PBMC director of patient and family-centered care Tara Anglim, left, with Mark Cronin and John Cronin of John’s Crazy Socks, and PBMC deputy executive director Amy Loeb at the caregiver’s retreat held at the hospital. Courtesy photo.

Peconic Bay Medical Center held its fifth annual caregivers retreat Tuesday at the hospital. The retreat, focusing on the needs of caregivers, offers a resource fair, expert advice, a relaxation and meditation session and brunch.

Caregivers take on an often overlooked and stressful job — and one that’s a vital part of treatment and recovery for patients. Caregivers run errands, divide medicines and provide around-the-clock care to those who are in unable to do so for themselves.

The retreat emphasized the valuable resources and support available at Peconic Bay’s Caregivers Center for patients’ family members.

The hospital’s Caregivers Center, which opened a year ago, is Long Island’s first hospital-based resource center expressly dedicated to providing support services for patients’ family members. The Caregivers Center recognizes the vital but often stressful role of family caregivers in providing the best care for loved ones, not just during a hospital stay, but during the recovery period that follows when loved ones return home.

“Being a caregiver can be an overwhelming, selfless task. A caregiver takes on a role that is very critical to the recovery process,” Peconic Bay Medical Center deputy executive director Amy Loeb said.  

“Our caregivers center and the caregivers retreat is a means to provide our caregivers the vital resources and support to enable them to care for their loved ones while caring for themselves on an ongoing basis,” Loeb said. 

A dynamic father-and-son duo, Mark Cronin and his son John, founders and owners of John’s Crazy Socks in Melville shared their story. Their company manufactures and sells “crazy socks” from a collection of original designs. From beach turtles to “Pugs and Kisses” to otters holding hands, each pair of socks offers the buyer the chance to express their passion and personality, to spread happiness and put a smiles on people’s faces. 

John, who has Down syndrome, is the company’s “chief happiness officer.” He designs many of the company’s sock creations. John’s Crazy Socks hires people of differing abilities and donates 5% of its earnings to the Special Olympics.

“Being a caregiver is definitely a challenge and it can become difficult to remember your sense of identity and to focus on your own needs when you are so busy looking after someone else,” Mark Cronin said. 

“Offering a caregivers retreat is a powerful idea to support and offer continued resources to those going through challenges which come along with the role of caregiver,” he said. 

“We have a mission to spread happiness and we want to bring some happiness to the caregivers,” said John Cronin. “Doing for others brings happiness so the caregivers deserve happiness,” he added.

Tara Anglim, director of patient and family-centered care at Peconic Bay said the hospital was “grateful to have such inspiring individuals as John and Mark” at the retreat and inspiring to hear their story of spreading happiness.

Source: Press release from Peconic Bay Medical Center

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