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Screenings

Howard County General Hospital will hold a free screening of varicose veins from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Johns Hopkins Vein Center, Little Patuxent Specialty Care Center, Suite 150, 11065 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Dr. Richard Feinberg will conduct the private five-minute screenings and discuss treatment options. Information and registration: 410-550-8346 or hcgh.org. •The county Health Department's North Laurel Community Health Center, 9411 Whiskey Bottom Road, offers HIV/AIDS testing from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays, and from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. by appointment. Call 410-313-0630. Also, the Columbia Health Center, 7180 Columbia Gateway, conducts HIV testing at 8 a.m. Mondays by appointment. Call 410-313-7500. Testing is free, anonymous and confidential. •Walk for health at The Mall in Columbia. Blood pressure screenings are offered the second Tuesday of the month. Information: 410-730-3300. The American Cancer Society offers free workshops led by a licensed cosmetologist for women undergoing cancer treatment and learning to manage appearance-related side effects of treatment. Registration: 1-888-535-4555.

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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. A new program, 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 fcsmd.org. Presented by Vantage House, dance classes are held from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays in the retirement community's auditorium, 5400 Vantage Point Road in Columbia. Dance has been shown to improve balance, gait and mood in those with Parkinson's disease. Registration and information: Megan Wallnofer, 410-992-1691. The Retreat and Conference Center at Bon Secours offers spiritual enrichment programs at 1525 Marriottsville Road, Marriottsville. Information and registration: 410-442-1320. 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. The Department of Veterans Affairs operates a 13,300-square-foot facility to serve veterans in Anne Arundel and Howard counties. The clinic is at 2479 Fifth St., adjacent to the Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center at Fort Meade. Services include outpatient medical care, preventive health and education services, medical screenings, TeleHealth services and referrals to specialized programs and inpatient services available throughout the VA Medical Health Care System. Information: 410-305-5300.

Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center

Offered free at 10710 Charter Drive, Suite G050 in Columbia. Information: 410-740-5858: •Caregivers support group meets at 3:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month. Registration: 410-740-5858. •Living with cancer support group for cancer patients with Stage IV or metastatic diseases and their caregivers meets from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of every month. Registration: 410-740-5858. •A

support group meets from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month. Registration: 410-964-9100, ext. 5.

Prostate cancer education and support

Men can learn about diagnosis and treatment options, management, side effects and quality-of-life issues. The group offers a confidential setting among peers to discuss and share experiences and problems related to prostate cancer. There are occasional guest speakers. The program is held at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of every month at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center in the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive in Columbia. Information and registration: Gary, 202-253-1025.

Vision-impaired support group

sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at the Other Barn, 5851 Robert Oliver Place in Columbia. Information: Sharon Maneki, 410-715-9596.

Laurel Regional Hospital

Offered free at 7300 Van Dusen Road in Laurel; 301-497-7914 or 410-792-7636: •Alcoholics Anonymous, 7 p.m. Sundays •Bipolar disorder, 6 p.m. Thursdays •Narcotics Anonymous, 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays •Parkinson's disease, 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays. Information: 301-776-3426 •Rehabilitation for strokes and long-term illness, 6 p.m. the second Thursday of every month

Parkinson's disease

An education and support group meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of every month, 8180 Lark Brown Road in Elkridge. Information: 410-955-8795.

HIV support group

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for those infected with or affected by HIV. A women's group meets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the third Friday of every month. A group for men and women meets from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. Meetings are at the Columbia Health Center, 7180 Columbia Gateway Drive. Information: 410-313-6267.

Essential tremor

is often confused with Parkinson's disease. The group will meet from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the third Monday of every month at the Howard County Hospital Wellness Center, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, Columbia. The support group is sponsored by HopeNET, an all volunteer, nonprofit organization. Information: 301-776-8073 or theHopeNET.org.

Living with cancer

The group meets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the third Monday of every month at Emmanuel United Methodist Church, 17055 Scaggsville Road, North Laurel. Information: 410-792-0470, ext. 214.

Bereavement support

A support group for adults will meet from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Room 105, 8300 Old Columbia Road, Fulton. Information: 410-792-0470.

Alzheimer's support group

for those with the early stage disease and their caregivers will meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at Bethany Counseling, 2875 Bethany Lane, Ellicott City. Information and pre-screening required: Yolanda Wright, 410-561-9099 ext. 208.

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