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Dance classes

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. Information: Megan Wallnofer, 410-992-1691.

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Kindred Spirits

The social club for people diagnosed with early memory loss or dementia meets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the 50+ Center at the Gary J. Arthur Community Center, 2700 Route 97 in Cooksville. The club offers therapeutic activities, including music, art and exercise, as well as a support group. A daily fee of $30 includes snacks, lunch, coffee and tea. The program is sponsored by the Howard County Office on Aging and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Maryland. Information: Judy Miller at 410-313-5441 or email jumiller@howardcountymd.gov.

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 elder abuse and neglect. For information or to donate, go to fcsmd.org.

Blood donations

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.

Screening

AIDS testing 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. 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.

Support groups

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 breast cancer 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.

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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 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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