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Health and Support

BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKS

Blood pressure screens are provided free of charge (unless noted otherwise) at the following locations. To add a location, call Tom O'Brien, 527-5560.

Beverly Hills: Blood pressure machine locations: CVS/pharmacy, 3506 N Lecanto Highway: 746-7878; Winn-Dixie food stores, 3565 N Lecanto Highway 746-0096.

Crystal River: Blood pressure machine locations: Publix supermarket, 6760 W Gulf to Lake Highway, Crystal Springs Shopping Center 795-5393; Kmart, 1801 NW U.S. 19, Crystal River Mall 563-5995; CVS/pharmacy, 327 NE U.S. 19 795-7262. Screenings by appointment at Citrus County Health Department, 117 NW U.S. 19 795-6233 ($6).

Dunnellon: Blood pressure machine locations: Winn-Dixie food stores, 10051 S U.S. 41, 465-2002. Screenings: 10 a.m.-noon Fridays, Dunnellon Diagnostic Center, 11673 N Williams St., 489-7211.

Hernando: Blood pressure machine location: Publix supermarket, 2685 N Forest Ridge Blvd., Shoppes of Citrus Hills, 527-6554.

Homosassa: Blood pressure machine locations: CVS/pharmacy, 3950 Suncoast Blvd., 628-2479; Wal-Mart, 3826 S Suncoast Blvd., 628-4334; Winn-Dixie food stores, 3792 S Suncoast Blvd., 628-2188.

Inverness: Blood pressure machine locations: CVS/pharmacy, 602 W Main St., 726-9030; Kmart, 1660 N U.S. 41, 637-5600; Wal-Mart Supercenter, 2851 Gulf To Lake Highway, 637-2400. Screenings by appointment: Citrus County Health Department, 120 N Montgomery Ave., 726-1731 ($6); 10-11 a.m. first Friday monthly, Citrus Memorial Health System, in the hospital auditorium on Grace Street, 344-6513; 9:45-10:45 a.m. Sundays, First Presbyterian Church, 206 Washington Ave.: 637-0770.

Lecanto: Screenings by appointment, Citrus County Health Department, 3700 W Sovereign Path, 527-0068 ($6).

NUTRITION

TOPS FL607: 8-8:50 a.m. (weigh-in), 9 a.m. (meeting) Wednesdays at the Floral City Community Building, 8370 E Orange Ave., next to the library. Call 637-3433.

TOPS FL743: 7:30-8:45 a.m. (weigh-in), 9 (meeting) Wednesdays, Hernando Civic Center, 3848 E Parsons Point Road, Hernando. Call Sylvia, 637-6553, or Janet, 489-2747.

FAMILY LIFE/RELATIONSHIPS

Healthy Start: A comprehensive program of maternal and child health services, offering information about proper nutrition during pregnancy, childbirth and breast-feeding education, child development and smoking-cessation information. To see if you qualify for free Healthy Start services, call toll-free at 1-800-451-2229 or ask your doctor for the Healthy Start questionnaire.

WIC: A supplemental food and nutrition education program for Women, Infants and Children. Women who are pregnant, breast-feeding or postpartum and infants and children 5 or younger are eligible to participate. The WIC program provides vouchers for food packages. Apply at the WIC office in the county health department offices by calling Inverness, 726-5222; Lecanto, 527-8490; or Crystal River, 795-2261.

Head Start/Early Head Start: Childhood Development Services is accepting applications for children up to age 5. Call enrollment at 563-0185 or 637-3933. Also has volunteer opportunities, call 637-3933. For its job line, call toll-free 1-800-635-5437.

The Centers: Parenting program by appointment 5-7 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m.-noon Thursdays in Inverness. Free five-week class for parents of children 9 to 14 teaches how to reduce risk of drug problems including alcohol, all forms of tobacco, inhalants and all legal and illegal drugs. For appointment and directions, call Darlene Walker, 302-6650.

ADOPTION

Pregnancy and Family Life Center: The center offers free adoption services and provides counseling, labor support, financial assistance, family selection and confidentiality. Call 344-3030 or visit the center at 317 W Tompkins St., Inverness.

SHUT-INS

Senior Companion Program volunteers: Older than 60 and want to earn some extra income while helping fellow senior citizens? Income-eligible Senior Companion Program volunteers receive a stipend, mileage reimbursement, an annual physical, supplemental accident and liability insurance, preservice and ongoing training and recognition events. Eligible annual income levels cannot exceed $12,250 per person or $16,500 per couple. Volunteers undergo 40 hours of paid training and serve an average of 20 hours per week providing companionship, respite care and escorted transportation for clients. Volunteers do not need medical or technical skills. For information, call Sue Carscadden, 527-5959.

CAREGIVERS

National Caregiver Support Program: provides information, education, support groups, respite and other services for caregivers of persons 60 and older or grandparents 60 and older raising a grandchild. Information available 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, call the Elder Helpline toll-free, 1-800-963-5337.

ELDER AFFAIRS

Medicare counseling: Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, or SHINE, has trained volunteers to offer free, unbiased, confidential assistance to Medicare recipients with Medicare billing problems, denial of claims, Medigap Supplemental and PPO plans, Medicare Part D, long-term care insurance and Medicaid entitlements. SHINE is administered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and overseen by Medicare. For an appointment at Citrus Memorial Health System SHARE Club 9 a.m.-noon Mondays, call 344-6513 (SHARE Club affiliation not required). For an appointment at other Citrus County sites, leave your name and telephone number with Citrus County Senior Care Services, 527-5930. A SHINE representative will return your call. No appointment required: noon-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Citrus County Resource Center, Suite B-129, 2804 W Marc Knighton Court, Lecanto; 9 a.m.-noon first and third Fridays at Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center (check in at the volunteer desk in the lobby).

Volunteers needed: SHINE offers free comprehensive training for its program volunteers. Call toll-free 1-800-963-5337.

MENTAL HEALTH

The Centers: Offers outpatient mental health therapy for adults and children in an individual or group setting. An anger management class for adults and children is forming. Medicaid and most insurance accepted. Call 628-5020.

The Drop In Center: Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 107 Martin Luther King Blvd., Inverness. Facility provides opportunities for those with mental illness to independently develop, operate and participate in social, recreational and networking activities. Call 726-6477 or 628-5020.

DISABILITIES

Families and Friends of Retarded Adults: Coffee and refreshments served at 9 a.m., business meeting at 9:30 a.m., educational program at 10 a.m. Dec. 8, Chet Cole Life Enrichment Center, Key Training Center, 5521 W Buster Whitton Way, Lecanto. Drawing for bicycle and barbecue raffles at 11 a.m., for tickets ($1 each, seven for $5, 15 for $10, 35 for $20) call Dave Deso, 634-2528. FFRA is an organization benefitting mentally disabled adults and their families/guardians providing information, support and activities. Call Stephanie, 344-0288; or Joan, 344-9580; or Carol, 746-6325.

Social support group for those with disabilities: 9:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesdays, Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida, 3774 W Gulf to Lake Highway, Lecanto. Meetings provide a social environment without regard to the type of disability and offers activities including arts and crafts, games and drawing. Group is sponsored by Citrus County Student Transition and Resource Team Committee and the Center for Independent Living of North Central Florida.

ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE/DEMENTIA

Memory mobile: The Alzheimer's Association, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter offers free information and referral service, consultation, safe return and/or memory screening for caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease or memory related disorders. Its memory mobile is available 10 a.m.-2 p.m.: Monday,Citrus County Resource Center, 2804 W Marc Knighton Court, Lecanto; Tuesday, Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center, 6201 N Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River; Wednesday, Crystal River Health & Rehabilitation Center, 136 NE 12th Ave., Crystal River; Thursday, Arbor Trail Rehab & Skilled Nursing Center, 611 Turner Camp Road, Inverness. Call Jerry Fisher, 688-4537.

Wanderers identification program: The Alzheimer's Family Organization offers a program that provides people with memory disorders an identification bracelet or pendant with a code number and direct telephone number to the participating sheriff's office. If that person becomes lost or wanders away, he or she can be identified through a shared database of essential patient information and caregiver contacts. The program is free for members (membership is $30); nonmembers $20. Call toll-free, 1-888-496-8004.

Respite reimbursement: Alzheimer's Family Organization offers monetary reimbursement for respite costs through its assistance program for patients with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. The organization also provides national respite resources that can reimburse costs to caregivers. The free program is available to residents of Citrus, Pasco, Hernando, Sumter and Lake counties. Call (727) 848-8888 or toll-free, 1-888-496-8004.

Alzheimer's support: The Alzheimer's Family Organization offers the following support group. For information on the groups or respite care, call 795-9500, toll-free 1-888-496-8004 or the number indicated.

- Hernando: 10 a.m. Thursday, Woodland Terrace, 124 W Norvell Bryant Highway: 249-3100.

- Homosassa: 2:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Sugarmill Manor, 8985 S Suncoast Blvd.: 382-2531.

- Inverness : 2 p.m. Dec. 19, Highland Terrace, 700 Medical Court E.: 860-2525.

Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association is at 4108 Lamson Ave., Spring Hill. For information and referral, care consultations, caregiver training, support group meetings, respite care assistance and safe return, call toll free, 1-800-772-8672. The Florida Gulf Coast Chapter offers the following support groups:

- Inverness: 11 a.m. first Tuesday monthly, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, 550 U.S. 41 S. Call Wendy Hall, 527-4600.

- Lecanto: 2 p.m. second Tuesday monthly, Surrey Place, 2730 W Marc Knighton Court. Call Paula Hum, 746-9500.

HOSPICE

Holiday grief workshops: Hernando-Pasco Hospice Citrus team offers free grief workshops at 3 and 6 p.m. Dec. 12 in the community room, Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center, 6201 N Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River. Presenters will offer tips to guide participants in coping with grief during the holidays. To register call 527-4600.

Bereavement Support Group of Hernando-Pasco Hospice: Meets at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, Central Citrus Community Center, 2804 Marc Knighton Court, Lecanto. For information call Jennifer Forte, 527-4600.

Volunteer training: Hernando-Pasco Hospice offers volunteer training 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 6 and 8, HPH office, 2417 N Lecanto Highway, Lecanto. Volunteers visit one or more patients in their area for a few hours weekly and read aloud, talk, do crossword puzzles or just quietly sit with patients. Volunteers can help in the office answering phones, filing, preparing mailing or working on the computer. Call Carl, 527-4600.

Holiday grief workshops: Hospice of Citrus County offers free "Surviving the Holidays" grief workshops 1-3:30 p.m. Dec. 5, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 6 Roosevelt Blvd., Beverly Hills; 6-8 p.m. Dec. 5, Unity Church of Citrus County, 2628 Woodview Ave., Beverly Hills; 1-3:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Hospice office, 326 S line Ave., Inverness; 1-3:30 p.m. Dec. 7, First United Methodist Church, 8831 W Bradshaw St., Homosassa. Presenters will provide helpful hints to guide participants through the grieving process, ways to reduce stress associated with coping and adjustment and provide information on community resources. For information, call 527-2020.

Hospice support group/social support: Hospice of Citrus County offers weekly meetings of social fellowship and/or support groups for individuals of hospice and nonhospice families. Call for schedule of workshops for the newly bereaved, 527-2020.

- Beverly Hills: Spouse support group meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Unity Church of Citrus County, 2628 W Woodview Lane; grief support group 11 a.m. Tuesdays, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 6 Roosevelt Blvd.

- Homosassa: Support group at 1:30 p.m. Thursdays, St. Thomas Catholic Church, 7040 S Suncoast Blvd.; support group at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays, First United Methodist Church, 8831 W Bradshaw St.; spouse support group at 7 p.m. Thursdays, First United Methodist Church, 8831 W Bradshaw St.

- Crystal River: Movin' On social support at 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Crystal Paradise, 508 N Citrus Ave.; support group for bereaved parents 7 p.m. the second Wednesday monthly, First Presbyterian Church, 1501 SE U.S. 19.

- Inverness: Grief support at 10 a.m. Wednesdays, First Presbyterian Church, 206 Washington Ave.; newly bereaved support group 10 a.m. Thursdays, Hospice of Citrus County Clinical Office, 326 S Line Ave.; Movin' On social support group 4 p.m. Fridays, Cinnamon Sticks restaurant, 2120 State Road 44 W.

- Camp Good Hope: For ages 6-17 who have lost a family member or friend. Call for details, 527-2020.

LOSS

Grief support group meets: If you have suffered the loss of a loved one or have some other cause of sadness, join Bud and Jean High from 1 to 3 p.m. Mondays at Hernando United Methodist Church, 2125 E Norvell Bryant Highway, Hernando. Call Betty at the church, 726-7245, leave your name and phone number.

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

Look good, feel better: A free two-hour makeup and wig demonstration for cancer patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy or those within six months posttreatment at 10 a.m. third Friday monthly, Lakes Region Library, 1511 Druid Road, Inverness. Patients receive a free makeup kit donated by the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association, turbans and caps donated by the local American Sewing Guild. For a reservation, call toll-free, 1-800-395-5665.

CASA

Domestic abuse: The Citrus Abuse Shelter Association offers Women's Domestic Abuse Support Groups at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Child care available during evening sessions. Meetings and child care are free. For locations, call CASA at 344-8111.

VICTIMS' RIGHTS

Center For Victim Rights: Independent victim advocate offers free assistance to victims of violent crime and their families, and access to resources that can assist them in time of crisis. Speakers are available for groups wanting to know about victims' rights. For information, call the center, 628-6481.

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