Caring for Caregivers: Mental health organization hosts resource fair for caregivers

Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — The role of caregiver can take a physical and emotional toll on a person. Staff at Brook Lane and Potomac Case Management Services in Hagerstown recognized this pressing issue teamed up to take care of the caregivers working tirelessly every day.

Brook Lane and Potomac Case Management Services hosted the Caring for Caregivers Resource Fair on Saturday. Dawn Johns, Executive Director of Potomac Case Management Services, hopes attendees realize they are not alone as a caregiver and stressed the importance of self-care.

“We’re getting ready to International Caregivers Month and it’s so important that we do take this time to recognize caregiving is a really difficult thing that many of us will end up doing,” Johns explained. “This is just an opportunity for caregivers in the community to learn what’s available here. And then to be supported, and validated about this journey that they’re taking or are about to take as a caregiver.”

The Caring for Caregivers Resource Fair hosted close to 20 vendors all offering different information for caregivers or future caregivers, all addressing different aspects of the role. Melissa Linn-Canas is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. During her presentation, she emphasized the importance of balance when caring for a loved one or patient. She used the metaphor of an oxygen mask on an airplane, telling attendees that as they would on an airplane, they must help themselves first before helping others.

“If we’re not fully ourselves working with our strengths, then we’re coming to the caregiving component at a deficit,” Linn-Canas said. “So it’s super important that we are taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually, all the dynamics of who we are as an individual so that our cup is full and we’re able to give the very best that we can tell our loved one that we’re trying to help take care of.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 25% of U.S. adults 18 years and older have reported they are providing care or assistance to a person with a long-term illness or disability.

For more resources from Brook Lane, please visit their website. For more resources from Potomac Case Management Services, please visit their website.

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