Health and support

Published April 5, 2007

Alzheimer's Association: Caregiver support groups are offered at several locations:

- 2:30 p.m. first Friday of each month, Lykes Memorial Library, 238 Howell Ave., Brooksville. Jerry Fisher, 688-4537.

- 2 p.m. second Thursday of each month, Spring Oaks, 7251 Grove Road, Brooksville. Marty Glass, 592-1150.

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

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

Alzheimer's Family Organization: The following 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, Spring Hill Enrichment Center behind Oak Hill Hospital, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill; Maria Curley, (727) 856-2196.

- Respite assistance: Respite assistance is provided 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: Provides the person with a memory disorder with an identifying bracelet or pendant with a code number and direct telephone number to the participating sheriff's office. If the person becomes lost or wanders from home, they can be easily identified through a shared database that contains essential patient information and caregiver contacts.

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

American Cancer Society needs volunteers for Road to Recovery program: There is a desperate need for drivers for the Road to Recovery program in Hernando County. Volunteer drivers provide transportation for local cancer patients to and from chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Schedules are flexible and training is provided. Requirements include a safe driving record, valid driver's license, insurance and a smoke-free vehicle in good running condition. Call Joan at 799-9078.

Elder Helpline: The Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging provides the Elder Helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, by calling toll-free 1-800-963-5337. Through the National Caregiver Support Program, resources include information, education, support groups, respite and other services for caregivers of persons 60 or older and grandparents 60 and older who are raising grandchildren. Visit the Web site at www.mfaaa.org.

Emergency home energy assistance for the elderly: A service provided by the Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging. It provides one-time assistance for households with both an energy crisis and a member who is 60 or older. The program helps the household by providing assistance with paying the electric bill, buying heating supplies or fixing the heating system.

To be eligible, the household must meet income guidelines by household size. To find a service provider or apply for the program, call the Elder Helpline toll-free at 1-800-963-5337.

Free antibiotic drug program: Sunshine Wellness Center has a free antibiotic drug program that covers leading, oral generic antibiotics, with a special focus on prescriptions most often filled for children. There is no membership fee or fees. The center is located at 90 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Brooksville. 796-7200.

Hernando County Health Department: The department offers the following services:

Free childhood vaccines-immunizations, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays (except Thursdays) at the Brooksville and Spring Hill offices. Bring immunization records to determine what vaccines a child requires. Appointments not necessary.

Freedom from Smoking: The American Lung Association's smoking cessation program. The clinic runs for seven weeks, one meeting per week, except for "quit week," when two meetings are scheduled (meetings are 1 1/2 hours each). The cost is $25. Call for class schedule, location. Becky Martin, 540-6800, ext. 82148.

Health Department offices are at 300 S Main St., Brooksville, and 7465 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. For information, call the Health Department at 540-6800.

Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind needs volunteer van drivers: Volunteer drivers are needed to drive Lighthouse vans to transport clients to and from classes each week. Drivers are asked to do one run per week, picking up four to five people in the Spring Hill and Brooksville areas. The Lighthouse is a nonprofit organization that provides blind and visually impaired individuals with the skills needed to achieve maximum independence. The Lighthouse's Hernando County facility is on California Street in Brooksville. Those interested in volunteering as a van driver, or for information, call Dawn at 754-1132.

National Alliance on Mental Illness/NAMI Hernando: NAMI Hernando offers the following:

- The Beautiful Mind consumer-run drop-in center, 10554 Spring Hill Drive (Brothers I and II Plaza), Spring Hill. This is a self-help rehabilitation and recreation center for consumers and provides support groups, computer classes, bingo, arts and crafts, speakers and social activities. Call the center at 684-0004, or Darlene at 686-0004.

- Consumer Friendship Group meets 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays at the Beautiful Mind. This is an informal group for those with mental illness to visit and socialize. Call the center.

- Family Support Group, 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays (meets separately from the friendship group), at the Beautiful Mind. This is a group for families of the mentally ill to exchange insights about mental illness and learn how others are coping. Call Darlene, 686-0004.

- Visit the Web site at www.namihernando.org

Reach for Recovery: Individuals newly diagnosed with breast cancer may receive information and support through this American Cancer Society program. Call toll-free 1-800-227-9954; those who ask to be contacted by Reach to Recovery can have a trained volunteer provide a one-on-one visit. The program is free.

Senior Rx Assistance: For Hernando County residents 60 or older who need financial assistance in purchasing prescription medications. For details, call 597-6331 or stop by the Oak Hill Enrichment Center, 11375 Cortez Blvd. (behind the hospital), Spring Hill. This is a nonprofit organization; donations are tax-deductible.

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 Thursdays at Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 11375 Cortez Blvd. (behind Oak Hill Hospital), Spring Hill.

- 11 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Brooksville Enrichment Center, 670 S Broad St., Brooksville.

- 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., East Hernando Branch Library, 6457 Windmere Road, Ridge Manor West.

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 are necessary. For information or for counseling locations outside Hernando County, call the Elder Hotline toll-free at 1-800-262-2243.


Alcoholics Anonymous: Open speaker group, 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Aripeka Community Center, Osowaw Boulevard. 683-4597.


Alcoholics Anonymous: Sunset group, 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, Christ Lutheran Church, 475 W North Ave. Women's group, 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays, St. John's Episcopal Church, 200 S Brooksville Ave., Brooksville; 544-8227. Back to Basics, 7 p.m. Tuesdays, the Harbor, 7074 Grove Road (across from Springbrook Hospital). Garden Grove group, open speaker's meeting, 8 p.m. the last Saturday of each month, First Presbyterian Church, 250 Bell Ave. Heavy Hitters group, 8 p.m. Wednesdays, First Presbyterian Church, 250 Bell Ave. Welcome group, 8 p.m. Thursdays, St. John's Episcopal Church, 200 S Brooksville Ave. TGIF group, 8 p.m. Fridays, First Presbyterian Church, 250 Bell Ave. 683-4597.

Al-Anon: Spring Lake AFG Group, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Spring Lake United Methodist Church, 4191 Spring Lake Highway. Carolyn, 799-1513.

Co-Dependents Anonymous: Words of Wisdom group, 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Salvation Army Fellowship Hall, 15464 Cortez Blvd. This is a 12-step program geared toward the development of healthy relationships and the building of self-esteem. Step work is done on the first Wednesday of each month. Newcomers are welcome. Joan, 597-3926.

Grief Share Sessions: 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Brooksville Wesleyan Church, 8168 Jasmine Dr. Sessions designed for individuals who have recently lost a loved one. Open to the public. 799-3066.

Narcotics Anonymous: Stairway to Serenity group (open discussion), 8 p.m. Fridays, Faith Fellowship Church, 19255 Camp Ground Road. Open discussion group, noon Tuesday, Faith Fellowship Church. Just for Today group (closed discussion book study), 8 p.m. Tuesdays, First United Methodist Church, 109 Broad St.; open discussion meetings are at 8 p.m. Thursdays at First United Methodist. Stairway to Serenity-Newcomers Meeting (open discussion), 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Faith Fellowship Church, 19255 Camp Ground Road. 754-7200.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly 208: 6 p.m. today, Gulf Ridge Park Baptist Church, 20200 Manecke Road. Linda, 796-1236.

Weight Watchers: 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursdays, First United Methodist Church, 109 S Broad St. Meetings open 30 minutes early for weighing in. Toll-free 1-800-651-6000.

Hernando Beach

Alcoholics Anonymous: Open discussion, noon Tuesdays, First Baptist Church of Hernando Beach, 4446 Shoal Line Blvd. 683-4597.

Ridge Manor/ Ridge Manor West

Alcoholics Anonymous: 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Ridge Manor Community Center, Cortez Boulevard. 683-5497.

Narcotics Anonymous: Getting Better Group (open discussion), 7 p.m. Sundays, Ridge Manor Community Center, 34240 Cortez Blvd. 754-7200.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly 530: 8:15 to 10 a.m. Tuesdays, First Lutheran Church of Ridge Manor West, 30419 Park Ridge Drive. Eve, 796-0477.

Spring Hill

Al-Anon/Alateen Groups: Harmony Al-Anon family group, 7 p.m. Mondays, Spring Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center, 12170 Cortez Blvd. Use rear building entrance, Unit One, Activity Room. 683-4597. Al-Anon Family Group-Adult Children of Alcoholics, 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Spring Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center. 683-3987. Spring Hill New Beginnings Alateen/Alanon, 7:30 p.m. (for beginners) and 8 p.m. (general meeting) Wednesdays, St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church, Cabrini Center Room 7, 5030 Mariner Blvd. Al-Anon Serenity group, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Fridays, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd. 683-4597.

Alcoholics Anonymous: Tranquility group, 7:15 p.m. Mondays, Grace Presbyterian Church, 8375 Spring Hill Drive. Fun & Frolic group, 11 a.m. Thursdays, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd. Living Sober group, 8 p.m. Thursdays, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Friendship group, 8 p.m. Fridays, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. 683-4597.

Alzheimer's Disease: What Caregivers Need to Know: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 18, Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane. Sponsored by the University of South Florida Suncoast Alzheimer's and Gerontology Center. The program is for individuals caring for a family member or friend with Alzheimer's disease. Topics will include: understanding Alzheimer's disease, progress in treatment, communication strategies, managing troublesome behaviors, legal and financial information and coping strategies for caregivers. The program and lunch are free. Advanced registration is needed. Eileen Poiley, (813) 974-4355 or toll-free at 1-800-633-4563.

Care Connection/Care Too: Respite-social program for people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease or other memory-related illnesses, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, Catholic Charities, 1423 Kass Circle. 686-9897.

Christian-based Addictions Recovery Group: 7 p.m. Tuesdays, First Baptist Church of Spring Hill, 7279 Pinehurst Drive (at Cobblestone Drive). Frank, 442-1314.

Compassionate Friends: 7 p.m. April 12, Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 11375 Cortez Blvd. Diane, 592-9924.

Gamblers Anonymous: 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive. Call toll-free 1-800-397-9843.

La Leche League of Hernando County: 6 p.m. Monday, Oak Hill Hospital, Cafeteria Conference Room 2, 11375 Cortez Blvd. The topic will be The Art of Breastfeeding/Avoiding Difficulties. This is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing information, support, encouragement and education to women who want to breast-feed their babies. The group leader is Cherish Nero, (727) 856-8693 or cherishnero@yahoo.com.

Moving On: 12:15 p.m. Thursdays, Perkins Family Restaurant, 4685 Commercial Way. This is a self-help organization for seniors or others who have difficulty dealing with the loss of a loved one. An optional lunch will follow the meeting. Marilyn, 597-5315, or Bill, 683-7409.

Narcotics Anonymous: Let It Go group (open discussion), 7:30 p.m. Mondays, Hope Community Bible Church, 13241 Spring Hill Drive. Vision of Hope group (closed discussion book study), 7 p.m. Sundays, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd. Work Your Program group, 8 p.m. Fridays, Grace Lutheran Church, 411 Mariner Blvd. The Last Straw group, 8:30 p.m. Saturdays, A Club, 18922 Titus Road, off County Line Road. 754-7200.

Overeaters Anonymous: 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mondays, Spring Hill Health and Rehab, 12170 Cortez Blvd.; Pat, 688-1236, or Ernie, 596-4082. 1 to 2:30 p.m. Fridays, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd.; Pat, 688-1236, or Dee, 686-4213.

Professional counseling services: Catholic Charities offers professional counseling services at its Hernando Area Center, 1423 Kass Circle. The counseling services are available to individuals, couples, families and children experiencing a broad range of personal, relationship and family problems. Sessions are provided on a sliding fee scale to ensure mental health services are available to those in need. Daytime and evening appointments are available. Marty, 686-9897, ext. 1.

Road to Recovery: 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays, Northcliffe Baptist Church, 10515 Northcliffe Blvd. This is a Christ-centered recovery program that offers healing for addictive behaviors, hang-ups and hurts. The program is sponsored by the church. Steve Celinski, 683-5882, or www.nbchurch.org.

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

Take Off Pounds Sensibly: TOPS 604, weigh-in from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. and meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Regency Oaks clubhouse, 4445 Breakwater Blvd.; Doris, 666-9525, or Nancy, 592-1088. TOPS 701, weigh-in at 9 a.m. and meeting at 9:30 a.m. Fridays, United Methodist Church, Shady Hills Road; Beverly, (727) 856-2436, or June (727) 856-4988. TOPS 716, 10 a.m. Fridays, Fellowship Wesleyan Methodist Church, 11250 Spring Hill Drive; 683-2063 or 686-0261. TOPS 746, weigh-in from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m., followed by the meeting until about 10 a.m., First United Methodist Church, 9344 Spring Hill Drive (Room 3). Jean, 683-8799, or Mary, (727) 869-1814.

Weight Watchers: 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Saturdays, Suncoast Elementary School, 11135 Quality Drive. 10 a.m. Tuesdays and 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Spring Hill Community Center, 1202 Kenlake Ave. 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Mondays and 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Fridays, Senior Citizens Center, 7925 Rhanbouy Road. Meetings open 30 minutes early for weighing in. Toll-free 1-800-651-6000.

Women to Women Breast Cancer Support Group: Meetings are scheduled for Fridays at the Medical Arts Professional Health Services, 10441 Quality Drive. This group is for women 40 and older who are in treatment or about to finish, who will share information and help one another along the way. Those interested can call 683-1842 (between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays) for details.

Weeki Wachee

Celebrate Recovery: 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays, Christian Church in the Wildwood, 10051 Country Road, off Commercial Way, Weeki Wachee. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered 12-step program. Men's and women's discussion groups are offered. Visit the Web site at www.celebraterecovery or www.ccwildwood.com, or call 596-1388.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly: TOPS 461, 9 a.m. Thursdays, Nativity Lutheran Church, 6363 Commercial Way. Marilyn, 686-5120, or Dorothy, 596-6697. TOPS 547, weigh-in from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m. and meeting at 9:30 a.m. Fridays, Nativity Lutheran Church. Betty, 686-8719.

Information for the Health and Support column should be submitted to Phyllis Day, Hernando Times, 15365 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613. Information can be faxed to 754-6133 or e-mailed to day@sptimes.com The deadline for this news is seven working days before your 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 about the Health and Support column, call 754-6101 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.