Family Caregivers’ Expo highlights need for greater support for vital but underappreciated role

Peconic Bay Medical Center.

Peconic Bay Medical Center’s third annual Family Caregivers’ Expo and Retreat will be held in the hospital’s lobby and adjacent areas from 9:30 am to noon on Thursday, November 16. Anyone who currently cares for or may someday be responsible for caring for a family member is invited and encouraged to attend and participate.

The event is being staged as part of National Family Caregivers Month, a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the needs and issues of family caregivers. Attendees will be offered free refreshments, chair massages, prizes, and personal care items. The Expo will include tables and displays highlighting resources and support programs available to family caregivers. The Retreat will include caregiver support sessions, instructional classes, and a mindfulness meditation workshop.

“Family caregivers are absolutely the most important and most underappreciated healthcare resource in every community,” said Andrew J. Mitchell, President and CEO of Peconic Bay Medical Center. “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.”

“This year’s Expo event will also be the launching point for our Family Caregivers’ Support Center program,” said Tara Anglim, Peconic Bay Medical Center’s Associate Director of Palliative Care, who will serve as the lead for the program. “Our goal is to have a dedicated space within the hospital where family members can come at any time for advice, counseling, support, or to learn more about the services available to them here in the hospital and out in the community. We plan to recruit and train a core group of volunteers who will sustain this program for years to come.”

“Health care is changing,” said Mr. Mitchell. “Our Family Caregivers’ Support Center will be the first of its kind on Long Island, but our focus on dedicating more and more resources toward home-based care, community-based care, and care-when-and-where-you-need-it is a direction you can soon expect from all progressive healthcare systems.”

“This is not a new focus for us,” said Anglim. “Our Caregiver Support Group meets the third Wednesday of every month. It is now in its third year. Our Pegasus House Palliative Care program was expressly designed to provide support and respite for family caregivers. But what we have learned in talking to our patients and their family members is that people need more support than they have been getting. 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. Family caregivers need to know they are not alone in their efforts.”

“Last year’s Family Caregivers’ Expo was very successful,” said Mrs. Anglim. “More than 75 people attended the Expo, and dozens of people took part in the workshops, with very positive reviews. We are hoping for much larger turnout this year.”

For more information about attending the Family Caregivers’ Expo and Retreat, attending Peconic Bay Medical Center’s Caregiver Support Group meetings, or becoming a Caregiver Coach volunteer, please call 631-548-6804.

Peconic Bay Medical Center is a part of Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health care organization. Peconic Bay Medical Center is the largest hospital on Long Island’s East End.

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About Peconic Bay Medical Center
Located in Riverhead, NY, Peconic Bay Medical Center is a non-profit hospital committed to providing exceptional care and improving the health of the communities it serves. Peconic Bay Medical Center offers wide-ranging, full-scope services and programs along with state-of-art technology. Peconic Bay Medical Center joined Northwell Health in 2016. For more information, visit PBMCHealth.org.

About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals, over 550 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for more than two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 63,500 employees – 15,000+ nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.

Contact:
Olivia Basaly
631-548-6804