Health and support
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 Hospital's Senior Partners Club (behind the hospital), 11361 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. Jerry Fisher, (352) 688-4537.
• 2 p.m. the third Monday of each month, Residence at Timber Pines, 3140 Forest Road, Spring Hill. Diane Koenig, (352) 683-9009. Free day care available with advanced reservations.
• 11 a.m. the first Tuesday of each month, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, 550 U.S. 41 S, Inverness. Sue Piatek, (352) 527-4600.
• 5 p.m. the fourth Tuesday, Emeritus at Barrington Place, 2341 W Norvell Bryant Highway, Lecanto. Free day care provided with advanced reservations. Sue Piatek, (352) 527-4600
• 1 p.m. the second Monday, First United Methodist Church, 8831 W Bradshaw St., Homosassa. Free day care provided with advanced reservations. Sue Piatek, (352) 527-4600.
Visit the Alzheimer's Association website at alz.org. To reach the local office, call (352) 688-4537 or toll-free 1-800-772-8672.
Alzheimer's Family Organization: Caregiver support group — 1 p.m. Mondays, Brooksville Regional Hospital, Medical Arts Building, Suite 120, 17222 Hospital Blvd., Brooksville; John Winans, (352) 232-0081.
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.
Narcotics Anonymous: For Hernando County locations, call (352) 754-7200.
National Alliance on Mental Illness/NAMI Hernando: NAMI Hernando will offer the following at the Beautiful Mind Outreach Center, 10554 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill:
• "Peer to Peer" 10-week recovery program, 6:30 p.m. Fridays, starting Jan. 18. Offered in a confidential setting and taught by two NAMI-trained peer mentors. Free. Registration required. Jeanette, (352) 410-1668.
• "Family-to-Family" 12-week course, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, starting Jan. 10. Taught by NAMI-trained family members, this program combines an instructional curriculum in a support group environment. For family members of mentally ill persons. Free. Registration required. Mariann, (352) 683-1350.
• Family support group, 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. For family members of loved ones who have a mental illness. Call the Beautiful Mind, (352) 684-0004.
• Wellness and Recovery group, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays; Wellness Support group, 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. The group is for adults living with a mental illness. Call the Beautiful Mind, (352) 684-0004.
Visit namihernandofl.org or NAMI.org.
Quit Smoking for the Holidays: The Gulfcoast North Area Health Education Center will offer the following free smoking cessation programs:
• "Quit Smoking Now" four-week tobacco cessation program, 10 to 11 a.m. Fridays, Nov. 30-Dec. 21, Hernando County Health Department, 7751 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. TParticipants can receive optional free nicotine replacement therapy, including patches, lozenges or gum.
• "Tools to Quit" will be offered at three locations: 1 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Brooksville Regional Hospital Enrichment Center, Suite 120, Medical Arts Building, 17222 Hospital Blvd., Brooksville; 2 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 11, Oak Hill Hospital H2U Partner's Club, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill (building behind the hospital); and 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Spring Hill Regional Hospital Enrichment Center, Suite 105, Medical Arts Building, 10441 Quality Drive, Spring Hill. This is one 90-minute session that helps individuals plan their quitting process by setting a quit date, establishing goals and introducing strategies that will help them succeed. Free nicotine replacement therapy is also available through this program.
For information on either program, call (813) 929-1000 or visit gnahec.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.
• 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.
• Appointments may be scheduled at the Hernando County Mining Association Enrichment Center, 800 John Gary Grubbs Blvd., Brooksville. Call (352) 544-6022.
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.
Al-Anon: Adult Children Focused Step meeting, 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Brooksville Enrichment Center, Suite 120, Medical Arts Building at Brooksville Regional Hospital, 17222 Hospital Blvd. Toll-free 1-888-425-2666.
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. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hernando Gift Room: This free service, provided by the American Cancer Society, is open noon to 4 p.m. Wednesdays at 14540 Cortez Blvd., Suite 203, in the Pinebrook Regional Medical Center, west of Brooksville. The Gift Room provides uninsured and under-insured patients with free wigs, hats and head coverings (scarves, kerchiefs, beanies and knitted caps), prosthesis and mastectomy bras, as well as emotional support for people going through chemotherapy. To learn more, call the American Cancer Society toll-free at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
Take off Pounds Sensibly 208: 6 p.m. Thursdays, Gulf Ridge Park Church, 20200 Manecke Road. Linda Ward, (352) 796-1236.
Ridge Manor West
Prostate Cancer Support Group: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Denny's Restaurant, 31015 Cortez Blvd. (352) 438-4847.
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.
Caregivers Day Out: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, First United Methodist Church, 9344 Spring Hill Drive. Provided by Community Aging and Retirement Services, the program offers a fun, supervised atmosphere for individuals with memory challenges, such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia, while caregivers take some time off. There is no cost for first-time participants; subsequent days are $20. CARES is a nonprofit organization that provides services to meet the needs of older persons and their families in west-central Florida. Dianne, (352) 686-2614, or Chris Powers, (727) 862-9291, exts. 2002 or 2040.
Comfort for Caregivers Support Group: 11 a.m. to noon today, Catholic Charities, 8370 Forest Oaks Blvd. Offered by HPH Hospice, the group is for caretakers of those with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. (352) 597-1882.
Crescent Community Clinic: The clinic, 5244 Commercial Way (Winchester Plaza), provides primary medical, dental and mental health services to uninsured adults ages 18-64 who meet the federal poverty guidelines. Those wishing to receive services from the nonprofit, volunteer-staffed clinic must first apply for services. To apply, potential patients must visit the website at crescentclinic.org and download the application on the first page. The clinic is staffed by volunteers from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays. For information, call (352) 610-9916. Potential patients are asked not to call the office for appointments.
Diabetes Mellitus Education Series presents 'Complications of Diabetes and How to Avoid Them': 5:15 to 7 p.m. today, Access Healthcare, 4270 Lake in the Woods Drive. The speaker will be Verna Pedersen Runyan, a registered nurse and nurse practitioner. This is the final presentation in the series. Seating is limited; reservations required. RSVP to Arlene, (352) 688-8116.
"Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics — Super Digestive Aids" lecture: 5:15 p.m. Dec. 6, Access Health Care, 5350 Spring Hill Drive. Presented by Dr. Maria-Scunziano-Singh. RSVP to (352) 688-8116.
Gamblers Anonymous: 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive. New members welcome. Coffee and refreshments served. (352) 688-9034.
Hernando County Ostomy Association: 7 p.m. Dec. 6, Grace Lutheran Church, 411 Mariner Blvd. (behind Compass Bank). Bob Barnard, (352) 442-9787, or Carol Krause, (352) 683-5586. The Christmas party will be at noon Dec. 20 at Kally K's. RSVP to Ellen Boldt, (352) 597-5426.
Hospice Bereavement Support Group: 3 to 4 p.m. Thursdays, HPH Hospice, 12260 Cortez Blvd. This is an ongoing bereavement support group for adults grieving the death of a loved one. There is no cost and no reservations required. Toll-free 1-800-486-8784. Web: hph-hospice.org.
'It's Not Your Mother's Hysterectomy — da Vinci Style': 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, My Gynecologist, 11175 County Line Road. Presented by Dr. Reut Bardach, a surgeon who has performed numerous surgeries utilizing the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System, which provides a minimally invasive surgical option in procedures that treat a range of gynecological conditions. There is no cost to attend, but seating is limited and reservations are required. RSVP to (352) 666-3553.
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) 593-4736, or Rita, (352) 684-3916.
Overeaters Anonymous: 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd. Option coffee and fellowship will follow the meeting. This is a newly-formed group. Ann, (352) 346-6962, or Julie, (352) 688-2877. New Beginnings group, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Fridays, also at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Betty, (352) 666-1710. This is a 12-step program for those suffering from compulsive overeating. There are no dues, fees or weigh-ins for this support group.
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.
Tai chi for Parkinson's patients: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Body Fitness, 5181 Mariner Blvd. Sponsored by USF Health and the National Parkinson Foundation. The free classes improve flexibility and balance. (352) 556-1489.
Take Off Pounds Sensibly: TOPS 746, 8:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Grace Presbyterian Church, Building B, 8375 Spring Hill Drive. Patti, (352) 597-6869, or Sue, (352) 688-5209. TOPS 604, Weigh-in from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. and meeting 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Forest Oaks Lutheran Church, 8555 Forest Oaks Blvd. Doris, (352) 666-9525, or Nancy, (352) 592-1088. 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.
Overeaters Anonymous: Bridge to Serenity group, 1 p.m. Tuesdays, Nativity Lutheran Church, 6363 Commercial Way. 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.
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.
Community Chatterboxes: 3 p.m. Dec. 6, Medical Center of Trinity, 9330 State Road 54. For those with communication deficits as a result of a cerebral vascular accident or other neurological disorders. Caregivers and spouses welcome. (727) 845-0757.
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 email email@example.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.