Family caregivers provide untold millions of dollars in uncompensated care each year. They make it possible for their loved ones who are ill to remain at home in comfortable and familiar surroundings and out of costly institutions. It is a bittersweet journey of love and commitment that often brings overwhelming challenges.

Wilton’s Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County will offer a series of four Caregiver Workshops this spring to help those who are caring for a family member or a loved one who is ill. The workshops will address the concerns of caregivers and the tremendous toll it takes on them – physically, emotionally and financially. The workshops will be held at the offices of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County in Suite 114 at the Health and Wellness Center at I-Park, 761 Main Ave. (Rte. 7) on the Wilton/Norwalk town line. They will provide information and guidance to assist caregivers in managing the daily difficulties of their caregiving responsibilities.

The first workshop will focus on Basic Physical Care and will be held on Wednesday, April 6 from 3-4 p.m.. In this workshop, experts will address issues of personal care of concern to caregivers including hygiene, nutrition, sleep and hydration.

The second caregiver workshop will address issues of Easing Pain and will be held Wednesday, April 13 from 3-4 p.m.. In this workshop, participants will learn about ways to help manage their loved one’s pain and provide them with comfort. This will include stress reduction, guided imagery, relaxation, massage, music and more.

The third in the series of Caregiver Workshops will focus on Caring for the Caregiver. This workshop will be held Wednesday, April 20 from 3-4 p.m. and family caregivers will learn how to take care of themselves so that they are able to continue caring for their loved ones. Topics to be discussed include respite care, nutrition, relaxation, exercise and getting adequate rest.

The fourth caregiver workshop will address Legal Issues in Caregiving. This workshop will be held Wednesday, April 27 from 3-4 p.m. and participants will learn about the legal issues involved with caring for a loved one including advance directives, wills, power of attorney, obtaining assistance from federal and state agencies, and more.

“The public is invited to attend these open and frank discussions about the challenging and costly journey of caring for a loved one who is ill,” said Melody Matheny-Orpen, RN, community health coordinator for Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County.

“Caregivers and other family members will benefit from the expert advice they receive and learn about the resources available to them in planning for and navigating the many and varied challenges of caregiving.”

The workshops are open to the public and are offered free of charge but space is limited and registration is encouraged. For additional information, or to register to attend any of the four caregiver workshops, call Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County at 203.762.8958.

A non-profit community organization for more than 100 years, Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County provides professional nursing and support services, senior care management, physical rehabilitation, health education, community wellness programs and compassionate hospice and palliative care for adults and children in Wilton and throughout Fairfield County. Visit them online or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.