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Health and support

Published April 12, 2007



Alcoholics Anonymous: For Hernando County locations, call 683-4597.

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

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

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

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

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

Alzheimer's Family Organization: The following programs are offered through the Alzheimer's Family Organization to residents of Hernando, Citrus, Pasco, Sumter and Lake counties:

- Caregiver support groups, 2 p.m. Tuesday, Brookridge Clubhouse, 8150 Hampton St., Brookridge; Maria Curley, 727 856-2196. 1 p.m. April 25, Hernando Beach Club, 3165 Flamingo Blvd., Hernando Beach; Betty Breeden, 596-2442. Weekly meetings, 1 p.m. Mondays, Spring Hill Enrichment Center (behind Oak Hill Hospital), 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill; Maria Curley, (727) 856-2196.

- Alzheimer's Caregiver Day, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20, Pasco Regional Medical Center, 13100 Fort King Road, Dade City. Registration is required by Friday. The cost is $10 for AFO members, $15 for nonmembers. Free respite care available. Toll-free 1-888-496-8004 or (727) 848-8888.

- Respite Assistance Program - 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 Program - This program 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, he or she can be easily identified through a shared database that houses 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, which is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, by calling toll-free 1-800-963-5337. Through the National Caregiver Support Program, resources available 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

Emergency Home Energy Assistance for the Elderly Program: This program is 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. An energy crisis is a shutoff or impending shutoff of electricity, a lack of heating supplies or a broken heating system. 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.

The Mid-Florida area Agency on Aging is a nonprofit organization in Gainesville that serves 16 counties, including Hernando, as an advocate and focal point to develop coordinated and comprehensive services for the elderly.

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.

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.

Narcotics Anonymous: For Hernando County locations, call 754-7200.

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 of Hernando County, call the Elder Hotline toll-free at 1-800-262-2243.

Weight Watchers: For Hernando County locations, call toll-free 1-800-651-6000.


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

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

Ridge Manor/Ridge Manor West

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

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.

"The Causes of Low Back Pain and Treatment Options" is next For Your Health seminar: 3:30 to 5 p.m. April 24, Oak Hill Hospital, Hernando Medical Center, fourth floor classroom, 11375 Cortez Blvd. The speaker is Deborah H. Tracy, M.D., who is a board-certified in anesthesiology and pain management. Complimentary refreshments will be served. Seating is limited, and reservations are advised. 597-6333.

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. today, Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 11375 Cortez Blvd. Diane, 592-9924.

"Diabetes: Head to Toe" Seminar: 3 p.m. April 26, Hernando Endoscopy and Surgery Center's conference center, Hernando Medical Park, 12208 Cortez Blvd. The speaker will be podiatrist John Baker, who will discuss diabetes and the foot. Refreshments will be served. The seminar is free, but seating is limited and reservations are required. 596-4999.

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

Hernando-Pasco Hospice to provide "Transitions" Grief Group: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays, April 17-June 5, at the team office at 12260 Cortez Blvd. Transitions is a free eight-week bereavement group for adults and is led by a hospice bereavement counselor. Preregistration is requested. Toll-free 1-800-486-8784.

Lighthouse for the Visually Impaired and Blind to host Low Vision Awareness Day 2007: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 20, Grace Presbyterian Church, 8375 Spring Hill Drive. Dr. Thomas G. Ward will speak on "Treating Macular Degeneration and Other Diseases" at 9 a.m. There will also be two seminars, "12 Days of Classes at the Lighthouse" and "Will Magnifiers Help You?" The event will include a variety of exhibits from agencies and companies, such as Optelec, Division of Blind Services, Comfort Keepers, Hernando-Pasco Hospice, Trans-Hernando and United Way. Suncoast Eye Center will offer free glaucoma screenings and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services will provide free hearing screenings. There is no cost to attend. 754-1132.

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.

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.

Survivors Grief Support Group: 1 to 2 p.m. Fridays, Oak Hill Hospital conference room (near the cafeteria), 11375 Cortez Blvd. Rose, 596-6752, or Dee, 686-3196.

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.

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, or call 596-1388.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nativity Lutheran Church, 6363 Commercial Way. Judy Phelps, 666-6885.

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 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.

[Last modified April 11, 2007, 23:51:14]

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