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, Lykes Memorial Library, 238 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Jerry Fisher, (352) 688-4537.
• 2 p.m. the third Monday, Residence at Timber Pines, 3140 Forest Road, Spring Hill. Diane Koenig, (352) 683-9009. Free day care available with advance reservations.
• 11 a.m. the first Tuesday, 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 advance 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 advance 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 groups — 1 p.m. Mondays, Brooksville Regional Hospital, Medical Arts Building, Suite 120, 17222 Hospital Blvd., Brooksville; John Winans, (352) 232-0081. 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Spring Hill Regional Hospital Medical Arts Building, Suite 105, 10441 Quality Drive, Spring Hill; Marilu Gibson, (352) 688-5758.
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.
Family Planning Assistance offered at Hernando County Health Department: Family planning services are available at both the Brooksville office at 300 S Main St., and the Spring Hill office at 7551 Forest Oaks Blvd. Family planning strategies are offered to help prevent unintended pregnancies, including teen pregnancy. Visits include testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, along with education on preventing infections. All services are based on FDA-approved methods, which include: condoms, birth control pills, Depo-Provera, IUDs, diaphragms, as well as abstinence and natural family planning methods; counseling regarding vasectomy services; pregnancy testing; and comprehensive exams. Fees are based on client income; there is no charge for those with incomes up to 100 percent above the federal poverty level. For information or to schedule an appointment, call (352) 540-6800.
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, unless otherwise noted:
• Family to Family class, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, starting Sept. 6. This is a free 12-week program designed to foster learning, healing and empowerment among families, friends and caregivers of individuals with mental illness. Course elements include coping skills, handling periods of crisis and relapse, up-to-date information on medications, guidance on locating appropriate resources, and caring for the caregiver. To register, call Mariann at (352) 683-1350.
• Educational meeting, 7 p.m. Sept. 11. The speaker will be Denise Szulis, who will discuss "The Dangers of Synthetic Drugs." Szulis, an educator and counselor, has worked with at-risk youth in Pasco County for 15 years.
• "Basics" class, 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, starting Sept. 12, at Moton Elementary School, 7175 Emerson Road, Brooksville. This is a free six-week course for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. The class will provide education and understanding of the diagnosis, and is taught by parents with similar experiences. To register, call Dawn at (352) 232-5148.
The following are offered weekly:
• Perinatal/postpartum depression support group, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays. Conducted by a licensed counselor. To register, call Mariann Eckman, (352) 683-1350 or the Beautiful Mind, (352) 684-0004.
• 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.
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 and bills and filing appeals), Medicare supplemental insurance, Medicare prescription drug coverage, longterm 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. Email 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 underinsured 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 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.
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, ext. 2002 or 2040.
Comfort for Caregivers Support Group: 11 a.m. to noon Aug. 30, Catholic Charities, 8370 Forest Oaks Blvd. This group, provided by HPH Hospice, is for those caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. The group meets on the last Thursday of each month. Free. (352) 597-1882.
Crescent Community Clinic: The clinic, 5244 Commercial Way (Winchester Plaza), provides primary medical, dental and mental health services to uninsured adults age 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 not to call the office for appointments.
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.
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.
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. hph-hospice.org.
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. Optional coffee and fellowship will follow the meeting. This is a new 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 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. Visitors are welcome to the first meeting free. TOPS is a weight-loss management program for men and women, and it has a philosophy of combining healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness education and support from others. Doris, (352) 666-9525, or Nancy, (352) 592-1088.
Grief Share: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Christian Church in the Wildwood, 10051 Country Road. The support program, which started this week, is for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. The cost is $16 for the workbook. (352) 596-1388, ext. 224. ccwildwood.com.
Divorce Care: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, starting Sept. 5, Christian Church in the Wildwood, 10051 Country Road. This is a support group for those who are divorced or separated. There is no cost for the class, but the workbook is $16. Free child care and youth programs offered. (352) 596-1388, ext. 224. ccwildwood.com.
Hope and Help for Single Moms: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Christian Church in the Wildwood, 10051 Country Road. The group started this week. The cost is $10 for the workbook. (352) 596-1388, ext. 224. ccwildwood.com.
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.
Living Healthy, a Chronic Disease Self-Management Program: 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays, starting Sept. 5, Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, Shoreline Cafeteria conference room, 14000 Fivay Road. This is a free, six-week program. Workshops facilitated by two trained leaders. One or both are non-health professionals with chronic diseases; the master trainer and certified leader will be provided by Community Aging and Retirement Services (CARES). Topics include techniques to deal with problems such as frustration, fatigue, pain and isolation; appropriate exercise; appropriate use of medications; communication with family, friends and health professionals; nutrition; and how to evaluate new treatments. Class size is limited and reservations are a must. RSVP to (727) 869-5498 or toll-free 1-877-442-2362.
Send information for the Health and Support column to Phyllis Day, Hernando Times, 15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613; fax (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.