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Health and Support

By TIMES WIRES
Published February 5, 2007


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.

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

Need a ride?: Skillbank is a nonprofit group of volunteer drivers that will chauffeur Beverly Hills residents who can no longer drive to the doctor, pharmacy for prescriptions or grocery store. One trip a week permitted; call several days in advance of the appointment. Call 746-5001 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Free taxi ride: Senior citizens receive a free taxi ride to doctor's appointments 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays in Inverness. Limited time promotional offer. Call 564-8294.

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. Medical and technical skills not required. 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).

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. second Friday monthly, Chet Cole Life Enrichment Center, Key Training Center, 5521 W Buster Whitton Way, Lecanto. Guest speaker will be Jonathan Beard from Hospice discussing dealing with death and grief, for families and their disabled loved ones. FFRA is an organization benefitting mentally disabled adults and their families and guardians providing information, support and activities. Call Ron Phillips, president 382-7819.

ALZHEIMER'S/DEMENTIA

Respite care and support: offered by Citrus County Support Services and Catholic Charities for people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease or other dementia-related illnesses. The four-hour respite care program meets at 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Our Lady of Grace Parish Center, 6 Roosevelt Blvd., Beverly Hills. The two-hour support group, in coordination with the respite care program, meets at 12:30 p.m. the last Wednesday monthly. The respite care fee may be reimbursed. For information, call Bobbie Sharp 527-5940, Citrus County Support Services.

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. Feb. 22, Woodland Terrace, 124 W Norvell Bryant Highway: 249-3100.

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

- Inverness : 2 p.m. Feb. 20, Highland Terrace, 700 Medical Court E.: 860-2525.

HOSPICE/LOSS

Transitions Grief Support Groups: for adults who have experienced a loss at 3 or 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Feb. 27, Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center, Medical Offices building, 6201 N Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River. Offered by Hernando-Pasco Hospice and facilitated by a trained bereavement counselor. Limited seating; to register, call 527-4600.

Volunteer training: Hernando-Pasco Hospice offers volunteer training 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 13 and 15, Sugar Mill Manor, 8985 S Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa. 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, writing letters or working on the computer. Call Carl, 527-4600.

Hospice training for new volunteers: 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, First Baptist Church of Beverly Hills, 4950 N Lecanto Highway, County Road 491. Participants receive an overview of the hospice philosophy and history, become acquainted with Hospice of Citrus County services available to patients and their families, become familiar with the concept of palliative care and learn the importance of confidentiality. For information, or to register call Judy Knowlton, 527-6613.

Grief seminar: Hospice of Citrus County and Central Florida Community College offer a free four-part program titled "Good Grief" 5:30-7 p.m. Mondays, begins Feb. 12, CFCC, 3800 S Lecanto Highway, Lecanto. Jonathan Beard, manager of Wings Grief Support Team, will provide helpful hints to guide participants through the grieving process. Register by calling Beard, 527-2020.

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

- Beverly Hills: Grief support group 11 a.m. Tuesdays, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 6 Roosevelt Blvd.

- 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.

- 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 4 p.m. Thursdays, First United Methodist Church, 8831 W Bradshaw St.

- Inverness: Grief support group 10 a.m. Tuesdays, Hospice of Citrus County Clinical Office, 326 S Line Ave.; newly bereaved support group 1 p.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.

- Lecanto: Spouse support group meets at 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Unity Church of Citrus County, 2628 W Woodview Lane.

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

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

Look good, feel better: A free two-hour makeup and wig demonstration for women undergoing radiation or chemotherapy or those within six months post treatment at 3 p.m. second Wednesday monthly, Cancer and Blood Disease Center, 521 N Lecanto Highway, County Road 491 N, Lecanto. 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. Free child care available during evening sessions. 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. Speakers are available for groups wanting to know about victims' rights. For information, call the center, 628-6481.