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NEWARK NURSING HOME TO BE FEATURED IN NEW FILM ABOUT ALZHEIMER’S
The New Community Extended Care Center will be featured in a film called Barbasol, depicting the story of a man’s journey as he struggles to deal with his father’s diagnosis of dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s disease.
In the film, the lead actor, Stephen Hill, a Willingboro, NJ native, realizes that he is running out of time to forge a closer bond with his father, whose condition is worsening. But he also discovers it is time for him to forge a closer relationship with his own school-age son.
Filming will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 15 and Wednesday, Nov. 16. At the New Community Extended Care Center, 266 South Orange Ave. in Newark 07103.
What makes this film so unique is that the lead actors are all African-American. Alzheimer’s is still a topic that the African-American community struggles with and there is a lot of denial and hesitancy to reach out for help. The film title is taken from the popular shaving crème for men called Barbasol.
“This film is somewhat unique, not only because of its mental health awareness, but also because of the father and son relationship element,” explained Ralph Scott, the independent film promoter who is directing Barbasol and who is also the executive producer for Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) latest short film showcase. “It is rare to see three generations of black men together on screen. The key intent of this film is to use it as a tool to open up discussions that will help heal or simply educate its audience about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.” Scott’s own father died of dementia at age 80 back in 2008.
There are an estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including 350,000 individuals and families in New Jersey alone, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. African-Americans are more likely than other populations to develop Alzheimer’s disease because they are at higher risk of vascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
The New Community Extended Care Center, located at 266 South Orange Ave. in Newark, runs a monthly Alzheimer’s support group the second Saturday of each month. Betty Lawson, facility administrator, said any opportunity to raise awareness about the disease is welcome.
Plans call for the film to be released in 2012 and to be shown at film festivals across the United States and possibly the world, Scott said.
NEW COMMUNITY CORP. --One of the largest and most comprehensive community development agencies in the country, New Community Corp. was founded in 1968 to help residents of inner cities improve the quality of their lives to reflect individual God-given dignity and personal achievement. New Community’s areas of programming include housing, health care, job training and education.