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Caring for caregivers: Expo and retreat with brunch, chair massages and expert panel will be held Thursday at PBMC

When a loved one falls ill, it often falls upon a family member to provide the daily care necessary to maintain the patient’s well-being.

This Thursday, Peconic Bay Medical Center is hosting an event that focuses on the needs of those who are so accustomed to caring for the needs of others.

The third annual Family Caregivers’ Expo and Retreat will be held in the hospital lobby Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to noon, providing free brunch, chair massages and personal care items alongside information about resources available to local caregivers.

“Being responsible for the long-term care of a loved one may be morally and spiritually uplifting, but the reality is that it is also often exhausting, frustrating, isolating and challenging,” said Tara Anglim, associate director of PBMC’s palliative care department. “Family caregivers need to know they are not alone in their efforts.”

The event will feature a panel discussion with caregiver professionals alongside brunch, followed by several therapeutic activities – chair massages, integrative therapy and art therapy.

The hospital is also launching a larger program for family caregivers this year. Peconic Bay’s Family Caregivers’ Support Center will provide a place for caregivers to seek advice, counseling, support or educational resources at any time within the hospital, Anglim said.

The term “healthcare” typically conjures images of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, but family caregivers play an equally important role in any healthcare system, according to Andrew Mitchell, CEO of Peconic Bay.

“Family caregivers are absolutely the most important and most underappreciated healthcare resource in every community,” Mitchell said. “This event underscores our recognition of the value of family caregivers and our commitment to providing them with the support and resources they need and deserve.”

For the past three years, the hospital has also provided a caregivers support group, which meets every third Wednesday of each month.

For more information about the Family Caregivers’ Expo and Retreat, support group meetings, or becoming a caregiving coach volunteer, call 631-548-6804.

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Katie Blasl

Katie, winner of the 2016 James Murphy Cub Reporter of the Year award from the L.I. Press Club, is a reporter, editor and web developer for the LOCAL news websites. A Riverhead native, she is a 2014 graduate of Stony Brook University. Email Katie