Health Notes art for web two

‘Advances in Joint Replacement’ on tap for July

Citrus Memorial Hospital will present a lunch and learn style orthopedic seminar on Thursday, July 25, at noon at the Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA, 4127 W. Norvell Bryant Highway in Lecanto.

“Advances in Joint Replacement” will feature a presentation from orthopedic surgeon Dr. Avinash Jadhav of Orthopedic Associates of Citrus.

This lunch-and-learn seminar will take a deep dive into the latest technology and treatment for joint pain when surgery is required.

Those who are experiencing joint pain, have difficulty standing or walking or who experience trouble with daily activity due to joint issues would benefit from this seminar.

RSVP to 352-637-3337 or visit citrusmh.com.

Talk vaccines with registered nurse at YMCA

Join registered nurse Kelly Kuczen and Frida Dunn of the Florida Department of Health as they provide information about the importance of continuing vaccines for teens and young adults from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, at the YMCA at 4127 W. Norvell Bryant Highway, Lecanto.

Kuczen and Dunn will discuss vaccines for bacterial meningitis, HPV, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis and flu.

Members and nonmembers welcome.

For information, contact Joan Luebbe at jluebbe@suncoastymca.org or 352-500-9622.

Learn about Medicare at library presentation

Navigating Medicare can be difficult without help, but it can be hard to find a trustworthy guide. The Citrus County Library System has partnered with Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE) to provide the public with two different informative presentations.

SHINE which is a program created by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, the official unbiased source of information on all parts of Medicare.

The first presentation will focus on understanding Medicare and will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, July 17, at the Central Ridge branch.

This presentation is geared to help those who are turning 65, have a family member on Medicare or have questions about Medicare.

The second presentation focuses on preventative services, as well as avoiding Medicare scams; it will be held at the Central Ridge branch from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, July 23. This presentation will cover preventative and screening services for disease prevention. Learn what’s covered, your costs, and who is eligible. Attendees will also learn to detect, report, and protect against common scams such as fraud and identity theft.

Both events are free to the public. Learn more about SHINE at www.floridashine.org.

Seasons of Grief Workshop in Homosassa

Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast will present the Seasons of Grief Workshop on Wednesday, July 24, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at the Friends Education Center, 8471 W. Periwinkle Lane, Homosassa.

This workshop, which helps attendees discover a path through the seasons of their grief, is provided as a community service and is offered to all at no charge. To register, call Jonathan Beard at 352-249-1470.

Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast is a charitable organization providing community grief support workshops for anyone who has experienced a loss; telephone support; grief support resources for all ages; educational materials for parents and teachers; and children’s grief support camps. For details, call 352-249-1470 or visit www.friendsofcitrus.org or Friends of Citrus on Facebook.

Learn about benefits of CBD oil

Brashear’s Pharmacy will present a talk about CBD oil at the Wednesday, Aug. 7, meeting of Dr. C. Joseph Bennett’s monthly educational group.

The first Wednesday of each month at 11:45 a.m., Dr. Bennett and guest speakers present a general educational group for patients and families. A light lunch is served, so RSVP is necessary.

Call Shawn at 352-527-1016 to reserve a space. Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute is at 522 N. Lecanto Highway (County Road 491) in Lecanto. RBOI offers a variety of programs and services related to cancer navigation and treatment. For the latest schedule of programs, call Licensed Clinical Social Worker Wendy Hall at 352-527-0106.

Free diabetes education at G&R Pharmacy

Free diabetes education is offered at G&R Pharmacy from 5 to 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, and from 4 to 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at 3791 N. Lecanto Highway, Beverly Hills.

The new diabetes class for July is titled “The ABC’s of Diabetes.” For information, call 352-527-3111.

Extension’s ‘A Matter of Balance’ class

Have you turned down a chance to go out with friends or family because you were concerned about falling? Have you cut down on a favorite activity because you might fall? If so, “A Matter of Balance,” offered by the Extension office is a program for you.

The next class will be Wednesdays, Aug. 7, until Sept. 25. Two sessions will be offered: from 10 a.m. to noon or from 1 p.m. Choose one.

Classes are held once a week for eight weeks for two hours each week at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County, 3650 W Sovereign Path in Lecanto.

Fear of falling can be just as dangerous as falling itself. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in severe physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. Many older adults also experience increased isolation and depression when they limit their interactions with friends and family.

“A Matter of Balance” is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. Participants learn to set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and learn simple exercises to increase strength and balance.

Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call 352-527-5700.

Urgent Care offers free school, sports physicals

Quick Care Med urgent care facility is offering free school and sports physicals at select locations to all elementary, middle and high school students.

“We wanted to give back to the community in such a way that promotes health and well-being for our students while giving parents a financial break,” said Charley Cook, director of operations for Quick Care Med.

Physicals cover a comprehensive list of health checks, including height and weight, blood pressure and pulse. The provider will check the heart, lungs, abdomen, skin, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth and throat to ensure that no abnormalities exist.

Quick Care Med provides urgent care to communities, across four counties in north-central Florida.

Visit QuickCareMed.com/blogs/free-physicals-for-kids or call 844-797-8425 for dates of free school and sports physicals at a location near you.

LifeStream offers program for seniors

The Wellness Program for Senior Education (WISE) celebrates aging and educates older adults on a variety of topics.

This free program will take place at Central Citrus Community Center, located in the Citrus County Resource Center at 2804 W. Marc Knighton Court, Lecanto, and is open to anyone 60 or older. It runs through July 23.

The educational program offers six sessions that cover a wide variety of topics.

Participants will have an opportunity to meet new people and:

  • Learn about the aging process and how to make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Celebrate this exciting stage of life and all the benefits that come with it
  • Discuss risk factors and behaviors older adults should avoid to stay healthy
  • Examine how alcohol, prescription medications and over-the-counter medications affect seniors differently, and how they can avoid problems
  • Learn how to use simple tools to help you feel more empowered about your health and the health care you receive

Free refreshments will be served at each session. For more information and to register, contact Gloria Tucci, prevention therapist, LifeStream Behavioral Center, at 352-267-2035 or 352-527-5942.

 Support group offered for parents who lost children

JordansJourney Grief Support Group bi-weekly meetings are a place where parents come together to support each other and grieve with a mutual understanding of what it’s like to lose a child 25 younger, including miscarriages.

If you are new to a loss of your child or if it’s been awhile since his/her passing (no amount of time lessons the grief), we need each other to lean on, to talk to and to walk with during this journey.

Meetings are held bi-weekly at Nature Coast Church, Homosassa.

For more information contact Melissa Seney 352-364-3701 or email melissa.naturecoast@gmail.com.

We have a private Facebook group; send us a request to join: www.facebook.com/groups/jordansjourneygriefsupport.

Friendly faces, free help at ACS center

A friendly volunteer with a warm smile will welcome you when your stop in to visit the American Cancer Society Resource Center at 208 Grace St., Inverness.

We have free literature, free wigs, turbans, scarves and hats, and mastectomy bras in the house. Our hours are Tuesdays from 9-11:30 a.m. and Thursdays from 9-11 a.m., or by appointment.

Call 352-726-0026.

VITAS hosts grief support groups

VITAS Healthcare hosts free, ongoing grief support groups each week in Lecanto for Citrus County community members.

Groups are Mondays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Tuesdays from 3-4:30 p.m. at VITAS Healthcare’s Lecanto Office, 3280 W. Audubon Park Path.

As the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, VITAS understands the importance of self-expression in a safe and comfortable environment following the loss of a loved one. Led by VITAS bereavement experts, each 90-minute group session examines the stages and symptoms of grief. With a better understanding of the grieving process and insightful perspective from the shared group experience, participants can begin to develop healthy coping strategies and pave the way for healing.

There is no cost to attend. RSVP to Lois Osborn at 352-527-2020.

For information, call 352-726-0026.

Center needs more Senior Companions

The Senior Companion is a program of the Nature Coast Volunteer Center. To become a Senior Companion you must be 55 years of age or older, not employed, have your own vehicle and a valid driver’s license and insurance. The positions are open to income-eligible individuals and opportunities are available in various areas of the County. Pre-service and ongoing training is provided.

Senior Companions become part of a team of caregivers. They are healthy older adults who help other adults live independently. Senior Companions make the lives of those they serve less lonely by serving them on a regular basis.

Companions must commit to work a minimum of five hours per week. In exchange they will receive a stipend, mileage allowance, paid vacation and sick time. The purpose of this program is to help housebound seniors stay independent in their homes. Without the help of Senior Companions, many older adults would be unable to continue living at home and would require more expensive, less personal care.

For complete information, call Laurie Diestler at 352-527-5952.

Don’t let a fear of falls hold you back

Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA now offers EnhanceFitness. EnhanceFitness is an evidence-based physical activity program proven to increase the physical, mental and social functioning of older adults — particularly those at risk for falls.

Participants in EnhanceFitness will receive three, one-hour classes per week from certified Y staff that include proven aerobic, strength training, balance and flexibility exercises that are safe, effective and modifiable for a variety of fitness levels. Fitness assessments will be conducted every four months to track participants’ progress. In addition to physical benefits, the program will provide a fun, social atmosphere that fosters relationships between program participants.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an older adult in the U.S. is treated in the ER for a fall-related injury every 14 seconds and dies from a fall-related injury every 29 minutes. Additionally, falls put an immense strain on the health care system, with the financial toll expected to reach $67.7 billion by 2020. The good news is falls are preventable, and the first step to prevention is understanding risk. With a focus on healthy aging, the Y is committed to helping older adults learn their fall risk and access programs that can help them reduce their risk for falls.

To learn more about EnhanceFitness, call Tracy Joyner at 352-500-9622, ext. 2825.

Dementia caregivers can get free support

A free support group for dementia patient caregivers meets each third Wednesday of the month at noon, at Grand Living at Citrus Hills, 850 West Norvell Bryant Highway (County Road 486), Hernando.

All those who are caregivers for others with dementia are welcome to come and participate.

For more information, call Marilyn Campbell at 352-249-1183.

YMCA to host bereavement group

The Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA will host an ongoing bereavement group on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. This group is open to the public.

The death of a loved one is perhaps the hardest thing we have to go through in life. You do not have to walk this journey alone. The group is facilitated by Susan B. Quenelle, M.Ed., grief specialist with Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast. Join us to receive professional support, share your story and meet others going through the same journey.

Grief support for newly bereaved

Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast conducts grief support groups for the newly bereaved at two locations. For information or to join one of these groups, call Grief Services Manager Susan Quenelle at 352-249-1470.

  • Wednesdays, 2-3:30 p.m. at Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast Education Center, 8471 W. Periwinkle Lane in Homosassa (gold building on right).
  • Thursdays, 1:30-3 p.m. at First Christian Church of Inverness, 2018 Colonade St. in Inverness.

Ongoing grief support group

Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast conducts ongoing grief support groups at two locations. For information or to join one of these groups, call Grief Services Manager Susan Quenelle at 352-249-1470.

  • Second and fourth Tuesdays each month, 1-2:30 p.m. at First Christian Church of Inverness, 2018 Colonade St. in Inverness.
  • Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to noon at Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast Education Center, 8471 W. Periwinkle Lane in Homosassa (gold building on right).

Learn more about medical cannabis

Nature Coast Cannabis Caregivers was founded to support licensed medical marijuana card holders as a support group, devoid of special interests. It has a classroom for 18 and think tank conference room for 10.

Patients and caregivers are welcome at “Think Tank Thursdays” from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 103 N. Apopka, Inverness. Limited seating, so an RSVP is required by calling 352-419-8789.

Cancer institute plans kids’ program

The Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute will have the special children’s program, CLIMB — Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery, specifically for children ages 6 to 11.

This unique program was developed so that every child whose parent or loved one diagnosed with cancer, has the early tools and emotional support to cope. The special program was developed by the Children’s Treehouse Foundation, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to the emotional support of children who have parents or grandparents with cancer.

The program is facilitated by RBOI Licensed Clinical Social Worker Wendy Hall being held for the second time in Citrus County. The aim is to build upon the child’s strength and enhance his/her ability to cope with stress associated with a loved one’s illness. The program includes six structured sessions, an hour each which will be held at RBOI, 522 N. Lecanto Highway. Anyone who is interested in more information should call Wendy Hall at 352-527-0106.

Get active with the Kings Bay Walking Club

Residents are invited to join the free, educational and engaging Kings Bay Walking Club that takes place from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Saturdays. The group meets at the public parking lot at the intersection of NE Fifth St. and NE First Ave. (across from Vintage on 5th).

The Kings Bay Walking Club is lead by Crystal River resident and certified medical exercise specialist and master personal trainer Bill Coyle. He encourages walkers of all abilities to come out and socialize while they exercise.

Weekly wellness tips are offered during the walk. Slower walkers will be given shortcuts. Heavy rain or storms cancel the walk. Light to moderate rain requires a hat.

For information, call Bill at 201-281-4444.

Health education, screenings at Seven Rivers

Bayfront Health Seven Rivers offers health education programs and screenings facilitated by registered and licensed medical professionals. For more information, visit BayfrontSevenRivers.com.

Joint Pain 101 — If you’re suffering with knee or hip pain, relief is in sight. Join us at our seminar to learn about the causes and treatments, including medications, nutrition and exercise. Call 352-795-1234. Free.

Parkinson’s Disease Outreach Group — Provides people with Parkinson’s and their caregivers an opportunity to discuss topics of interest, share information and experiences, and brainstorm solutions to common problems. Call 352-795-0534. Free.

One-Day Childbirth Education — Prepares the pregnant woman and her partner for labor, delivery and birth. Relaxation, breathing, solutions for pregnancy discomforts, proper nutrition, stages of labor, skills to utilize during labor and after delivery changes are emphasized. Expectant mothers should attend in the seventh month of pregnancy. Call 352-795-1234. Free.

Breastfeeding & Newborn Care — Provides expectant or new mothers with effective techniques that may help them successfully breastfeed. Fathers are encouraged to attend. Call 352-795-1234. Free.

Balance screenings — Outpatient Rehab at Bayfront Health Seven Rivers offers balance screenings. Located at 11541 W. Emerald Oaks Drive, Crystal River. Call 352-795-0534 to schedule your screening. Free.

Community Educational Classes at CMH

The following community educational classes are held on the Citrus Memorial Hospital campus in Inverness. For more information, visit CitrusMH.com or call 352-637-3337.

  • Childbirth Education Class Series: First Thursday of each month starts a new four-week series at Citrus Memorial Historic School House’s Cypress Room. The course covers the latest techniques to prepare you for your childbirth experience. Class content includes labor and delivery, relaxation and breathing, pain management, coping with unexpected events and the immediate post-partum period. Additionally, course attendees receive a tour of the Baby Block and Women’s Unit, car seat safety training and hear from community speakers on a variety of newborn-care topics. Dads and/or support person are invited to attend as well.
  • Heart Healthy Eating Class: Second Wednesday of each month at Citrus Memorial Medical Office Building. Learn to put together a heart-healthy diet from a registered dietitian in this informative workshop.
  • Heart and Vascular Center Tour: Fourth Friday of each month at Citrus Memorial Hospital. Register for an opportunity to take a tour of the Citrus Memorial Hospital Heart and Vascular Center’s dedicated state-of-the-art cardiac units, which have been designed with moment-to-moment precision monitoring, that are staffed with professional nurses specifically trained in cardiovascular intensive care to ensure your confidence and comfort.

SilverSneakers for healthier seniors

The Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA in Lecanto is partnering to provide complimentary memberships to members of the nationally recognized SilverSneakers program. Through this collaboration, the YMCA offers older adults a way to increase their levels of physical activity while motivating them to remain active. SilverSneakers is the nation’s leading community fitness program designed exclusively for older adults.

SilverSneakers helps older adults take greater control of their health through a variety of fitness offerings that engages participants in more frequent strength training, aerobic and flexibility exercise by providing access to a variety of venues and programming designed specifically for older adults. There are more than 14.5 million people eligible for the SilverSneakers benefit through some of the nation’s leading Medicare Advantage health plans and group retiree advantage plans. For those members, the benefit is offered at no additional cost.

The Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA is at 4127 W. Norvell Bryant Highway, Lecanto. To learn more about its SilverSneakers offerings, call 352-500-9622 and speak to a YMCA membership associate.

Help available for caregivers of elders

The Home Care for the Elderly Program provides a monthly payment of $106 to help full-time caregivers take care of low-income elders. Home Care for the Elderly can help with the cost of food, housing, clothing, medical care and supplies.

The caregiver must live with the elder full time and provide their care. The person being cared for must be 60 or older and meet financial eligibility.

For more information or to apply for the Home Care for the Elderly Program, call the Elder Helpline at 1-800-262-2243, go online to www.agingresources.org or write to100 SW 75th St., Suite 301, Gainesville, FL 32607.

Skillbank needs help with seniors

If anyone knows someone who lives alone and/or has no relatives in the Beverly Hills area, Skillbank would like to be there for them. Skillbank has a program where the senior calls the office to say if they are OK. This covers seven days a week. One phone call to Skillbank to make sure that someone cares about them.

Skillbank has been helping Beverly Hills seniors for over 35 years. The volunteers also drive folks to doctor appointments, hairdressers or barbers, banks and grocery stores, and also help with light home maintenance.

For more information, call 352-746-5001 and leave a message and Skillbank will call back ASAP.

Lighthouse offers classes at Wishing Well Center

The Lighthouse offers free classes for the blind and vision impaired for iPhone, “Independent Living” and computers. Classes start at 9:30 a.m. Thursdays at the Wishing Well Center, 6055 N. Carl G. Rose Highway (State Road 200), Hernando.

For more information, call 352-754-1132.

Adult day care services available

Citrus County Senior Programs has grant funding available for the Key Care Club Adult Day Care Center. The Key Care Club Program is the only Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) licensed Adult Day Care Center in Citrus County. The mission of the Key Care Club is to provide a caring environment for individuals by participating in meaningful activities with others that help their well-being and quality of life.

The Key Care Club specializes in group and individual activities. These activities are provided in a safe, secure and supervised setting during daytime hours. Specially trained staff provides activities that are designed to promote independence and self-esteem and to improve the mental and physical condition of members. Staff provides assistance with personal care and can supervise self-administered medication. There is access to licensed nurses during operating hours, should assistance be required. Hot meals and nutritious snacks are also provided for the member’s enjoyment.

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call Citrus County Senior Programs at 352-527-5930.

iPhone classes at Wishing Well

Blind Americans Wishing Well Center offers free classes for the blind and vision-impaired at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays for iPhone, independent living and computers. For information, call 352-754-1132. The center is at 6055 N. Carl G. Rose Highway (State Road 200), Hernando.

iBill currency readers available

Currency readers are available for the blind and visually impaired at no cost. The iBill currency reader is a small, hand-held device that denominates all U.S. currency in circulation.

Call Blind Americans Inc. at 352-637-1739 for information.

EMS offers lifesaving courses

Nature Coast EMS will offer free Pediatric CPR, First Aid, AED and CPR for Friends and Family Courses at Nature Coast EMS, 3876 W. Country Hill Drive, Lecanto. Sign up online at www.naturecoastems.org. Go to Education, then click SIGN UP ONLINE.

For more information, call 352-249-4751.

Free brochure on dementia resources

Dementia Friendly America of Citrus County has published a brochure, “Understand Dementia Starts With You,” that contains information on resources, services and support for families dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is free to anyone living in Citrus County.

The brochure contains more than a hundred listings of information sources for neurologists, psychiatrists, attorneys specializing in elder law, home health agencies, medical transportation services, adult day care, assisted living, independent living, social services, support groups, counseling, dementia education, hospice and other caregiver resources that can be found in Citrus County.

Dementia Friendly America of Citrus County is a dementia education and awareness program run under the auspices of Continuity of Care of Citrus County. To acquire a copy of “Understanding Dementia Starts With You,” email Inverness@comfortkeepers.com or, call 352-697-2288.

Blind Americans need help for bingo

The Blind Americans Wishing Well Center needs help getting its bingo game program off the ground and implemented.

Dependable volunteers are needed to call out numbers, help players with their cards, or provide transportation to bingo games. Can you spare a few hours a week to help make someone’s life better?

To volunteer, call 352-637-1739. The Wishing Well Center is at 6055 N. Carl G. Rose Highway (State Road 200), Hernando.

Volunteer program needs folks to call

The Nature Coast Volunteer Center is looking for volunteers to join the Telephone Reassurance Program team. Do you like talking on the phone? Would you like to volunteer from home? Do you want to make a really big difference in someone’s life? The goal of the Telephone Reassurance program is to provide isolated or elderly individuals with a sense of security through regular phone contact. This program is a much needed service that confirms safety and imparts care and concern at no cost to the client or you.

Some clients wish to be called daily (Monday through Friday, no weekends) or three times a week or less. Some Clients want to have a 5-10 minute or longer conversation, and others just want a brief call from someone to check on them and make sure they are OK. Calling times vary from 8–10 a.m. only. We do provide a short training session, and we do require you to send in a monthly time log of your phone calls to your client.

There is a waiting list of clients that need your kindness and concern for their well-being. Call 352-527-5959 or email ncvc@citrusbocc.com.

Safety seat check-ups available

Free child safety seat inspections are available by appointment at two sites in Citrus County. Certified child passenger safety technicians will check your child’s car seat to be sure it is not recalled, damaged or expired. They will check to be sure the seat is appropriate for the child’s age, height and weight and that it is used correctly and installed securely.

Eighty percent of seats inspected have one or more error, so even if you think you have it right, get it checked to be sure. Call Sue Littnan at 352-563-9939, ext. 235, at the Early Learning Coalition in Crystal River.

Help women’s shelter by volunteering at outreach center

CASA — Citrus County Abuse Shelter Association Inc. — has a great need for volunteers. We are currently looking for volunteers to fill positions as receptionist and fundraising. If you have time on your hands and are looking for that special place, call Carol Brown, volunteer coordinator, at 352-344-8111 for information. Reception shifts that need to be filled include: 1-5 p.m. Mondays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursdays, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1-5 p.m. Fridays.

CASA always needs donations of toilet paper, paper towels, large black garbage bags, 13-gallon white kitchen bags, body wash, small liquid hand soaps, gloves, sponges for cleaning, aluminum foil, plastic containers w/lids, plastic wrap, gallon- and quart-size plastic zipper bags, and dish soap.

YMCA partners for ‘The Beat’

Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA partners with Brashear’s Pharmacy to host The Beat.

The Beat is a monthly, one-hour free class to help those living with high blood pressure, who have been diagnosed with heart failure, or who need help with lowering their cholesterol. The Beat will help you get information, encouragement and healthy accountability from your pharmacist.

Each class will focus on a critical topic each month such as losing weight the wise way, low-sodium diets, lowering blood pressure and more. The Beat is for both patients and caregivers. The YMCA is excited to be able to offer this to our community as a free service. For more information, email Karen at karen@brashearspharmacy.com.

Counselors sought for SHINE program

Did you know your neighbors may be saving thousands of dollars each year in health care and drug costs? Did you know hundreds of your neighbors receive free, unbiased Medicare counseling year-round?

SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) Volunteer counselors are a team of highly trained professionals working year-round to improve the Medicare experience. Trained and sponsored by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, SHINE counselors use analytical, computer and communication skills to educate Medicare recipients, provide plan information and assist when problems arise. SHINE counselors often say they receive much more than they give by serving their friends and neighbors.

Clients can save hundreds of dollars on prescription medications, find a health plan that meets more of their needs and learn how Medicare works to make better health care choices.

To take part as a SHINE counselor, contact Victoria Conklin, Hernando/Citrus SHINE area coordinator, at conklinv@agingresources.org, or call 352-593-0705.

Scent Kits still available in Citrus County

One of the best countermeasures to protect elder people who may wander and go missing is a simple device called a Human Scent Preservation Kit, or “scent kit” for short. The main component of the kit is a double-walled jar that will hold the unique scent of an individual for five years. It can be used by scent-discriminating bloodhounds to find the individual as quickly as possible.

Linda Boles, president of the Crystal River-based Find-M Friends, a nonprofit organization that promotes the training and use of bloodhounds in cooperation with law enforcement agencies, recently obtained a thousand scent kits to be distributed free throughout Citrus County. The free kits were made possible by a grant from the Black Diamond Foundation.

With the support of Coping with Dementia LLC, distribution locations have been established throughout the county where caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia can pick up one up for free.

For more information and a list of distribution locations, call Boles at 352-613-3486 or email found@findmfriends.org; or, call Debbie Selsavage at 352-422-3663 or email deb@coping.today.

YMCA offers Cancer Connection

The YMCA has introduced Cancer Connection, a monthly program at 5 p.m. the first Tuesday monthly at the Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA in Lecanto.

This monthly group welcomes cancer survivors and families looking to share their stories, enjoy a warm atmosphere and find resources to build up strength, whether that be physical, emotional, spiritual or otherwise. Taking a unique approach that dovetails with traditional cancer support groups, this group involves speakers and discussion about wellness, including physical, mental and spiritual fitness.

The group is being facilitated by licensed clinical social worker, and cancer navigator Wendy Hall. For more information or to register to attend Cancer Connection, call Wendy Hall at 352-527-0106.

CHIPS offers sign language classes

Citrus Hearing Impaired Program Services (CHIPS), a nonprofit agency, offers American sign language classes at 109 NE Crystal St., Crystal River.

For information, call 352-795-5000.

Church volunteers help with ACCESS

ACCESS is a Florida state government program that manages distribution of public assistance of food, temporary cash, medical aid and refugee services for eligible families and individuals. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at 7525 U.S. 41 in Dunnellon now has volunteers who can assist you to apply for this program. Assistance is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call 352-489-3166.

Phones offered for hearing-impaired

Florida Telecommunications Relay Inc. (FTRI), the nonprofit distributor of specialized telecommunications equipment for people with hearing loss and speech disabilities, and Citrus County audiologists have announced a new partnership aimed at educating Florida residents about hearing loss solutions and resources available throughout the state.
As part of FTRI’s #KeepFloridaConected campaign, Citrus County residents can test a new home phone that amplifies incoming sounds up to 50 decibels at area audiologist’s office. Designed specifically for people with hearing loss, residents who qualify for the FTRI program can secure the phone at no cost.

FTRI is making this testing station available at the following local audiologist offices: Father & Sons Hearing Aid Centers, Homosassa; Advanced Family Hearing Aid Center, Crystal River; and Gardner Audiology, Crystal River.

For information on FTRI’s Citrus County services, residents should visit the Citrus Hearing Impaired Program Services at 109 NE Crystal St. in Crystal River, or call 352-795-5000.

County has home care services

Citrus County Senior Care Services has home care services available under the HOPE Program (Homecare Options Provided for Everyone). Services available include:

  • Case management.
  • Personal care (help with bathing and personal grooming).
  • Respite.
  • Homemaking (light housekeeping duties).
  • Emergency alert/response button.
  • Home-delivered meals.

All of these services are overseen by a certified case manager who places licensed and bonded service providers in the home. If you or a loved one are in need of any of these services, call 352-527-5930 for more information and a cost quote.

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