Tidewell announces promotion of Stacy Groff to VP of Specialized Services

Tidewell Hospice is pleased to announce the promotion of Stacy Groff, MNM, from Director of Volunteer Services to Vice President of Specialized Services.

Groff joined Tidewell in 2005 as a Volunteer Coordinator. She was promoted to Director of Volunteer Services in 2007. In that role, Stacy has been responsible for a department of 10 employees and more than 1,000 volunteers. Before arriving at Tidewell, Stacy served as a music therapist at a hospice in Palm Beach and as a memory care unit manager in Sarasota.

As Tidewell’s Vice President of Specialized Services, Groff will lead the Transitions program, the Complementary Services Department and the Tidewell Honors Veterans Program. She will continue to oversee the Volunteer Department.

Transitions is a volunteer-based service for clients who have a prognosis of one year or less. Tidewell’s Complementary Services include massage therapy, expressive arts, horticultural activities, music interventions, aromatherapy, clowning and Reiki. The Tidewell Honors Veterans program focuses on respectfully celebrating veterans and providing care that recognizes the unique challenges that may exist in military families. It is one of 11 hospice program to achieve Level 5 status with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s We Honor Veterans Programs.

Bayfront Health breaks ground for new primary care and walk-in

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda recently broke ground to build a primary care and walk-in facility located at Kings Crossing Shopping Center on Kings Highway.

This location will offer same day, walk-in care and is expected to open late fall of this year. Currently Bayfront Health has primary care locations in both Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, both offering same-day appointments. To learn more, visit www.BayfrontPrimaryCare.com.

Linda Smithers

elected as the new Board Chair for Grounds for Health

The Grounds for Health Board of Directors has elected Linda Smithers, of Port Charlotte, as the new Board Chair. Smithers, past President of the Specialty Coffee Association and winner of the 2014 Rainforest Alliance Change Agent Award, recently retired as a Director and Head of North American Marketing for Daterra Coffee. She takes over from Dan Cox, interim Board Chair and co-founder of the nonprofit organization that is headquartered in Williston, Vermont with staff in East Africa. Grounds for Health trains local health professionals to screen and treat cervical pre-cancer and helps them develop a sustainable program in their communities to keep women healthy and stop cervical cancer deaths. Working primarily in low resource areas of the coffeelands, Grounds for Health has developed programs in Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Tanzania, and currently has programs in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Learn more about Grounds for Health: http://groundsforhealth.org

Neuro Challenge

Foundation for Parkinson’s

• Port Charlotte Parkinson’s Support Group (Sharing and Support for people with Parkinson’s and their families) from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on May 14 at Murdock Baptist Church: Student Center, 18375 Cochran Blvd., Port Charlotte.

• North Port JFCS Care Partner Connection with Carolyn Stephens, LCSW (Open Forum and Sharing) and Parkinson’s Power Hour from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on May 15 at Neuro Challenge Foundation North Port, 5600 Peace River Road.

• Englewood Parkinson’s Support Group (Sharing and Support for people with Parkinson’s and their families) from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on May 17 at St. David’s Episcopal Church, 401 S. Broadway, Englewood.

For a full listing of Neuro Challenge programs and services, visit www.neurochallenge.org.

Stroke education

Fawcett Memorial Hospital is offering free stroke-risk education assessments at Charlotte State Bank & Trust. These one-on-one consultations will take place at bank offices from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. according to the following schedule:

• May 15 – Charlotte Harbor, 23112 Harborview Road, Charlotte Harbor

• May 29 – Punta Gorda, 2331 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda

• June 12 – North Port, 4300 Aidan Lane, North Port

While the assessments are free, reservations are recommended and may be made by calling Consult-A-Nurse 941-624-4441. Walk-ins are welcome and will be seen as time permits.

Florida West Coast Car Club show

The Florida West Coast Car Club will be hosting a family-fun filled event. Car show. Door prizes. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 14 at Village Place Health & Rehab Center, 2370 Harbor Blvd., Port Charlotte. For more information, call 941-624-5966.

Mental Health Walk

Celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month at the mental health walk schedule from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 18 at Laishley Park. Guests are encourage to bring lawn chairs to this pet friendly/kid friendly event. For more information, visit www.cbhcfl.org.

C.A.R.E. luncheon

The Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies (C.A.R.E.) will hold its inaugural Paula Hess Humanitarian Scholarship Luncheon. The scholarship was created to honor one of C.A.R.E.’s original founders, Paula Edmond Hess. It will be held at noon on May 21 at Isles Yacht Club, 1780 W Marion Ave., Punta Gorda. Reservations are $40 per person and can be made by calling 941-639-5499. For more information, email: judithharris2@comcast.net.

Proactive Parenting presentation

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office & Drug Free Charlotte County is teaming up to present a night of education for parents of teens. This Proactive Parenting presentation will be focused on social media and current drug trends within today’s youth. The event will be hosted by New Day Christian Church, 20212 Peachland Blvd., Port Charlotte, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on May 21. The presentation will include a Hidden in Plain Sight activity and door prizes from Drug Free Charlotte County. During the presentation, New Day Christian Church & Drug Free Charlotte County will cohost a game night paired with prevention messages & dinner for teens. For more information, share with your friends, and register here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2337970703106768/.

Yoga with Essentials Oils

Yoga with Essentials Oils: An Aromatic Experience will be held from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 26 at the Yoga Sanctuary, 112 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda. Explore the refreshing, relaxing, and restorative effects of yoga practiced with essential oils. Start with a short discussion about the benefits of incorporating essential oils into your yoga practice. Then explore a challenging, yet accessible practice designed to invigorate and open your senses followed by a restorative practice that will take you to a place of deep relaxation. Each participant will receive a sample oil to take home and experiment with on your own. This workshop is open to everyone.

‘Dog About Town’

Suncoast Humane Society along with Village Place Health and Rehabilitation Center, 2370 Harbor Blvd., Port Charlotte, will host Dog About Town (dog handler volunteers and adoptable dogs) and handmade blanket sales for donation and SHS marketing table from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 8. For more information, contact Activity Director, Victoria Naekel at victoria.naekel@greystonehealth.com or call 941-624-5966

Powerful Tools for Caregivers class offered

The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) is partnering with Port Charlotte United Methodist Church, 21075 Quesada Ave., to offer a free six-week program, Powerful Tools for Caregivers in Port Charlotte. The six-week workshop continues through June 11. The class is designed to help family caregivers better take care of themselves while also caring for a loved one with an illness or disability. Class size is limited and advance registration is required. Workshops will be presented on six consecutive Tuesdays from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. For more information or to register, call Sherry Young at the Area Agency on Aging’s Elder Helpline at 866-413-5337 or email sherry.young@aaaswfl.org.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Walk to End Alzheimer’s — Charlotte County will be held on Oct. 5 at Laishley Park, 100 Nesbit St., Punta Gorda. Registration begins at 8 a.m. with the walk starting at 9 a.m. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Sign up today at act.alz.org/charlottefl. or contact Kathy Heldman at 312-203-6418 or email: kaheldman@alz.org.

ONGOING Essentrics workouts

Essentrics workouts are being held at 8:30 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 10 a.m. on Thursdays at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve St., Punta Gorda. No membership needed, just $10 per class. This workout is the perfect addition to your wellness routine. Essentrics is a full body strengthening and flexibility workout that is suitable for all levels of fitness. The technique is based on eccentric strengthening which lengthens our muscles, unlocks tight joints, improves mobility and posture and helps prevent injuries.

Hope PACE seeking volunteers

Do you have a caring heart and time to share? Hope PACE, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly that helps aging adults live independently in our community, is seeking volunteers for its Port Charlotte Care Center.

Volunteers may be asked to talk and socialize with individuals in Hope’s care, organize fun games and activities, assist with crafts or special projects, help with meals and snacks, or offer administrative support to on-site staff.

Before helping at the Hope PACE Care Center, volunteers will receive an in-depth orientation session. Volunteers must be at least 14 years or older. Call 239-415-7217 or visit www.HopeHCS.org/volunteer for more information about volunteer opportunities.

To learn more about Hope Healthcare programs, including Hope Kids Care, Hope PACE, Hope Palliative Care and the Hope Parkinson Program, call 239-482-4673 or visit www.HopeHCS.org.

LOUD Crowd classes

The LOUD Crowd classes meet every Thursday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Universal Fitness, 1544 Rio De Janeiro Ave, Punta Gorda. No fee. New member are requested to contact 941-204-1515 prior to attending for the first time.

The LOUD Crowd is a weekly speech class for individuals with Parkinson’s disease who have previously undergone speech therapy. For more information contact Mary Spremulli, at 941-204-1515 or email info@voiceaerobicsdvd.com.

Voice Aerobics class

Sponsored by Neurochallenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, Voice Aerobics with Mary Spremulli is held the fourth Thursday of the month from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Peace River Presbyterian Center, 5600 Peace River Road, North Port. Voice Aerobics is a whole body voice strengthening program combining voice practice with movement. The class provides education about speech and voice changes associated with Parkinson’s, an introduction to vocal function exercises, and a setting for social interaction, support, and communication. There is no fee for classes.

No prior speech therapy is required to join, and classes will focus on: vocal function exercise, speech practice, and methods to improve communication for people living with Parkinson’s. To learn more, call 941-204-1515.

Monthly Tobacco Cessation Seminars

Englewood Community Hospital offers free monthly tobacco cessation seminars. The Tools to Quit program will provide information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you in developing your own quit plan. Quitting tobacco isn’t easy, but finding help should be. With the new Quit Your Way program, the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program is making it easier for tobacco users in the state to access the free and proven-effective resources available to all Floridians. They have expanded their resources offering tobacco users interested in quitting access to free tools, including a starter kit of nicotine replacement patches, Text2Quit, email tips and a quit guide.

Englewood Community Hospital offers the Group Quit seminars on the third Wednesday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Englewood Community Hospital cafeteria conference room. If you or a loved one is ready to quit your way, please register by calling 866-534-7909.

‘Minding Our Elders’

Join Karen Hallenbeck, Senior Living Advisor, Writer, Executive Director and Host of “Minding Our Elders,” is on the air at 11 a.m. every other Monday on WCCF 1580am.

Seventeen years as an Executive Director of Assisted Living Memory Care Communities has given Karen the expertise and empathy to assist families in their journey through senior living. Topics on “Minding Our Elders” will include how to choose the “right” community for your loved one, transitioning at a community, what legal issues should be completed, common questions about placement or how families can endure the emotional impact of caring for their loved one.

You can share your story or make comments during the show by calling in at 941-206-1580 or go to www.wccfam.com for the “Minding Our Elders” blog.

Free bike rides

Free bicycle rides are offered at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday. All riders are welcome. Helmet is required. The rides depart from Acme Bicycle Shop, 615 Cross St., Suite 1116, Punta Gorda. For more information, call 941-639-2263

Friendship Centers need volunteers in North Port

The Friendship Centers currently has a volunteer opening for Friendship at Home Volunteers in North Port. The Friendship at Home program matches volunteers with isolated seniors through telephone reassurance, the friendly visitor program and supportive intervention. Volunteers go through a background check and screening process. Training is provided.

If you enjoy working with older adults and would be interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact Robert Rogers at rrogers@friendshipcenters.org or 941-556-3223.

SHINE seeks volunteers

The SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program is currently recruiting volunteers to help Medicare beneficiaries in Charlotte County. SHINE is a free, unbiased Medicare and health insurance information, counseling, and assistance program whose specially-trained volunteers assist seniors in making informed health care decisions.

Currently, the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida supports more than 50 dedicated SHINE volunteers who provide services to aged and disabled Medicare beneficiaries, their caregivers, and families. However, as the number of Medicare beneficiaries needing assistance increases, the need for volunteers increases, too.

A SHINE volunteer can serve in many different capacities. Volunteers provide Medicare and health insurance information, counseling and assistance in person or over the phone, delivers educational presentations or speeches, distributes educational and promotional materials in your community, provides training and leadership to other volunteers, or assists with general program support. Assignments are matched to the skills and interests of each volunteer.

The Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida supports its volunteers through a network of paid staff and volunteer coordinators. The Department of Elder Affairs provides training and technical assistance. Volunteers also receive local mentoring and support from the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Florida.

The rewards for volunteer service are plentiful. Since the Program’s inception in 1993, SHINE volunteers have helped Florida elders and their caregivers save millions of dollars, and they have brought peace of mind to those who needed guidance in understanding and accessing health insurance options.

To inquire about volunteer opportunities or to request SHINE services in your community, contact the local Elder Helpline toll-fee a 1-866-413-5337. For more information, you may also call 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337), or visit us online at www.floridashine.org.

Blood pressure

Free blood pressure screenings are available from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte.

Knock out Parkinson’s

This boxing program improves strength, fitness, hand-eye coordination, balance and agility aimed at helping Parkinson’s patients. Taught by a certified USA Boxing coach, the program is offered from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Mondays and Wednesdays and from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays at Charlotte Harbor Boxing Club (24710 Sandhill Blvd, Unit 803, near the Kings Highway exit of Interstate 75). Space is limited. Call 239-292-9230, www.parkinsonsneurochallenge.org/ or www.facebook.com/CharlotteHarborBoxingGymnasium/ for more information.

Boxing for Parkinson’s patients

Now in Port Charlotte, the newest affiliate of the national organization, Rock Steady Boxing, offers positive progress through physical activity to people with Parkinson’s. Male and female adults with similarly matching assessments fill the classes at 1770 El Jobean Road. Dawn Holt, accredited Rock Steady Boxing affiliate, conducts classes five days a week. Each class features generous individual attention supported by Holt’s RSB accreditation, her OAS degree and her eight-year profession as personal trainer.

For class information or assessment, call 941-661-6762 or visit rocksteadyboxing.org.

Mental health program

Venice United Church of Christ is sponsoring a series of informational programs, on the fourth Thursday of the month, on the subject of mental health issues. The public is invited and there is no charge. Plan to join us in Naar Hall on the church campus at 620 Shamrock Blvd., Venice. For additional information contact the church office at 941-493-6741.

Eye, ear care

The four Lions Clubs in the area offer eye exams, eye glasses and uninsured surgeries to prevent blindness in individuals with vision impairments. Those living in Punta Gorda can contact Bill Ringelstein at 941-637-9979; those in Port Charlotte can contact Terri Smith at 941-391-1203; in Englewood, contact Gary Nieskes at 941-786-7778; and in North Port contact Penny Gregrich at 941-740-2860.

The Punta Gorda Lions Foundation has received funding to provide hearing exams and hearing aids to those anywhere in Charlotte County who need assistance with hearing problems. To determine eligibility, please contact Bill Ringelstein, Punta Gorda Lions at 941-637-9979.

Respite care

Join “A Special Place” a Burnt Store Presbyterian Church program for seniors and those with memory loss. This group respite program offers high quality day care for Alzheimer’s and other dementia clients while providing necessary time off for their caregivers. The program is held from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. every Thursday (except holidays) at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church, 11330 Burnt Store Road, Punta Gorda

Volunteers are always welcome. Please contact us if you would like to get more information on how to become a volunteer.

Donations of craft materials, games, videos and other program supplies are always appreciated. Donations can be made at the church office.

For more information contact the church office at 941-639-0001 during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or by e-mail to office@bspconline.org.

Online parenting class

Bayfront Baby Place at Bayfront Health Port Charlotte recently expanded its offering of educational resources for new parents. During their stay at Bayfront Baby Place, new moms (and dads) have been able to enjoy educational programming in their room on the television network, The Newborn Channel. Now, patients can also access this programming online and on mobile devices.

The Newborn Channel offers several informative programs on topics such as newborn, infant, and mom care, siblings and family life, and work-life balance.

For more information on how to access The Newborn Channel online programming, call 941-637-2497.

Pulmonary diet nutrition class

A free pulmonary diet nutrition class will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. the second Tuesday of every month at the Wellness & Rehabilitation Center, 733 E. Olympia Ave., Punta Gorda. Seating is limited so call 941-637-2497 to register.

Cardiac diet nutrition class

A free cardiac diet nutrition class will be held at 9 a.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month at the Wellness & Rehabilitation Center, 733 E. Olympia Ave., Punta Gorda. Registration is required by calling 941-637-2497.

CHAT forums

The Englewood Community Health Action Team meets at 9 a.m. the third Thursday of each month at the Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 E. Dearborn St., Englewood. The meetings allow social services, nonprofits and churches to network.

VOLUNTEER Volunteer coaches and leaders needed for Health and Wellness classes

The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida (AAASWFL) is seeking volunteers to lead health and wellness workshops across the region. AAASWFL offers workshops to assist adults age 60 and over, adults with disabilities and their caregivers in seven counties: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota.

Volunteers have the opportunity to lead fitness workshops focused on the unique needs of older adults. Specifically, these workshops are designed to teach older adults preventative measures to avoid falls, improve their balance, and manage chronic conditions. Classes include Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention, A Matter of Balance, Walk With Ease, the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, and Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance. Training is provided for these programs, and AAASWFL provides mileage reimbursement for volunteers. Workshops are typically held on weekday mornings and afternoons, so volunteers with flexible schedules are appreciated. Volunteers should also be at least 18 years of age, have a valid drivers’ license, and must be able to pass a background screening. While not mandatory, experience with teaching, instruction, public speaking, health care, nutrition or community outreach is helpful.

Potential volunteers may contact Sherry Young, AAASWFL Health & Wellness Coordinator, at 239-652-6900 or sherry.young@aaaswfl.org for more information. Volunteer applications can also be found at the AAASWFL website: www.aaaswfl.org.

Volunteers needed at Bayfront Health

Bayfront Health Port Charlotte welcomes adult volunteers to greet visitors at the front information desk and drive the courtesy tram. Volunteers receive free flu shots, luncheons, and a complimentary meal for every four-hour shift. Volunteers can apply online at www.bayfrontcharlotte.com/about/volunteer-opportunities, fill out an application found at front desk, or call 941-637-2570 for more information.

Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies

Volunteers are an essential part of C.A.R.E., assisting victims of crimes, answering hotline calls, conducting hospital responses, and in fundraising endeavors. If interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact 941-639-5499 for more information.

Charlotte County Meals on Wheels needs volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help distribute meals to Charlotte County residents who are unable to prepare nutritious meals for themselves. The organization is in need of volunteer drivers to deliver these meals from Monday through Friday. A volunteer driver may volunteer once a week, once every other week, or once a month. The delivery routes are in the Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte areas. To volunteer to deliver meals, call 941-625-4343.

Homeless Coalition

Homeless Coalition: Drivers for Veterans Program. Scheduling will be in advance and as needed; volunteers needed to help with eBay store; kitchen help from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday; front desk help in the office of the shelter, 9 a.m. to noon; Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; front desk help in the main office, 9 a.m. to noon and noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; filing help from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; administrative assistant help in the shelter from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; homework tutors from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; garage sale workers on the second and fourth Friday of every month; shelter case managers are needed. Twenty volunteers to help with a Homeless Simulation Training. Donation pick- up, one evening weekly in Port Charlotte. For more information, call or email Robin Clark, Volunteer Coordinator, at 941-627-4313, ext. 109, Robin.Clark@cchomelesscoalition.org.

Pregnancy Careline Center

Pregnancy Careline Center seeks both female and male volunteers to assist Charlotte County citizens who have an unexpected or otherwise stressed pregnancy. Volunteers are needed in a variety of areas. For more information, call 941-625-5576 or www.pregnancycareline.org.

Special Olympics seeks volunteers

Special Olympics Charlotte County is looking for volunteers and coaches for a wonderful group of athletes. The organization is looking for coaches for swimming, golf, power lifting, softball and bowling. This does not have to be full time; any time you can volunteer would be greatly appreciated. For more information, email info@specialolympicscharlotte.org, or call 941-391-6906.

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