Health Notes art for web two

Hearing info session

The public is invited to join Advanced Family Hearing for a free informative session at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Central Ridge Library, 425 W. Roosevelt Blvd., Beverly Hills.

Learn about the different types of hearing loss and the various devices available to help. Light refreshments will be provided.

For information, contact Advanced Family Hearing at 352-795-1775 or

Grief mythology session

Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast will present the Grief Mythology Workshop from 2-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Friends Education Center, 8471 W. Periwinkle Lane, Homosassa.

This workshop, which guides you through the facts and myths of your grief journey, is free.

To register, call Jonathan Beard at 352-249-1470.

Call for young campers

Children and teens who have experienced the loss of a loved one will discover ways to address their grief and learn to cope at Camp Good Hope and Teen Encounter, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 26, in Homosassa.

Conducted by Herry’s Kids Children’s Support Services, a program of Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast, this event brings together grief professionals and caring volunteers to help children learn about loss and healing and move forward during a day of group discussion, recreation, arts and crafts, and fun.

To register a child for Camp Good Hope (for ages 6 through fifth grade) or Teen Encounter (for middle and high school students), call 352-249-1470 or email as soon as possible. Camper applications must be completed by Oct. 24. There is no registration fee.

Camps are supported by community donations and sponsorships.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 information, call 352-249-1470 or visit or Friends of Citrus on Facebook.

‘Zumba Our Way to a Cure’

Zumbathon sponsors are needed for an upcoming Zumba Our Way to a Cure event. If you can help in any way, no matter how great or small, event organizers will be grateful for all assistance. Donations will go to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Maegan’s Fundraiser Zumbathon Charity Event for Rare PCDH19 Epilepsy will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Citrus High School Cafeteria. To show your support for Maegan, purchase a $10 armband at the event and wear purple. Zumba instructors are: Deborah German, Jean Courtney, Chandra Haimbaugh, Anna Oliverio, Alice Green and Maria Angela Catalano.

For more information, go online to

Alzheimer’s resources for all

The Floral City Library will become an Alzheimer’s Resource Center during Citrus Walk Aware for Alzheimer’s on Oct. 19.

There, individuals attending the walk will find information tables for a wide range of resources available to caregivers for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia in Citrus County, many of which are free.

The library will also have a table for literature, videos, and other information provided through the Citrus County Library System.

For information on how to become a sponsor of Citrus County Walk Aware for Alzheimer’s 2019, call Debbie Selsavage at 352-422-3663. To sign up for the event, visit

Firearm Safety publication started

“Dementia and Firearm Safety” is the title of a new booklet recently approved for publication by the Board of Directors of Dementia Education Inc., a Citrus County-based nonprofit corporation. The book is now available at Amazon and expected to be available locally before October.

The publication is intended to educate and provide safe options for families coping with dementia in homes where firearms are present.

“This handbook is not ‘anti-gun,’” said Dementia Education Inc. President Ed Youngblood. “It is about understanding dementia and avoiding accidental injury or worse, just as one would with power tools, appliances and automobiles in a home where dementia is present.”

Founded in 2018, Dementia Education Inc’s mission is to further public understanding of memory disease in ways that will result in better and more compassionate care for individuals living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

The new booklet on firearm safety will be its second publication. Last year it published “A Handbook for Dementia Friendly Congregations,” which is also available at

For more information, visit

Alzheimer’s Walk will include Virtual Dementia Tour

Attendees at Citrus Walk Aware for Alzheimer’s, which will take place in the Town Center in Floral City on Saturday, Oct. 19, will have an opportunity to participate in the Virtual Dementia Tour, a science-based simulation that demonstrates what it is like to live with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

The Virtual Dementia Tour is provided by Senior Helpers of Spring Hill and Lecanto, a home health care company that offers a wide range of personal and long-term care services to help seniors age in the comfort of their own homes in both Citrus and Hernando counties.

Citrus County Walk Aware is a fundraising event for the Alzheimer’s Family Organization, a charitable nonprofit that serves eight west-central Florida counties, including Citrus County. Individuals who want to join the Walk can register online at Individuals and companies interested in becoming sponsors of the Walk can call 352-422-3663 or 352-616-0170.

Walk Aware to support Alzheimer’s

Show your support at the Walk Aware for Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Oct. 19, in downtown Floral City. Walkers have their choice of a 1/4-mile walk, a 1 1/2-mile walk or a historic walk.

Pre-registration is at 8 a.m. with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. The walk begins at 9:30 a.m.

Cost is $25 per person, $10 for children ages 6-12 and free if younger than 5. Register a team at $20 per person with a minimum of 10.

Parking available at Ferris Groves, 7607 S. Florida Ave., Floral City. To register, visit or call 352-616-0170.

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 or, call 352-697-2288.

‘Art from the Heart’ meets second Wednesday

Art from the Heart, a Memory Cafe, meets the second Wednesday at Citrus Memorial Health Foundation YMCA, 4127 W. Norvell Bryant Highway, Lecanto.

This free activity is designed for people living with dementia or Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Enjoy an afternoon of socialization, fun and relaxation, while we utilize art and music to stimulate the sensory and memory parts of the brain. We paint, we craft, we laugh, we sing — all to encourage a sense of accomplishment and to stimulate the recall of memoriesthrough conversation, art projects, sing-alongs and instrumentals. Come meet others who are experiencing similar challenges.

Contact Joan Luebbe: or 352-500-9622 for more information. Visit

Caregivers can get 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.

Breast cancer awareness

CMH offers discounted 3D mammograms

Citrus Memorial Hospital will offer $60 3D mammograms to uninsured patients in October at its Breast Imaging Center of Excellence in Inverness.

“We recognize that most women in Citrus County have insurance that covers a yearly screening mammogram, but there are still many uninsured patients in the community,” said Director of Diagnostic Imaging Rocco Cirocco. “Our goal is to ensure these women have access to the best technology to diagnose breast cancer earlier and more accurately.”

Annual mammograms are recommended beginning at age 40 for average-risk patients, or earlier based on risk factors.

Screening mammograms can be scheduled by calling 877-351-7012. The Citrus Memorial Breast Imaging Center of Excellence is at 131 S. Citrus Ave, Inverness.

CMH Hosts Women’s Health Panel

Citrus Memorial Hospital is offering a Women’s Health Panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club.

The Women’s Health Panel will feature local experts on general surgery, orthopedics, cardiology, gynecology and family medicine.

During this interactive discussion, general surgeon Dr. Torr Carmain, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Avinash Jadhav, cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon Dr. Bao Hoang, OB/GYN Dr. Ashok Buddhadev and family medicine physician Dr. April Weliever will cover topics including breast cancer, menopause, diabetes, hypertension, incontinence, joint pain and heart health. The floor will be open for questions from the audience throughout.

A hot meal and educational material will be available during the seminar. Seating is limited, so an RSVP is required to attend. Register by calling 352-637-3337 or online at

Friendly faces, free help available 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. There is free literature, free wigs, turbans, scarves and hats and mastectomy bras in the house.

Hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-11:30 a.m., or by appointment.

On Thursday, Thursday, Oct. 10, a volunteer will be in the office from noon to 2 p.m.

For information, call 352-726-0026.

Drive-thru flu shots on Oct. 19

Flu season is right around the corner, but so are no-cost flu vaccines, thanks to the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County (DOH-Citrus) and its drive-thru clinic slated from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 19, at DOH-Citrus, 3700 W. Sovereign Path in Lecanto.

No-cost flu shots will be available, while supplies last, to adults and children older than 6 months. Participants can get the vaccine right from the comfort of their cars.

Medicare 101 on tap in November

Join UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County and SHINE at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, at the Extension office at 3650 S Sovereign Path, Lecanto, at a free presentation to learn about Medicare.

Get answers to Medicare questions, concerns and options from a knowledgeable unbiased source. What to do about Medicare can be one of the most complex questions you face when you reach 65. Understanding the basics can provide you with the ability to take the proper steps when required and helps you to deal with problems when you need to.

For more information or to register, contact Sarah or Stephanie at the UF/IFAS Extension Citrus County office at 352-527-5700 or register online at: CitrusMedicare101.eventbrite.comThis is the second annual drive-thru flu event that DOH-Citrus has held to provide vaccines at no cost to the community. Last year, DOHCitrus provided nearly 300 vaccines to Citrus County residents and visitors.

In addition to good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often, a yearly flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent flu illnesses, doctor visits, hospitalizations and sometimes death. The flu vaccine also protects those around you who cannot receive the vaccine.

Yearly flu vaccines are recommended for anyone older than 6 months of age, but they’re especially important for older adults, pregnant women, young children and people with underlying health conditions.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for protection to set in, so October is the perfect time to get vaccinated before flu activity picks up.

For more information about DOH-Citrus, go to or follow us on Twitter at @FLHealthCitrus.

15th Annual Healthy Living Fair

Join Citrus County Support Services on Friday, Nov. 8, from noon to 2:30 p.m. for the 15th annual Healthy Living Fair.

Admission is free. There will be over 50 vendors on site offering free information, health screenings, demonstrations, product sampling and door prizes.

Proceeds to benefit “No Seniors Left Waiting” Program.

For information or to be a vendor or sponsor at our event, call 352-527-5975.

Learn about weight loss without gastric surgery

Advanced Gastroenterology will offer presentations about endoscopic nonsurgical weight loss at the office at 6152 W. Corporate Oaks Drive, Crystal River, at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 21.

The seminars share helpful information and experiences. The presentations give a general overview of obesity and weight loss options, including the process to become a candidate for nonsurgical weight loss. Patients with a BMI of 30-35 are not appropriate for surgical therapy, but may wish to have medically supervised nonsurgical and endoscopic intervention.

Obesity is the excess accumulation of body fat, to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on your health. It can lead to reduced life expectancy and increased health conditions such as certain types of cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, acid reflux, sleep apnea and type II diabetes.

For more information and to RSVP, call 352-564-3900.

LIFT Program for widows and widowers

You may see this gathering of friends all around Citrus County lunching together, enjoying field trips, listening to presentations from a variety of speakers, participating in holiday activities, or attending movies, plays and concerts as a group. These on-the-go folks have more in common than a desire to get out of the house. They are widows and widowers who, as members of the Living Information For Today (LIFT) social support program, share entertaining and educational experiences to find purpose and understanding as they put their lives back together after the loss of a spouse.

Sponsored in Citrus County by Dignity Memorial and facilitated by Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast, LIFT’s goal is to create an atmosphere of comfort and support for widowed individuals by reinvesting emotional energy through fellowship, learning and living, providing an opportunity for improved quality of life.

There are no membership fees or dues, but members pay for personal expenses such as the cost of meals, event tickets, travel and accommodations. Anyone who wishes to join LIFT or learn about grief support opportunities should contact Friends of Citrus and the Nature Coast Community Education Manager Jonathan Beard at 352-249-1470.

DOH Citrus hosts Lactation Club

New, expectant and experienced mothers and families are invited to the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County’s (DOH-Citrus) no-cost breastfeeding meetups held every second Friday from 9:30-11 a.m. and every third Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. at the WIC Inverness location, 130 N. Montgomery Ave.

The Lactation Club provides families with information on what to expect as new parents, the benefits of breastfeeding, how to navigate a new baby with siblings and how to increase your milk supply, among other topics. Families have the opportunity to engage with an experienced breastfeeding peer counselor, as well as other families, to help overcome barriers to breastfeeding and share experiences in a friendly and supportive environment.

“Studies show that peer support increases success with breastfeeding,” said DOH-Citrus international board-certified lactation consultant Maret Wachira. “With more peer-to-peer breastfeeding opportunities like this one, and those already established with La Leche League, mothers can learn the ins and outs of breastfeeding from others that have been there. Together, they can work towards making breastfeeding a part of their families.”

For a list of future meetups, visit the DOH-Citrus “Events” page at

Support group 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

We have a private Facebook group; send us a request to join:

Learning center has adult learning

The Old Homosassa Learning Center offers an Adult Learning Schedule. Call 352-628-9333 for information.

The schedule is:

  • Monday at 9 a.m., yoga with Michelle DiDomenico, $5 charge.
  • Tuesday at 10 a.m., Zumba with Nadeen Horak, $5 charge.
  • Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., body sculpting with Michelle DiDomenico, $5 charge.
  • Wednesday at 6:15 p.m., Zumba with Nadeene Horak, $5 charge.
  • Thursday at 9 a.m., yoga with Michele DiDomenico, $5 charge.
  • Thursday from 12:30-3 p.m., Sew Cool! Workshop with Faith Peix, no charge.
  • Friday at 10:30 a.m., body sculpting with Michelle DiDomenico, $5 charge.

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.

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.

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.

n Second and fourth Tuesdays each month, 1-2:30 p.m. at First Christian Church of Inverness, 2018 Colonade St. in Inverness.

nThursdays, 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 has kids’ program

The Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute will has a 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.

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

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 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 postpartum 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 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.

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.

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 Go to Education, then click SIGN UP ONLINE.

For more information, call 352-249-4751.

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

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

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, 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; or, call Debbie Selsavage at 352-422-3663 or email

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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