Care Comes Home” at West End Cinema. For more details, or to RSVP, please click here.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of A Sacred Journey.