Health News

Health Happenings calendar

Send information about free or low-cost health-related events open to the public by noon Monday, one week ahead of publication. Information can be e-mailed to accent@bradenton.com. Complete listings can be found at health.Bradenton.com. All addresses are Bradenton, unless otherwise noted.

Blake seminars: These seminars will be offered at Blake Medical Center, 2020 59th St. W., Bradenton, except where noted.n Partial Knee Resurfacing with Dr. David Cashen, 4:30 p.m. March 12, Ramada Inn, 5218 17th St. E., Ellenton. Information: (877) 442-2362.n Support Group/Surgical Weight Loss Solutions with Julie Beckler, 6-8 p.m. March 17, Dolphin Pelican Room at Blake. Information: (877) 442-2362. n Partial Knee Resurfacing with Dr. John Ayres, 4:30 p.m. March 31, Holiday Inn LWR, 6231 Lake Osprey Drive, Sarasota. Information: (877) 442-2362.

Cooking course: A Cancer Prevention and Survival Cooking Course (eight classes) will run March 12-May 7 at Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Classes will be 10:30 a.m.-noon and cost $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers per class. Information or registration: Sandee Pruett, 778-1908. For more information about Cancer Prevention and Survival Cooking Classes, visit www.CancerProject.org or call (202) 244-5038.

Celiac Support Group of Sarasota-Manatee: will meet at 1 p.m. March 21 at Waldemere Medical Plaza Papaya Room, 1921 Waldemere St., Sarasota, for a pre-meeting education session. Dr. Isaac Kalvaria, gastroenterologist, will speak at 2 p.m. The meeting and program are free and open to the public. Information: 922-1205. Registration and pledges are still being accepted for the March 28 “Making Tracks for Celiacs” Walkathon for celiac research at the University of Maryland. Visit www.sarasotamanateeceliacs.com or call 351-4387 or 488-8238.

AIDS benefit registration: Trinity Charities, Inc., will sponsor an AIDS Bike Ride on the Legacy Trail to benefit the charities’ HIV programs of Trinity Charities on April 25. Register at www.trinitycharities.org.

‘A Matter of Balance’ workshop: “A Matter of Balance” workshop 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 and help people improve their quality of life and remain independent. Workshops will be 9:30-11:30 a.m. Mondays through April 6 at Renaissance on 9th, Ballroom B, 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton, and is free. Information and registration: 749-0100.

ONGOING PROGRAMS

Healthy living seminar: Fit & Firm Fitness, 4216 20th St. W., Bradenton, is hosting a free healthy living seminar at 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays and 5:30 p.m. Thursdays. Learn how to work out and get fit for free exercise classes, for a better back, flexibility, weight loss and a healthier life. Information: 756-8850.

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center programs and support groups: Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., holds the following programs and support groups: diabetes support group, Healthy Hearts support group, Heart Device support group, childbirth education classes, new mom and baby group, prenatal yoga, Weight Watchers. For information on these programs, call (800) 454-8215.

Manatee Memorial Hospital programs and support groups: Manatee Memorial Hospital, 206 Second St. E., hosts support groups, seminars and classes monthly in the hospital. Seminars include: Surgical Weight Loss, which is held monthly in the New Patient Tower Auditorium. The seminar discusses the Lap-Band procedure. Call 745-7245 for information and dates. Perinatal Education Classes at MOMM’s Place are held monthly for moms, dads and families. Call 745-6925 for a schedule. The Senior Advantage (50+) Program offers free and discount services each month for members. Call (941) 745-7548 for join. Manatee Memorial also includes classes, seminars and support groups on these topics: cancer, weight-loss, baby-sitting (Safe Sitter), pregnancy loss, Parkinson’s, diabetes, arthritis, anxiety and smoking cessation. Call 745-7204 for more information.

Om Gaia programs: Om Gaia Spiritual Center, 312 Old Main St., Bradenton, offers a variety of morning and evening yoga classes. Meditation class Thursday evenings. Other meditations available are Qigong, kirtan-style chanting and sahdna. The Power of Woman, women’s group meets the third Wednesday of every month, 7:15-8:30 p.m. Call for times and details, 747-1922.

Women’s Resource Center programs, classes, seminars: The Women’s Resource Center of Manatee, 1926 Manatee Ave. W., offers a wide variety of programs, seminars and classes for women, including the following:Girls Night Out at Restyled Rags, 5:30-7 p.m. the last Thursday of the month at 417 12th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 750-0032.For more information about the Women’s Resource Center, call 747-6797 or check the Internet at www.wrcmanatee.org.

CLASSES

Dance classes: Dance Trance Sarasota, a fitness class that uses street, funk, jazz, and hip hop dance for a workout, is held 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturdays at Babe Weiler YMCA, 1991 Main St., Sarasota (above the Hollywood 20). Cost: First class free for Florida residents, $13 per class thereafter; free to Y members. No dance experience required. Information: 366-7668; www.dancetrancefitness.com.

Diabetes programs, classes: Manatee County Rural Health Services offers a free program for diabetic patients, including classes, to help them better manage their disease. Information: Rosa at East Manatee Clinic, 708-8700, or Sherian at the North Manatee Clinic, 721-2020.n Free diabetes classes are offered 10-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays at the Southeast Administration Building, 919 53rd Ave. E. The classes will teach participants how to prevent and delay related diabetes complications, help control blood sugar levels and more. Information: 751-8100.n A free diabetes and obesity education class meetings 10-11 a.m. the first Saturday of every month at the RTI Insurance Building, 6371 Business Blvd., Lakewood Ranch. The class is also offered 4-5 p.m. the first Friday of each month at Pinnacle Medical Center, 315 75th St. N.W., Bradenton. Space is limited call (941) 504-4000 for reservations.n “OutSmart Diabetes” Healthy Lifestyle Education Program offers updated classes on a regular basis, focusing on anyone wanting to live a healthier lifestyle. Day or evening classes offered. Six-hour comprehensive education class, held over two days, three hours each day. Complimentary blood sugar meter and testing supplies given for the person with diabetes if needed. Individual home visit made for the special needs client for diabetes education, blood sugar meter training, insulin training. Classes are taught by a board certified diabetes educator.Pre-registration requested. To register for classes: 232-3846.

Fitness for seniors, boomers: Fit & Firm Fitness Studio, 4216 20th St. W., hosts cardio, light weight training and core exercises classes for senior and middle-age men and women 11 a.m.-noon Tuesdays and Fridays, and 5:15-6:15 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Information: 756-8850.

Fitness programs: Fit & Firm Fitness Studio, 4216 20th St. W., Bradenton, is hosting a healthy lifestyle course 11 a.m. Fridays with Claire, who lost 83 pounds by toning and doing Pilates and light weight-bearing exercises. Class includes one exercise class and a lecture. Families and seniors welcome. Cost: $3 per class. To reserve your space, call 756-8850.

Gentle aerobics: G.T. Bray Activity Center, 5504 33rd Ave. Drive W., will host gentle aerobics 8:45-9:45 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The class features Ann Phillips, who has a master’s degree in gerontology and more than 23 years of experience in the fitness industry. The class is for adults 18 and older. Cost: $28 per month. Information: 742-5974.

I Am Healing Arts Center classes: The I Am Healing Arts Center, 1918 Robinhood St., Sarasota, holds a variety of classes, including men’s healing meditation, a spiritual energetic healing group, Qi gong, Ascension, Korean meditation and movement, yoga, channeled meditation and more. Costs vary. Information: 927-6797; www.iamhealingarts.com.

Health classes: These classes will be offered at Palma Sola Botanical Park, 9800 17th Ave. N.W., Bradenton:n Aerobics with Reba Moeller, 5:30-6:30p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; cost: $10 per class; information: 792-8822.n Yoga/Pilates with Laura Bennett, 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays; for cost and information, call 758-1741.n Introduction to Yoga with Pat Richmond, 10-11 a.m. Wednesdays; for cost and information, call 795-8223.n Meditation Circle, Drumming and Percussion with Kim Fabre, 6p.m. Thursdays; for cost and information, call 794-0144.

Heart health classes: Free cardiac rehab classes, various times, every Tuesday and Thursday, at Sarasota Memorial Heart & Vascular Institute, Classroom B, fourth floor, 1540 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Class subjects include nutrition, exercise and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, medications, stress management and reducing risk factors. Information: 917-7777.

Isolated stretching class: LMT of Integrated Body Therapies at the Ellenton Ice & Sports Complex will host an Active-Isolated Stretching class 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mondays, 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11 a.m. Wednesdays, and 8 a.m. Fridays. Cost: $5 for members and $7 for nonmembers. Therapeutic massage is also available by appointment. Information: 730-3369.

Kidney disease class: Do you have high blood pressure or diabetes? Are you at risk for kidney disease? A free group class meetings 1:30-3:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at Healthcare America Building Classroom, 3501 Cortez Road, Suite 104, Bradenton. Learn about high blood pressure, diabetes, diet changes and dialysis. To reserve a seat, call Jackie Mitchell at 727-4209.

Meditation: Om Gaia, 312 12th St. W., Bradenton, offers evening meditation, exploring the diverse world of meditation traditions and techniques, 7:30-9 p.m. Thursdays. Cost: $10 donation, $5 students. Doors close at 7:30pm. Recommend arrival around 7:15 p.m. Information: www.omgaiagifts.com or 747-1922.

Pilates classes: Pilates is 10 a.m. Wednesdays and 10:15 a.m. Fridays at Fit and Firm Fitness Studio, 4216 20th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 756-8850.n Discover the mind-body connection with pilates, 6-7 p.m. Wednesdays at G.T. Bray Activity Center. Cost $32 a month. Call 742-5974.n 9-10:15 a.m. and 5:15-6:45 p.m. Mondays; 9-10:15 a.m. and 5:15-6:45 p.m. Thursdays at Anna Maria Island Art League. Cost $10 a class; $45 for five sessions and $80 for 10 sessions. Call 778-3996.

Pilates/yoga mix class: A Pilates/yoga mix class will be 6 p.m. Tuesdays at the Palma Sola Botanical Gardens 9800 17th Ave. N.W., Bradenton. Cost is $10. Bring your own mat. Instructor: Laura Bennett, 758-1741.

Silver Sneakers fitness program: Eligible seniors in Manatee County can enroll for free senior specific fitness classes at Electra Health Club and Spa. The Palmetto health club is accepting enrollees for the Silver Sneakers fitness program now. Silver Sneakers, the nation’s leading fitness program for older adults, provides twice-a-week fitness classes at participating gyms and health clubs around the country. The cost to the senior is free if they are a member of a participating Medicare health plan. At Electra, Silver Sneakers attendees will have a basic gym membership in addition to access to the Silver Sneakers classes, which are taught by instructors specifically trained in the Silver Sneakers program. The classes use resistance bands, weighted balls and dumbbells as well as a chair to help improve balance, posture, strength and flexibility. The goal is for seniors to exercise to improve their ability to function in daily activities, such as driving, going down a flight of stairs, opening a tight-lidded jar, or getting in and out of a car. Information: 729-6900.

Support, classes for women: The Women’s Center Classes and Support Groups at the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., hosts these classes and events:n Health Education lectures on diabetes. Meetings are held weekly. Information: 232-3846.n ALS Association Resource Group. Meetings are held 1-3 p.m. first Friday of each month. Information: (888) 257-1717.n More Information and reservations: 782-2100 or visit www.lakewoodranchmedicalcenter.com.

Swimming: The “Splash” program, an introduction to swimming for children, is offered during the spring at three YMCA branches; Bradenton Branch, 3805 59th St. W.; Lakewood Ranch Branch, 5100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., the South Branch, 3675 53rd Ave. E., and coming this spring to the Parrish branch. For more information, visit www.manateeymca.org or call a YMCA branch of your choice; Bradenton Branch 792-7484; Lakewood Ranch Branch 782-0220; South Branch 755-4606 or Parrish Branch 776-0554.

Tai chi classes: G.T. Bray Activity Center, 5504 33rd Ave. Drive W., hosts tai chi classes 6-7:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for adults. The classes combine martial arts and promote physical well-being. Cost: $42 per month. Information and registration: 742-5974.n Integrated Healing Arts, 4216 Cortez Road, hosts a Tai Chi for Arthritis class 6-7 p.m. Mondays. Cost: $8 per session or $25 per month. Information and reservations: 739-2225.

Weight, fitness classes: Healthy weight loss and fitness education classes will be offered 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Classes will focus on rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, lowering blood pressure and, cholesterol. Limited to women 18 years and older. For information and reservations: 727-0000.

Weight training classes: The Fit and Firm Fitness Studio, 4216 20th St. W., offers beginning weight training and circuit training classes 5:15-6:15 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for ages 15 to 70 years old. Cost: Senior discount $40 a month or two for one special $60 a month. Information: 756-8850 or www.fitandfirmfitness.com.

Yoga classes: Snowbird yoga classes are 6-7:15 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Bayshore Gardens Rec Center, 6919 26th St. W., Bradenton. The first class is free, then $5 after that. Information: Jim at 756-9102.n Move, breathe and relax with certified yoga instructor Genevieve Lessard, RYT, in the Historic School Hall at 1505 Center Road, Terra Ceia, 6-7:15 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. First class is free; others begin at $7.25 each. Beginners are welcome. Information: (941) 565-4601 or e-mail GenevieveYoga@gmail.com. n Ongoing Yoga/Pilates with Balance Pilates Studio group classes are 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays-Fridays and 6 p.m. Tuesdays at North River Body Therapies, 905 25th Drive E, Ellenton. Call 773-2967 to reserve your space.n The following yoga classes are offered at Om Gaia, 312 12th St. W., Bradenton: Monday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. Basic Yoga, Level 1-2; 6-7 p.m. Beginning Yoga; Tuesday: 6-7:30 p.m. Beginners Kundalini Yoga; Wednesday: 10:30 a.m.-noon Basic Kundalini Yoga; 6-7 p.m. Basic Yoga Level 1-2; Thursday: 6-7:15 p.m. Regular Yoga Level 2; Friday: 10-11 a.m. Gentle Restorative Yoga; 6-7:30 p.m. Regular Kundalini Yoga; Saturday: 5-7:30 a.m. Multi-Level Yoga; Sunday: 5-7:30 a.m. Morning Sadhana from the Kundalini Yoga tradition. One hour of Japji, one hour of Kundalini Yoga practice and one hour of chanting. Cost: The first yoga class is free. 10 classes for $100 or $15 per class fee. Information: www.omgaiagifts.com or 747-1922.n The Women’s Resource Center of Manatee offers power yoga classes, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; traditional yoga, 5-6 p.m. Wednesdays and 9-10 a.m. Saturdays; and an advance class 10:15-11:15 a.m. Saturdays at 1926 Manatee Ave. W. Nonmembers, $8, members $5. Information: 747-6797.n Classes will be 6 p.m. Mondays at the G.T. Bray Activity Center, 5504 33rd Ave. Drive W. $32. Information: 742-5974.n Integrated Healing Arts, 4216 Cortez Road, offers relaxing, stress-relieving yoga instruction with master Orton Graves, 6 p.m. Tuesdays. Cost: $15 per session. Reservations: 739-2225.n Bradenton Yoga Studio holds yoga and pilates classes. Cost: $12 walk-in and $55 for a five-class pass. Information: www.birdlandyoga.com.n Evening yoga classes with Dolce and Linda will be 6:30-7:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria. Cost: $5 members, $10 nonmembers per class. Information: 778-1908.n Yoga classes are offered 8:30 a.m. every Saturday on the beach at the Pine Avenue public beach access, Gulfside, in Anna Maria. The cost is by donation, and the class is open for all. No mat required; just bring a beach towel or sheet. Information: 794-6723.

SUPPORT GROUPS

Alcohol: The local fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous has a complete schedule of meetings in the Manatee/Sarasota area on the Internet at www.aasrq.org. Crisis calls: 951-6810. Central office: 351-4818. Family members call Al-anon Family Groups at 749-1750.Below are some of the meetings:n The Downtown Group of AA meets 8-9 p.m. Mondays at Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 5115 Cortez Road. Information: 794-5188.n Al-Anon Awareness Family Group meets 10 a.m. every Monday at First United Methodist Church, 11th Avenue and Fourth Street West, Palmetto. Information: 729-9053.n New Hope Al-Anon Family Group meets 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the Ellenton United Methodist Church, 3607 U.S. 301 N., Ellenton. Information: 776-0732.n Manatee County Alateen Group, 7:30 p.m. Mondays at Woodland Baptist Church, 9607 State Road 70 E. Al-Anon and Alcoholics Anonymous also meet at 7:30 p.m. in the same location every Monday. No dues or fees. Information: 747-2879.n Harvest United Methodist Church hosts Alcoholics Anonymous at 4 p.m. Saturdays in Lakewood Ranch, 14305 Covenant Way. Open and non-smoking. Information/directions, 907-7333.n These groups meet at Christ United Methodist Church, 5512 26th St. W.; New Woman’s Group (Women’s AA) at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays; Al Anon 7 p.m. Saturdays; T.O.P.S. at 6 p.m. Mondays in Peterson Hall; Al Anon at 7 p.m. Thursdays in room 9/10. Information: 755-2722.n Al-anon helps families of alcoholics. Weekly meetings are offered at the following locations: — Lakewood AFG: 4 p.m. Saturdays at Harvest Methodist Church, 14305 Covenant Way — Al-anon East: 7 p.m. Mondays at Woodland Baptist Church, 9607 State Road 70 in Room 122 — Eastside Steppers: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at new Beginning Assembly of God, 215 Kay Road Information: 746-6123.n Alcoholics Anonymous, “Women of Gratitude Group,” 4 p.m. every Saturday at the Gratitude Room, 615 59th St. W. The group will discuss intimate issues about staying sober.

Alcohol, Christ-centered: Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12 Step Program, meets 7 p.m. Mondays at Faith Christian Church, 5215 Lorraine Road. Information: 746-5711, ext. 206; e-mail cahilldonaol.com or slivingston1012aol.com.

Addictions: Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12 Step Program for chemically dependent and codependent men and woman, meets 7 p.m. Mondays at Faith Christian Church, 5215 Lorraine Road. Information: 746-5711, ext. 206; e-mail cahilldonaol.com. n Reformers Unanimous Addictions program, 2113 Morgan Johnson Road, hosts an addiction support group 7-9 p.m. every Friday. The group offer help to people battling any addiction. The program offers clean nurseries and a kids club for free. Information: 746-6221.

Alzheimer’s: The Inn at Freedom Village, 6410 21st Ave. W., Bradenton, is offering a free Alzheimer’s support group at 1:30 p.m. the third Thursday of every month in the third-floor private dining room. Refreshments will be served and loved ones are cared for during the meeting. RSVP to 798-8203.n The Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association meets at 10 a.m. the second Monday of the month at Tidewell Hospice, 4151 37th St. (Mendoza Road) in Palmetto. Information: 1-800-772-8672.n Meeting 2:30 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month at The Community of Christ Church, 5817 33rd St. E. Information 795-1900.n Alterra Clare Bridge of Bradenton hosts a support group for individuals with early stage Alzheimer’s dementia or other cognitive loss and their families at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 6101 Pointe West Boulevard. Information: Janice Kenny at 795-5533.n Braden River Care Center, 2010 Manatee Ave. E., hosts an Alzheimer’s support group that meets 1 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month. Information: 747-3706.n Pines of Sarasota, 1501 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, hosts an Alzheimer’s Support Group at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month in the Conference Room on the second floor of the Administration Building. Meetings are designed to provide support for caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s and will be lead by Pam Polowski, program specialist with the Alzheimer’s Association Florida Gulf Coast Chapter. Information: Jane Lautner, 955-6293.

Alzheimer’s caregivers: Meals on Wheels Plus hosts the following support groups for caregiver of those with chronic health or memory problems including Alzheimer’s:n 2 p.m. the third Tuesday of each month at the Senior Enrichment Center, 1816 Ninth St. W. n 10:30 a.m. the third Tuesday of the month at the Braden River Library, 4915 53rd Ave. E.n 1-2 p.m. on the third Friday of each month at the Island Branch Library, 5701 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach.n 10-11 a.m. the first Thursday of the month at Northern Trust Bank, 6320 Venture Drive, Suite 100, Lakewood Ranch.n 2:30-3:30 p.m. the first Thursday of the month at the Adult Day Center East, 2703 19th St. E., Bradenton. A light supper is served at 6 p.m. Call 748-3001 for reservations.n 6:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month at Caregiver Support Group office, 811 23rd Ave. E. A light supper is served at 6 p.m. Reservations required for supper and care.n 10:30-11:30 a.m. the first Wednesday of the month at Colony Cove West, Bayshore meeting room, Ellenton.n Alzheimer’s Caregivers support group meets noon-2 p.m. the third Wednesday of each month at Summerfield Retirement Residence, 26th St. W., Bradenton. Complimentary lunch from noon-1 p.m. and meeting from 1-2 p.m. Respite care provided for your loved one while you attend support group meeting. RSVP to 751-7200.n 2-3 p.m. 3rd Tuesday of each month, Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W.n 2-3 p.m. Thursdays at the Meals on Wheels PLUS Adult Day Center, 2703 19th St. Ct. E., Bradenton. Free care provided for your loved one during the meeting; call 748-3001 to arrange care. Anxiety: “Overcoming Anxiety, Depression and Related Challenges” is a free behavior and mental health support group offered 10-11 a.m. the last Saturday of each month at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. The group is offered to meet the growing needs and requests of East Manatee residents who may want or need routine behavior and mental health support. Information: 746-5111.

Army: A U.S. Army support group meets 7 p.m. the fourth Tuesday of each month at Kirby Stewart American Legion Post 24, 2000 75th St. W. Family, friends, military men and women who support Army troops are welcomed. Information: 794-1923.

Bipolar and depression: The bipolar and depression support group meets 7:40-8:45 p.m. Monday in the gymnasium at Bayside Center for Behavioral Health, 1650 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota. Information: 917-7760.n Manatee Glens’ Depression and Bipolar Support Group, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” meets 6-7:30 p.m. Thursdays at 379 Sixth Ave. W. Information: 782-4116.

Cancer: Caring Friends Cancer Support Group meets 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays at Blake Medical Center Dolphin Pelican Room, 2020 59th St. W., Bradenton FL 334209. The group is free, doctor-supported and no registration is required. Information: 798-6056.n A caregivers’ group meets at 10 a.m. the first Tuesday of the month in the choir room of Christ United Methodist Church, 5512 26th St. W. Information: 755-2722.n Manatee Memorial Hospital hosts a Women Living With Cancer group 6:30 p.m. the second and fourth Thursdays of every month at the Medical Office Building Suite 4-G Conference Room. Information: 745-7204.

Caregivers: A memory loss support group for caregivers meets at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of every month at 26606 Verna-Bethany Road, Myakka City. Information: 962-2247.

Caregivers support: Are you a caregiver for a loved one with an advanced illness? Would you like to know about community resources specifically for caregivers? The mission of TideWell Hospice and Palliative Care’s Caregiver Support Group is to provide compassionate support to those who care for a loved one with an advanced illness. TideWell offers specialized support for caregivers in Manatee County 10-11:15 a.m. the first Wednesday of every month at the Braden River Baptist Church, 5412 State Road 64 E., Bradenton. Information: 650-7130.

Celiac: The Celiac Support Group of Sarasota/Manatee meets 1:30-3:30 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month at the Waldemere Medical Plaza, 1921 Waldemere St., Sarasota, second floor, Papaya room. Meetings are free and open to the public. Information: 924-6810 or www.sarasotamanateeceliacs.com.

Chronic pain: The National Pain Institute, 3501 Cortez Road, will offer a chronic pain support group 5:30-6:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month. The group is for anyone coping with back and neck pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathies and more. Information: 757-6300.

Diabetes support group: The Manasota Diabetes Support Group meets at 7 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays of the month from September through April at Blake Medical Center, 2020 59th St. W. Each meeting features a special program. Information: 746-4029.

Divorce: Family Care Counseling Center, 5910 Cortez Road, offers support groups for women going through divorce. The stages of loss and grief are presented in an educational supportive manner. Contact Dr. Sharon Otis for more information at 792-4988.n Divorce Care seminar and support group will meet 7 p.m. Wednesdays at Woodland Baptist Church, 9607 State Road 70 E. Child care by reservation. Information: 753-8588.n Christian women who are divorced after a long-term marriage meet weekly. Information: 746-0618.n Separated or divorced people meet 7 p.m. Wednesdays at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Zaccheas House, 3100 26th St. W. Information: 795-6644.

Dizziness, falling: Meeting 1 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month at Body in Balance physical therapy clinic, 4426 Fifth St. W. Information: 758-2111.

Down Syndrome: Manasota B.U.D.S. — (Bringing Up Down Syndrome) — a support group for families of children with Down syndrome in Sarasota and Manatee, meets 7-9 p.m. the first Thursday of every month at Living Lord Lutheran Church, 11120 State Road 70 E. Baby-sitting available for children with Down syndrome and siblings. Check Web site for upcoming events and guest speaker schedule: www.manasotabuds.com.

Dystonia: Dystonia support group. Information: 355-0853.

Elder Helpline: The West Central Florida Area Agency on Aging’s Elder Helpline offers support for the growing numbers of caregivers and their aging parents. The Elder Helpline provides information on programs or services that can meet the needs of the senior or caregiver. Information: (800) 963-5337 or visit www.wcfaaa.org.

Epilepsy: If you, or someone you love, has epilepsy or a seizure disorder, and you would be interested in a local support group, call Dennis at 753-5923 or Tracy at 750-9856. Times and places of meetings will be scheduled based on the needs of those responding.

Family of homicide victims: A support group for family and friends of homicide victims meets 7-8 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month at the Family Emergency Treatment Center, 1404 14th St. W. The group is facilitated by Leona Fedricks, L.C.S.W. volunteer and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office victim advocate. Information: 747-3011, ext. 2525.

Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue support group meets noon-2 p.m. Fridays at Perkins Restaurant, 6023 14th St. W. Information: Margie at 758-9962.n The Eastside Fibromyalgia Support Group meets 2-3:30 p.m. the first Saturday of each month at Woodland — The Community Church, Room 120, 9607 State Road 70 E. Information: 758-7277.n Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia Support Group meets at 2:30 p.m. the second Sunday of each month at the Doctors Hospital, Education Classroom, First Floor, 5731 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. Please do not wear fragrances. Call Gloria at 966-1252, ext. 2, or Donna at 378-0547.

Grief: TideWell Hospice and Palliative Care offers ongoing grief and loss support at no charge. Anyone in the community who has experienced the death of a loved one may attend. Specialized groups address specific types of loss. Participants explore the nature of grief and coping strategies. Meetings are 2 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month through April at the Fruitville Public Library conference room and 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at Harvest Methodist Church on Lorraine Road in Lakewood Ranch. Information: 552-5948.n Have you suffered a great loss or “loneliness in the midst of a crowd?” Transitions helps you deal with loss and loneliness and find your vibrant self. The Congregational-United Church of Christ, 3700 26th St. W., hosts a Transitions Support Group 5 p.m. every Sunday. The support group features trained counselors and provides a safe place for people to deal with traumatic changes in their lives, including abuse, death, addiction, job loss, health and more. Information: 739-7103; (727) 522-3907 or 224-8608. The group also meets 5-6:30 p.m. every Wednesday except at University of South Florida, 5700 N. Tamiami Trail, Room A111, Sarasota.n Grief Share, a video support group, is held at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at Church of the Cross, 5051 26th St. W. For information call 756-0060, ext. 374. Child care provided.n The Surviving Spouses of Manatee has reformed under the name Surviving Singles. All surviving spouses, divorcees and singles are welcome to weekly lunches held on Thursdays at various locations throughout the county. Contact Shirley Molan at 729-3120 or Anita Selito at 758-8031.

Grandparents as parents: Grandparents as Parents “Caring Kin” provides free support groups and counseling for relative caregivers and their children. The groups meet 11:30-1:30 p.m. every third Saturday at Congregational United Church of Christ, 3700 26th St. W. Bradenton. For more information contact: Michelle Burroughs, 345-1200, ext. 109.

Hearing loss: The Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota support group meets 1:30-3:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the Selby Public Library, Sarasota. Information: 484-5461; www.shhhsarasota.org.

Herpes: Planned Parenthood of Sarasota, 1958 Prospect St., Sarasota, offers a herpes/HPV support group, 7-9 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. Meetings are free and confidential. Information 365-3913.

HIV/AIDS: Trinity Charities HIV/AIDS support group for women with HIV or AIDS or whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday at 7225 N. Lockwood Ridge Road. Information 355-0847.

Huntington’s Disease: Huntington’s Disease support group meets 3-5 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at Heron House ALF, 3211 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. Information: 955-7575 or e-mail mljlmilleraol.com.

Incarceration: “Not Alone” Support Group helps people who are incarcerated and their families. Call Linda Bulter 723-6977 or Lee Brooks 723-3145.

Incest, sexual abuse: Survivors of Incest and Sexual Abuse, a meeting where women join together to support each other in the healing process from the pain and shame of incest and sexual abuse, meets 6-7:15 p.m. every last Monday of the month and 2:30-4 p.m. every first Thursday of the month at SPARCC, 2139 Main St., Sarasota. The meetings are free. Information: 739-6290.

Kinship: The 13th Avenue Community Center hosts the Manatee County Kinship Care Support Group 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month at 201 13th Ave. W. Child care and transportation can be provided. Information: Drena Green, 746-7470.

Lakewood Ranch groups: Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, 8330 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., will host these programs:n Anxiety, depression and related changes support group meetings 10-11 a.m. the last Saturday of each month in Conference Room No. One. Information: 746-5111, ext. 8152.n ALS Association Resource Group, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday in Conference Room 1. The support group will help individuals with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their family and friends. Information: (888) 257-1717. Latina women: A support group for Latina women in the community meets 6-7:30 p.m. Mondays at the Women’s Resource Center of Manatee, 1926 Manatee Ave. The group will be facilitated by Maria V. Zavala, M.A., and will teach participants techniques and activities designed to look at life, culture and work in a holistic, loving and respectful way as well as moving beyond the “comfort zone” to achieve goals in life. “Camaron que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente.” Information: 747-6797 or 723-4993, ext. 223.

Lifestyle: ALSO Out Youth provides a support group for gay and lesbian youth, 5-6:15 p.m. Wednesdays at Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 322 15th St. W. Information: 951-2576.

Living with cancer: Manatee Memorial Hospital, 206 Second St. E., hosts a “Women Living With Cancer” support group 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of every month. The support group is open to women who have experienced any type of cancer. Information: 745-7204.

Lupus: Lupus support group meets 7-8:30 p.m. at the Fruitville Library, 100 Coburn Road, Sarasota. This meeting is free of cost. The meetings feature group discussions. Information: 954-1606.

Lyme disease: A support group for those suffering from Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases is the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. There are no dues, but an offering is welcome. Information: 870-4816.

Marriage: A free weekly “Prayer Time for Marriages” is 10-11 a.m. Mondays in the Confidential Christian Counseling Center, 6400 Manatee Ave. W., Suite 3. Information: 795-4333.

Memory loss: Caregivers meet 7 p.m. the third Thursday of every month at 26606 Verna-Bethany Road, Myakka City. Information: 962-2247.

Mental health: The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Manatee County support group meets 7-9 p.m. the second Monday of the month and a speaker at the regular meeting on the fourth Monday of the month. Both meetings are at the Volunteers of America Learning Center, 2012 43rd Ave. W., Bradenton. Information: 778-5605, 778-2095.n Life Focus support groups and teachings are at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at Church of the Cross, 5051 26th St. W. Information: 756-0060.

Multiple sclerosis: A multiple sclerosis group meets 2 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at RJ Gator’s Restaurant and Bar, 5814 38th Ave. E. There are speakers featured on a regular basis. Information: 778-2610.

Narcotics: A Nar-Anon group meets at 8 p.m. Sundays at Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road S., Sarasota. Information: 957-4905.

Ostomy: Sara Tee Ostomy Support Group meets at 2 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the Easter Seals Building, 350 Braden Ave., Sarasota.

Pain management: A Pain Management Support Group meets 3-4 p.m. the second Monday of every month at Summerfield Assisted Living Residence, 3409 26th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 751-7200.

Parkinson’s: Meets 6:30-7:30 p.m. the third Thursday of the month at the Central Library, 1301 Barcarrota Boulevard. Information: 746-5687.n Bradenton Parkinson Disease Support Group meets the third Monday of every month at Trinity United Methodist Church, 3200 Manatee Ave. W. A social half hour at 1 p.m. precedes regular meeting at 1:30 p.m. Information: 746-4415.n Parkinsons Support Group meets 3-4 p.m. the third Monday of every month at Summerfield Assisted Living Residence, 3409 26th St. W., Bradenton. Information: 751-7200. Peripheral neuropathy: Meeting at 10 a.m. the second Saturday of each month at Pinnacle Medical Center, 315 75th St. W. Information: 761-0179.

Post-abortion: Care Net Manasota Pregnancy Center offers a post-abortion support group, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursdays. Meetings will be at 5111 26th St. W. Bible study will be included. Information: 751-1966.

Relationships: Family Care Counseling Center, 5910 Cortez Road, offers temperament screening and couples counseling. Call 792 4988 for more information.n Meeting 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesdays at International Theological Seminary classroom, 5415 26th St. W. Information: 753-7616.n The Women’s Resource Center, 1926 Manatee Ave. W., offers a free educational support group: “Evaluating Unhealthy Relationships.” The group will explore setting boundaries in relationships, making safe and healthy decisions for yourself and understanding the wide range of abusive and controlling relationships. The group is a collaborative effort with HOPE Family Services. For registration and scheduling information, call 747-8499.n Confidential Christian Counseling Center, 6400 Manatee Ave. W., offers “Marriage Enhancement: How to get your spouse to listen to you.” For scheduling information, call 795-7986.

Self-esteem: The Women’s Resource Center of Manatee, 1926 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, is offering a new Women’s Self-Esteem Support Group, 5:30-7 p.m. Thursdays at the center. The group will deal with issues of self-esteem, change and how to move forward in your life. Sandy Galleghar, LCSW, will be leading the group. Cost: $2. Information: 747-6797.

Sexual abuse: Manatee Glens offers a Rape Crisis Caregiver Support Group for caregivers of children who have been sexually abused. The groups meet at Manatee Glens Counseling Services, 379 Sixth Ave. W. 6-7:30 p.m. Thursdays. Information: 714-7277.n A peer support group for male survivors of sexual abuse is forming. Interested individuals should contact Ken Followell at kenfjrix.netcom.com or leave a phone message at (941) 727-3180.

Spinal Cord Injury support group: A Spinal Cord Injury Support Group will meet 6-7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month in thee dining room of HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota, 6400 Edgelake Drive. All spinal cord injury survivors and their caregivers are urged to attend. A complimentary dinner will be provided. RSVP to Debbie Balle, community liaison at 921-8743.

Stroke: Community Stroke Support Group. Information: 917-1395 (voice mail).

Tinnitus: The Tinnitus Support Group meets 4 p.m. every third Friday at the Silverstein Institute 1901 Floyd St., Sarasota. The group provides information for men and women living with tinnitus (noises within the ear). Meetings are open to the public.

Violent crime: Survivors of violent crime victims support group meets 7-8:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of every month, at 1404 14th St. W. All adults who have lost a loved one through a violent crime are welcomed to this free support group. Information: 782-4800.

Weight loss: Take Off Pounds Sensibly and Overeaters Anonymous groups meet regularly in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Other weight-loss help can be found in the yellow pages under “Weight Control Services.” The TOPS meeting times and places are:n The Downtown Group of AA meets 8-9 p.m. Mondays at Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 5115 Cortez Road. Information: 794-5188. — 6-7 p.m. for weigh-ins and 7-8 p.m. for meeting Mondays at Christ United Methodist Church, 5512 26th W. Information: 729-6850 or 708-8999. — 9:30 a.m. Thursdays at Bayshore Gardens Community Church, 6228 26th St. W. Weigh-ins are at 8:30-9:15 a.m. Information: 756-8351. — 9:30-10:45 a.m. Thursdays, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3011 19th Ave. W. Information: Doris Jason, 752-2299. — 5:30 p.m. weigh-ins and 6 p.m. meeting Thursdays, Palmetto Elks Lodge No. 2449, 4611 Fourth Ave. E., Palmetto. Information: 721-0228.n Overeaters Anonymous, a 12-step recovery program for those affected by compulsive eating, has a group in the area: — 10 a.m. Thursdays at Our Lady of Martyrs Catholic Church, Classroom 7, Ninth Street West between 63rd and Whitfield avenues. The group also meets at 7 p.m. Fridays at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2200 26th St. W., Bradenton.n Another group meets weekly at a variety of times and locations throughout Manatee and Sarasota counties. Information: 957-1488.You can also visit www.oa.org or www.oamanasota.org. For Bradenton: 721-1975 or 745-3486. For Sarasota: 365-6059 or 954-9772.

Widowed Persons: The Manatee Widowed Persons Program offers a support group for widows and widowers with volunteers have been widowed and know what it’s like. They’re trained in how to be supportive abut not intrusive. The hour of “Coffee and Conversation” is from 9-10 a.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at the Anna Maria Island Community Center, 407 Magnolia Avenue, Anna Maria. Information: 778-1908. Free.

Women’s support: Door of Hope, a women’s support group, meets at 6:45 p.m. every other Thursday at International Theological Seminary, 5415 26th St. W. Information: 753-7616.

SCREENINGS/SHOTS

ADHD: Family Care Counseling Center, 5910 Cortez Road, offers professional counseling and screenings for children with behavior problems ages 4 to 17. Contact Dr. Sharon Otis for more information at 792-4988.

Adolescent drug screening: Adolescent drug screening, with results in five minutes, at the Confidential Christian Counseling Center, 6400 Manatee Ave. W., Suite E. Appointments can be made six days a week. Call 795-7986.

Balance screenings: Body in Balance Physical Therapy, 4426 Fifth St. W., and 701 Manatee Ave. W., Suite 103, is offering free computerized balance screenings to anyone concerned about their balance, afraid of falling or experiencing dizziness. The screenings are designed to assess potential fall risk and fall prevention. General safety information is available with the goal of decreasing fall potential and avoiding the medical complications associated with falls. Information and reservations: 708-0007.

Diabetes, blood pressure: Manatee County Health Department offers a free blood sugar (diabetes) screening the second Wednesday of each month (nothing to eat or drink except water for 8-12 hours prior), and a free blood pressure screening (hypertension). Information: 748-0747, ext. 1304.n Advanced Physical Therapy, 5221 33rd St. E., offers free blood pressure readings 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Fridays. Information: 752-9719.n The Red Cross offers free blood pressure screenings 9 a.m.-noon Thursdays, 2905 59th St. W. No appointment necessary. Information: 792-8686.

Free emotional well-being screening: A licensed clinical social worker will provide free screenings to help couples in conflict identify issues contributing to family problems, depression and other wellness issues. Information: 778-2743 or 730-4776.

HIV testing: Free confidential and anonymous HIV testing available, no needles, no blood drawn. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays; 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursdays. Michael Bach Health Center, 2703 19th St. Court E. Information: 708-8500.

Memory screening: The Roskamp Institute is offering free memory screening for adults aged 60 and older on the first Tuesday and third Friday of each month at 2040 Whitfield Ave., Sarasota. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 256-8018 or visit www.rfdn.org.

Osteoporosis: The Well Body Clinic Inc., a physical therapy and wellness center at 3914 Eighth Ave. W., offers free osteoporosis posture screening; call 747-7741 for an appointment.The Wellness Promotion/Chronic Disease Prevention team at the Manatee County Health Department offers osteoporosis screenings 1-4 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month at the Manatee County Health Department, 410 Sixth Ave. E., Bradenton. Cost is $20. Information: 748-0747, ext. 1304.

SERVICES

Adult Day Center: Meals on Wheels Plus Adult Day Center offers an armchair aerobics class twice a week to boost mobility and flexibility for seniors and adults with disabilities. The Adult Day Center also assists clients in order to enable caregivers to continue caring for an impaired family member at home. Specialized care is also available for participants with mid-to-late stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Information: 748-3001.

Companions/veterans: Tarrod Staffing and Homemaker Companions Inc. provides care to veterans or widows of veterans in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Call 755-6700 for information.

Depression: Confidential Christian Counseling Center, 6400 Manatee Ave. W., offers professional counseling and an educational workshop titled “Christians and Depression.” Information: 795-7986.

Depression and Diabetes: Confidential Christian Counseling Center, 6400 Manatee Ave. W., Suite E, offers professional counseling and an educational workshop titled “Depression and Diabetes: What do they have in common?” Information 795-7986.

Free exams for women: The Manatee County Health Department offers free breast exams, pap and pelvic examinations, and mammograms to women older than 50 who are low-income and do not have health insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. Information: 748-0747, ext. 1333, 1461 or 1320.

Phones for hard of hearing: The State of Florida through Florida Telecommunications Relay Inc. offers a phone on loan program to anyone with hearing loss. The program is free. The Community Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a United Way agency in Bradenton and Sarasota, acts as a clearinghouse for applications and has a trained specialist on staff to train you in how to use the phone. Information: 758-2539.

Homebound seniors gift bags: Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee is in need of assorted items that will be used for holiday gift bags for homebound seniors. Items such as combs, Kleenex, shaving cream, razors, mouthwash, toothpaste, brushes, handkerchiefs, cologne, notepads, pens, hand lotion, trinkets, cards, knee highs, men’s socks and deodorants are suggested. Items can be delivered to 811 23rd Ave. E., or if in bulk quantities, items can be picked up. Information: 747-4655.

Lakewood Ranch speakers: Lakewood Ranch Medical Center offers free speakers who can address your organization of 15 or more members on nutrition, women’s labor and delivery, home health services and more. Information: 782-2128.

Manatee senior program: Manatee Memorial Hospital, 206 Second St. E., offers the Senior Advantage Program, which provides free and discounted services that enhance the health and wellbeing of adults 50 and olfrt, including seminars, health screenings, exercise classes, health fairs, physician referrals, and more. Be sure to ask about the waiving of the Part A Medicare deductible for members who are covered by Medicare Part A. Information: 745-7548.

Massage, meditation: Martha Kokajko, RN, AP offers ancient healing massage for harmony and stress relief. Call 744-9770 to schedule your session.n Advanced Cranio Sacral, at Fruitville Road and Interstate 75, offers whole body therapy for relief from pain, migraines, T.M.J., headaches, auto injury and more. Information: 755-3437 or visit www.iahp.com/Terrence-Grywinski.n Steve Schmidt, LMT of Treatments Day Spa in Bradenton, offers Swedish relaxation, deep tissue and trigger-point NMT massages. Information: 713-4246.n Paula Termini, RN and licensed massage therapist of Transitions Massage, offers Swedish, perinatal and infant massage services. Information: 730-0203.n Sara Canright, licensed massage therapist serving Bradenton and Palmetto area, offers Swedish, therapeutic deep tissue and hot stone massage. Call 224-4695 for an appointment.n Lucy White, licensed massage therapist serving Bradenton and Palmetto area, offers Swedish, hot stone massage and cranio-sacral therapy. Call 776-1538 for an appointment.n Reiki Master Carla Mary offers meditation classes and massage in Bradenton and Sarasota. Call 729-5142 or visit www.carlamary.com for more information.

Massage and skin care: The Florida College of Natural Health Bradenton Campus offers reduced cost massage and skin care treatments on an appointment basis. Information: 744-1244.

Medicare counseling: The Department of Elder Affairs Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE) Program provides free Medicare and insurance counseling. Volunteers assist seniors with choosing supplemental and long-term policies, help file a claim or appeal to Medicare, provide prescription benefit information, answer general Medicare/Medicaid coverage questions, report Medicare fraud and more. Call (800) 336-2226, ext. 2103.

Multiple sclerosis: Multiple sclerosis clinic monthly at Manatee Memorial Hospital’s Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Center, Health Park East, 6020 53rd Ave. E. For dates and times, call 745-7559 or 746-3115.

New Options Program: Separated? Divorced? Widowed? Have a disabled or unemployed spouse? Need to get a job but have limited skills? If you are 35 years old or older, you may qualify for free career counseling, job skills training and employability services designed to assist you toward employment and financial stability. The program offers help in exploring career-training opportunities to match your interest, needs, and secure financial aid to enroll on job-training programs. Topics of assistance include: financial management, resume building, learning how to interview, job search strategies, job placement and more. Information: 751-7900, ext. 2192.

Padgett House tour: The Padgett House will offer tours to women’s organizations, health-care professionals and families needing help for a family member. The Padgett House is a residential home for women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. The Padgett House’s mission is to assist women in maintaining a productive life through counseling, employment, and encouragement. Information: 486-8532.

Physician referral services: Manatee Memorial Hospital, 206 Second St. E., offers a free physician referral service. The service is available to anyone new in town looking for a physician, if needing a specialist or for information on health care. The service is available 9 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturdays. Call (800) 816-4145.n Direct Doctors Plus offers free physician referral service. Information: (800) 454-8215.

Smoking cessation program: The Manatee County Health Department, 410 Sixth Ave. E., offers a smoking cessation program 5-6 p.m. every Wednesday at the Manatee County Health Department in Conference Room A. The program consists of four one-hour sessions. Classes are ongoing with a new session starting every four weeks. Cost: $55, which includes all materials. Registration and information: 726-9977.

Substance abuse: Free help for families of substance abusers is available 7-8:30 p.m. Mondays at Church of Christ, 2300 43rd St. W., Bradenton. The group meet in Sutton Hall behind the church. Park on the grass. Information: myfagroup@hotmail.com.

Truvine Teen Clinic: Services at the Truvine Teen Health Clinic, 1946 32nd St., Sarasota, are available 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 2:30-5:30 p.m. Thursdays. The clinic serves young men and women ages 11 to 19. Health clinic services are free and include pregnancy testing, birth control information, sexually transmitted disease testing, nutrition counseling, diabetes prevention and more. Services are available on a walk-in basis or by appointment. Call the Sarasota County Health Department at 861-2814 to schedule an appointment or for more information. Volunteers talk to seniors: Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee is looking for volunteers to participate in the free community program called Telephone Reassurance. The program gives home-bound seniors who have little to no contact with the outside world an opportunity to talk with a volunteer. During three-minute phone conversations, volunteers provide both social contact and learn about possible problems at home in order to alert loved ones. Volunteers can work from their own homes. If you are interested in learning more about this program and would like to sign up as either a client or a volunteer, call 747-4655.

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