Health and support

Published April 26, 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 - 1 p.m. Mondays, Spring Hill Enrichment Center behind Oak Hill Hospital, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill; Maria Curley, (727) 856-2196.

- 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, that person 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 www.mfaaa.org.

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 at 90 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Brooksville. 796-7200.

Hernando County Health Department: The local Health 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 which vaccines a child requires. Appointments not necessary.

"Freedom from Smoking" program. This is 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.

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

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.

- A Speakers Group is available to area church, civic and social organizations. Call Darlene, 686-0004.

- Visit the Web site at www.namihernando.org.

News Service for the Blind: The Hernando-East Pasco chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Florida offers a free Newsline service, an electronic text-to-speech national network that delivers both national and local newspapers, using synthetic speech, over conventional local telephone lines. The service is geared for the blind and print-impaired. Seven Florida newspapers are available through Newsline, including the St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Tribune, Bradenton Herald, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel, Tallahassee Democrat and Palm Beach Post. Users also have access to USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, Washington Post and New York Times. To enroll, call the Florida Talking-Book Library toll-free 1-800-226-6075. For information, call David Bearden at 754-2808 or Susan Cook at 584-0263.

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 Program: This program is 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 of Hernando County, call the Elder Hotline toll-free at 1-800-262-2243.

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


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 Drive. Sessions designed for individuals who have recently lost a loved one. Open to the public. 799-3066.

Reiki Clinic: 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Inner Peace Metaphysical Bookstore, 425 W Jefferson St. Maria, 544-0304 or 585-1681.

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

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.

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.

Gamblers Anonymous: 7:30 to 9 p.m. Fridays, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6193 Spring Hill Drive. Diane, 263-2962; or toll-free 1-800-397-9843.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Spring Hill Elementary, 6000 Roble Ave. This group is for grandparents and relatives who are raising children. Judie Phelps, 666-6885.

HIV/AIDS Awareness Seminar: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, New Hope Baptist Church, 14236 County Line Road, on the Spring Hill/Hudson border. Speakers include Alexa Velasques from the Pasco County Health Department and Laura Dunn from the Hernando County Health Department. This free presentation is designed to provide information on HIV/AIDS and its impact on specific communities. Race-, age- and gender-specific educational materials will be provided. Free HIV/AIDS testing will be offered by certified counselors using the OraSure HIV-1 testing method, which does not use needles. Refreshments will be served. Robin, (727) 856-8336.

"Look Good, Feel Better" Program for Female Cancer Patients: 3 to 5 p.m. today, Florida Cancer Institute, 7154 Medical Center Drive. This is a free program that teaches beauty techniques to female cancer patients, to help combat appearance-related side effects from treatment. Sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Attendees will receive free makeup. Reservations are required. Mary Capo, 596-1926, ext. 150.

"Man to Man" Prostate Cancer Support Group: 6 to 7 p.m. May 7, Florida Cancer Institute, 7154 Medical Center Drive (behind Johnny Carino's). Betty Lawrence, 596-1926.

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.

Parkinson Support Group: 1 p.m. May 7, Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 11375 Cortez Blvd., behind Oak Hill Hospital. This will be a split meeting for caregivers and Parkinson's patients. There are plans for a summer social in June, after which the group will not meet again until October. Charlene and Don Miller, 688-7261.

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.

Restless Legs Support Group: 6 to 7:30 p.m. May 8, Florida Sleep Institute, 4075 Mariner Blvd. Dr. William Kohler, the group's medical adviser, should be available to address questions the group or individuals may have. RSVP to Betty and Bill Kinahan, 200-5440, or e-mail bkinahan@tampabay.rr.com.

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, hangups 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.

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 offered. Visit 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.