Community health events
Howard County General Hospital will offer the following community health education programs in January. Unless otherwise noted, all programs are held at the HCGH Wellness Center at the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, Columbia. To register, go to hcgh.org. Information: 410-740-7601.
•Prenatal classes for early pregnancy, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 9. Learn about physical changes, a baby's growth and easy ways to support your pregnancy in the first trimester.
•Prenatal exercise, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Jan. 10 to Feb. 28. Cost is $88 for eight sessions. Taught by a certified instructor. Physician permission is required.
•Understanding pre-diabetes, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 10. Learn how to prevent or delay diabetes. Cost $15.
•Happiest baby on the block, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 16. Parents and parents-to-be can learn techniques to quickly soothe their baby. Cost is $50 per couple and includes parent kits.
•Quit smoking, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. beginning Jan. 16. Education and support for those wanting to quit or who have quit.
•A child's learning is affected by vision. Learn about eye health and safety, common complaints and what you can do to spot problems. Presented by pediatric ophthalmologist Anya Trumler, M.D., from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 17.
•Healthy Weight, the first part of a two-part series for those looking to lose weight in 2013, will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 21. Plan meals that taste great and provide balance in your diet. The second part, Kitchen Wisdom, which teaches how to enhance healthy meals with herbs and spices for a variety of tastes, will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 28. Register for one or both classes.
Caregivers and seniors
Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland has received an 18-month, $500,000 challenge grant from the Maryland Home and Community Care Foundation, and additional funding from the Howard County Department of Citizen Services. SERVE (Services, Education and Resources for Vulnerable Elders) will work to improve the safety of seniors, enhance the quality of life for caregivers, help families find services, prevent premature institutionalization and reduce incidents of elder abuse and neglect. For information or to donate, go to the website, fcsmd.org.
Look good, feel better
This free program teaches beauty techniques to women with cancer to help them combat appearance-related side effects of treatment. Participants receive a bag of cosmetics donated by major manufacturers as well as instruction and suggestions for wig care and head coverings. The class is taught by a licensed cosmetologist. Classes are held the third Monday of the month at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center in the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive in Columbia. For information or registration, call the American Cancer Society, 888-535-4555.
The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross is requesting blood donations. Eligible donors can call 800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule an appointment. Platelet donors should call 800-272-2123.
Spiritual reflections: Bon Secours Spiritual Center offers spiritual enrichment programs, 1525 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville. Information and registration: 410-442-1320.
Dance classes: Presented by Vantage House, a continuum of Care Retirement Community (CCRC) will be held 2 to 3 p.m. every Thursday in the Vantage House auditorium, 5400 Vantage Point Road, Columbia. Dance is shown to improve balance, gait and mood in those with Parkinson's disease. The program is funded by the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area. Registration and information: Megan Wallnofer at 410-992-1691, or go to vantagehousepd.eventbrite.com.
The county Health Department's North Laurel Health Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, will offer walk-in HIV/AIDS testing services from 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. by appointment only: 410-313-0630. Also, the Columbia Health Center, 7180 Columbia Gateway, will conduct HIV testing at 8 a.m. Mondays for the first 20 people. Information: 410-313-7500. Testing is free, anonymous and confidential.