Health and support briefs

Alcoholics Anonymous: For Hernando County locations, call (352) 683-4597.

Alzheimer's Association: The Florida Gulf Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association offers support groups at several locations:

• 2:30 p.m. the first Thursday of each month, Oak Hill Hospitals Senior Partners Club (behind the hospital), 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill. Jerry Fisher, (352) 688-4537.

• 2:30 p.m. the first Friday of each month, Lykes Memorial Library, 238 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Shirley Miketinac, (352) 796-1767.

• 2 p.m. the third Monday of each month, Residence at Timber Pines, 3140 Forest Road, Spring Hill. Diane Koenig, (352) 683-9009.

• 2 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month, Crown Pointe Senior Living Community, 11291 County Line Road, Spring Hill. Sandy Croson, (352) 799-1422.

• 11 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, 550 U.S. 41 S, Inverness. Cathy Heaps, (352) 527-4600.

• Online support group, noon Wednesdays, at alzsupport.com. Message boards are open at all times to post questions and leave replies.

To reach the Alzheimer's Association's local office, call (352) 688-4537.

Alzheimer's Family Organization: The following programs are offered through the Alzheimer's Family Organization to residents of Hernando, Citrus, Pasco, Sumter and Lake counties:

• Caregiver support groups — 1 p.m. Mondays, Brooksville Regional Hospital, Medical Arts Building, Suite 120, 17222 Hospital Blvd., Brooksville; 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Spring Hill Regional Hospital Medical Arts Building, Suite 105, 10441 Quality Drive, Spring Hill. Maria Curley, (727) 992-1358.

• Respite Assistance Program — for caregivers of a dementia or Alzheimer's disease sufferer. The Alzheimer's Family Organization also will provide other national respite resources that can reimburse costs to caregivers.

• Wanderers Identification Program — provides the person with a memory disorder with an identifying bracelet or pendant with a code number and direct telephone number to the Sheriff's Office. If the person becomes lost or wanders from home, they can be identified through a shared database that houses essential patient information and caregiver contacts.

For information, call AFO at (727) 848-8888 or toll-free at 1-888-496-8004.

Elder Abuse Hotline: To report suspected cases of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation, or those 60 or older who are being hurt or taken advantage of by someone you know, call toll-free 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) or 1-800-96-ABUSE (1-800-962-2873). Sponsored by the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

Hospice Bereavement Support Groups: HPH Hospice offers ongoing bereavement support groups for adults grieving the death of a loved one. The groups meet at the following HPH team offices:

• 3 to 4 p.m. Thursdays, 12260 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill.

• 3 to 4 p.m. Mondays, 698 S Broad St., Brooksville.

There is no cost and no reservations required. Toll-free 1-800-486-8784. Web: hph-hospice.org.

Narcotics Anonymous: For Hernando County locations, call (352) 754-7200.

National Alliance on Mental Illness/NAMI Hernando: NAMI Hernando offers the following at the Beautiful Mind Outreach Center, 10554 Spring Hill Drive (Brothers I and II Plaza), Spring Hill, unless otherwise noted:

• Family support group, 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. Another group will meet 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, at the Brooksville Regional Hospital Enrichment Center, Room 120 of the Medical Arts Building, 17222 Hospital Blvd., Brooksville. This is a new group that meets on the second and fourth Fridays. Both groups are for family members of loved ones suffering with a mental illness, and welcomes family members of veterans dealing with PTSD or other service-related mental illnesses. Call (352) 596-1541 or the Beautiful Mind, (352) 684-0004.

• Consumer support groups, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays and 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. The group is for adults who have been diagnosed with a mental illness who are interested in speaking with others who share similar problems.

Call the Beautiful Mind at (352) 684-0004. Visit namihernandofl.org or NAMI.org .

SHINE Program Assists Seniors with Health Insurance: The Florida Department of Elder Affairs offers the free SHINE program (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) at the following locations in Hernando County:

• 11 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Brooksville Enrichment Center, Suite 120 of the Medical Arts Building at Brooksville Regional Hospital, 17222 Hospital Blvd. Call (352) 544-6022.

• Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, East Hernando Branch Library, 6457 Windmere Road, Ridge Manor West. Call (352) 754-4443.

• 11 a.m. to noon Thursdays at Spring Hill Enrichment Center, Suite 105 of the Medical Arts Building at Spring Hill Regional Hospital, 10441 Quality Drive, Spring Hill. Call (352) 684-7568.

SHINE counselors offer information and assistance with Medicare (figuring out paperwork, bills and filing appeals), Medicare supplemental insurance, Medicare prescription drug coverage, long-term care planning and pharmaceutical assistance programs.

No appointments necessary (unless otherwise noted). For information or for counseling locations outside Hernando County, call the Elder Hotline toll-free at 1-800-262-2243.

Weight Watchers: For area meetings, call toll-free 1-800-651-6000.

Brooksville

CoDA (Co-Dependents Anonymous): Words of Wisdom group, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Salvation Army Fellowship Hall, 15464 Cortez Blvd. The purpose of this program is for the development of healthy relationships and the building of self-esteem. Jackie, (352) 754-4131.

Horizon Heart Smart Support Group: 1 p.m. Tuesday, Brooksville Regional Hospital Enrichment Center, Room 120 of the Medical Arts Building, 17222 Hospital Blvd. The group will focus on congestive heart failure. Light refreshments served. Sponsored by Horizon Homecare. There is no cost to attend. Meetings are on the fourth Tuesday of each month. RSVP to Velvete Baxley, (352) 684-3550.

Smoking cessation specialist available at Health Department: Hernando County Health Department, in cooperation with Gulf Coast Area Health Education Center, offers free one-on-one counseling to help residents kick the tobacco habit. Trained tobacco cessation specialist Veronique Polo is available every Wednesday at the Brooksville clinic, 300 S Main St. She provides education, quitting strategies and support, and information and access to free nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, lozenges). For information, call (813) 929-1000 or visit gnahec.org. To schedule an appointment, call (352) 540-6800.

Take of Pounds Sensibly 208: 6 p.m. Thursdays, Gulf Ridge Park Church, 20200 Manecke Road. Linda Ward, (352) 796-1236.

Ridge Manor West

Take Off Pounds Sensibly 530: 8:15 to 10 a.m. Tuesdays, First Lutheran Church, 30419 Park Ridge Drive. Meeting starts at 9 a.m. Evelyn, (352) 796-0477.

Spring Hill

Al-Anon: Adult children focused step meeting, 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 11375 Cortez Blvd. (behind Oak Hill Hospital). Meetings are open to all Al-Anon members and anyone suffering from the confusion of being raised in a home where alcohol was a problem. Toll-free 1-888-4AL-ANON (425-2666).

Comfort for Caregivers Support Group: 11 a.m. to noon July 29, Catholic Charities, 1423 Kass Circle. Provided by HPH Hospice in partnership with Catholic Charities. This group is for caregivers for individuals with Alzheimer's or dementia. Facilitated by a licensed social worker, the group will provide information, education and emotional support for caregivers who may be feeling isolation, depression, guilt or anger. The group meets on the last Friday of each month. Contact Christine Adkins or Loraine Jones at Hospice, (352) 597-1883.

Crescent Community Clinic: The clinic, 5244 Commercial Way (Winchester Plaza), is available to uninsured adults ages 18-64 who meet the federal poverty guidelines. Services are provided the first three Saturdays of each month. Potential patients must apply for services and provide required household financial information and other documentation indicated in the application. Required documentation includes a Florida's driver's license with a Hernando County address, voter's registration card and Social Security card; proof of income, including income for each member of the household, including pensions, SSI, SSD and food stamps. Those interested must call the clinic in advance to arrange a time to come in and complete the application. After completion of the application, new patients will be given a time and date to be seen at one of the Saturday clinics. The clinic is staffed by volunteers from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Call (352) 610-9916. Existing patients must call the clinic by Monday to be on the list for the next available Saturday clinic. Patients with lab prescriptions do not have to call in advance, and may come to the clinic at 9:15 a.m. on any of the first three Saturdays of the month (except holidays). Patients needing prescription refills must have the pharmacy fax the refill request by Wednesday for Saturday prescription refill.

Free hearing screenings and ear wax removal for seniors: 10 a.m. to noon Thursdays, Spring Hill Enrichment Center, Suite 105, Medical Arts Building at Spring Hill Regional Hospital, 10441 Quality Drive, Spring Hill. No appointments necessary; first come, first served. (727) 807-7082.

Grief's Journey Bereavement Group sessions: 3 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, July 26-Sept. 13, HPH Hospice, 12260 Cortez Blvd. The group is for newly bereaved adults or those just coming to terms with their grief of a loved one. A hospice bereavement counselor will help the group understand the grief process and explore coping strategies. There is no cost to participate, but preregistration is required. Jill Wiegand, (727) 863-7971.

'How to Effectively Maneuver Through the Healthcare System' is next For Your Health seminar: 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Palace Grand, 275 Della Court. Presented by Mickey Smith, Oak Hill Hospital CEO. He will address the many concerns and ever-changing and complex healthcare system, and how those changes effect all concerned. A complimentary hot meal will be served. Sponsored by Oak Hill Hospital. Admission is free. Seating is limited and reservations are required. RSVP to (352) 597-6333.

Leukemia, Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma Support Group: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Spring Hill Moose Lodge, 5214 Mariner Blvd. Lordes Arvelo, (813) 963-6461, ext. 11, or lourdes.arvelo@lls.org. Web: lls.org.

'Look Good, Feel Better' program for female cancer patients: 3 to 5 p.m. July 28, Florida Cancer Institute-New Hope, 7154 Medical Center Drive. This free program, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, teaches beauty techniques to women cancer patients, to help combat the appearance-related side effects of treatment. Reservations required. Mary Capo, (352) 596-1926, ext. 150.

Moving On: 12:15 p.m. Thursdays, Perkins Family Restaurant, 4685 Commercial Way. This is a self-help support group for seniors who have difficulty dealing with the loss of a loved one. Marilyn, (352) 597-5315, or Rita, (352) 684-3916.

Overeaters Anonymous: Bridge to Serenity group, 1 p.m. Tuesdays, West Hernando/S.T. Foggia Branch Library, 6335 Blackbird Ave. This is a 12-step program for those suffering from compulsive overeating. There are no dues, fees or weigh-ins for this support group. Belinda, (352) 293-3455.

PFLAG Hernando: 7 p.m. Monday, Spring Hill United Church of Christ (Fellowship Hall), 4244 Mariner Blvd. PFLAG is a support group for family members and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as those facing identity issues. PFLAG is a national organization. Visit websites pflag.org and pflaghernando.org as well as on Facebook (pflaghernando). (352) 597-4041.

Spring Hill Stroke Support Group: 11 a.m. Thursdays, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive. Family and friends welcome. Coffee and cake follows the meeting. A. Schaffer, (352) 688-2594, or the church, (352) 683-9016.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly: TOPS 604, Weigh-in from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. and meeting 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Forest Oaks Lutheran Church, 8555 Forest Oaks Blvd. Learn how you can be "Queen for a Day" at the yearly Florida State Recognition Day. There is no cost to attend a meeting. TOPS is a weight-loss management program for men and women, and has a philosophy of combining healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness education and support from others. Membership dues are $26 a year ($4 per month). Doris, (352) 666-9525, or Nancy, (352) 592-1088.

'Understanding Neuropathy — The First Step on the Road to Recovery' free presentation: 2 p.m. today, Martinez Chiropractic and Wellness Center, 10520 Spring Hill Drive. Topics include the causes of neuropathy, recognizing the seven signs, and drug-free treatment options. Seating is limited. Reservations required. RSVP to Kelly, (352) 686-1686.

Weeki Wachee

Take Off Pounds Sensibly: TOPS 461, 9 to 11 a.m. Thursdays, Nativity Lutheran Church, 6363 Commercial Way. Dorothy Kuta, (352) 596-6697, or Pat Gall, (352) 688-6755. TOPS is a weight loss support group that promotes successful weight management with a philosophy that combines healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness education and support.

Send information for the Health and Support column to Phyllis Day, Hernando Times, 15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613; fax to (352) 754-6133; or e-mail pday@sptimes.com. Deadline for this news is two weeks before event or reservation deadline. Information cannot be published if the time, date, place, ticket price (if applicable) or contact person and phone number are missing. For information, call (352) 754-6101 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Health and support briefs 07/20/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 5:40pm]

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