Hospice of St. Lawrence Valley is once again presenting the Caring for the Caregiver Health Fair to the community. The 4th annual resource event for those providing care for a friend or loved one is scheduled for Thursday, June 8th from 11:00-3:00pm at the Hospice Center in Potsdam. The theme this year is Mapping the Caregiver Highway with many resources to assist caregivers along their journey. “This event has been very well received and has grown significantly over the last three years, in terms of both vendors providing information and with more caregivers and community members attending” said Mary Jones, Director of Family Support Services for Hospice. “For some time now, we have recognized the need to provide additional support to caregivers, not just of our Hospice patients, but anyone in the community who has taken on this important role” she continued. Following the initial event in 2014, a need to help educate caregivers and provide them with support was identified. Hospice offered a series of three educational sessions which covered a variety of topics. Group attendance and interest demonstrated the need to continue with monthly meetings. “We saw regular attendance from community members who needed resources and education, but most of all support” said group facilitator Nancy Vosbrink who is the Outreach Coordinator for Hospice. “Its important they know others are experiencing similar situations. They offer unique perspectives to one another.” “Many times caregivers don’t see simple acts such as providing transportation to appointments, helping to manage medications, meal preparation or checking in on a friend, neighbor or loved one as caregiving” said Ms. Jones. “The reality is, they are taking time out of their own life to make sure their loved one is safe; that’s caregiving. We know this is an extremely important role, but understand it can cause difficulty in other aspects of life for the caregiver. They are not alone in providing care, there are countless resources throughout St. Lawrence County ready to help” she continued. There are more than 20 vendors lined up to participate in the 2017 event and will include additional vendors to address an added caregiver wellness component. In addition, free health screenings will be provided by local hospitals. Door prizes will be raffled. The Caregiver Support Group meets the second Thursday of the month from 3:00pm to 4:00pm at the Hospice Center in Potsdam. Group attendance is free of charge and all caregivers are welcome, a Hospice affiliation is not required. For more information about the Caring for the Caregiver Health Fair or the Caregiver Support Group please contact Nancy Vosbrink at 315-265-3105.