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. Monday, Jan. 21. Learn to plan meals that taste good and provide balance in the diet. The second part, Kitchen Wisdom, teaching how to enhance healthful meals with herbs and spices for a variety of tastes, will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 28. The programs will be held at Howard County General Hospital's Wellness Center at the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite 100, Columbia. Register for one or both classes at http://hcgh.org. Information: 410-740-7601.
Eat well, stay well
Learn how a plant-based diet can help you lose weight, get off medications and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, in The Hawthorn Center, 6175 Sunny Spring Road, Columbia. The program, presented by internist Dr. Dana Simpler and health coach Sharon McRae, will discuss important nutritional facts and recipes. The $75 cost includes take-home materials and food. Registration and information: Dana Simpler, 410-563-1700; or Sharon McRae, 410-615-4631.
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 wigs 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, Registration: 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 will be held from 2 p.m. 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 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. by appointment: 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.
Laurel Regional Hospital Offered free at 7300 Van Dusen Road, 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 the month. Claudia Mayer Cancer Resource Center Offered free at 10710 Charter Drive, Suite G050, Columbia (410-740-5858): •Support group for caregivers offering help for a loved one suffering from cancer or other illnesses meets at 3:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of each month and the third Saturday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Medical Pavilion, Howard County General Hospital, 10710 Charter Drive, Suite G010, Columbia. 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. •A living with breast cancer support group meets from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of every month. Registration: 410-740-5858. •The Teens Together support group, a networking group for teens who have a friend or family member with cancer, will meet from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month. Information: 410-740-5858. Widows and widowers The group meets from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at Jilly's in the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center, 10300 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. Information: 410-740-5858. Parkinson's disease An education and support group meets at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of every month, 8180 Lark Brown Road, 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. the third Friday of every month. A group for men and women meets from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. the first Thursday of every month. Meetings are at the county Health Department, 7180 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia. Information: 410-313-6267. Prostate cancer support group The Man to Man Prostate Cancer Support Program is a forum for men to learn about diagnosis and treatment options, management and side effects, and quality-of-life issues. The program provides a comfortable and confidential setting among peers to discuss and share common 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 (excluding July and August) at the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center in the Medical Pavilion, 10710 Charter Drive in Columbia. Information: American Cancer Society, 800-227-2345.