The following free programs will be held at Haven of Northern Virginia, 4606 Ravensworth Rd., Annandale. 703-941-7000 or

* Widow and widower bereavement support group, 2-3:30 p.m. next Thursday.

* Suicide survivors' bereavement support group, 7:30-9 p.m. Tuesday.


A health festival will feature displays on dental education; community health and education resources; screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes; and vision screenings by the Lions Club. Also, arts and crafts, face painting, a moon bounce, storytelling and

karaoke. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, the medical education campus, medical hall, Northern Virginia Community College, 6699

Springfield Center Dr., Springfield. Free. 703-822-6500.

Caregiver seminar, "Understanding Dementia: Communication and Behavior," presented by Sue Stone of the Alzheimer's Family Day Care Center and Nancy Dezan of the Alzheimer's Association. Subjects will include the symptoms of various forms of dementia and how to get a good medical diagnosis, plus the strategies for effective communication and managing behavior challenges, 10-11:30 a.m. Monday, Chantilly Regional Library, 4000 Stringfellow Rd.. Free; registration required. 703-324-5205.

Alzheimer's Association education program, "Life after Diagnosis," a program for family caregivers concerning Alzheimer's disease and related disorders, treatment, stages of progression, community resources and how to plan for the future. 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Alzheimer's Association, 11240 Waples Mill Rd., Suite 402, Fairfax. Free. 800-272-3900.

Breastfeeding Moms Group discussion, led by an experienced maternal-infant nurse/lactation consultant. Weekly prize drawing, free parking, baby weight check, refreshments and resource information. 10:30 a.m.-noon, Thursdays, Inova Fairfax Hospital Women's Center, Seventh Floor Dayroom, 3300 Gallows Rd., Falls Church. $5 a session. 703-776-6455.

Children's educational support program, an eight-week group for ages 5-12 to learn about cancer and manage the emotions and changes that come when a family member has cancer. 5:15-6:15 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 5-Nov. 30, Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield. Registration required; call Jenny Eckert at 703-208-5623.

"Teens Meet and Eat," for ages 13-18. Teens who have a family member with cancer eat dinner and share their concerns. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield. Registration required; call Jenny Eckert at 703-208-5623.


Mended Hearts, a free support group for heart surgery patients and their families and friends. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Inova Telestar Center, 2990 Telestar Ct., Falls Church. 703-924-6244.

Take Off Pounds Sensibly, a weight-loss support group with weekly weigh-ins and educational programs. 6:45 p.m. Thursdays, Bruen Chapel Methodist Church, 3035 Cedar Lane, Fairfax. $20 a year, plus $5 a month; first meeting free. 703-205-9041 or

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder support group, a free group for individuals diagnosed with OCD. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Mondays, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, 4000 Lorcom Lane, Arlington. 703-535-6575.

The following free groups are held at Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Merrifield. Registration required. 703-776-2841.

* CanSurvive, a patient-led general cancer group, noon-1:30 p.m. today.

* Brain tumor group, noon-1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

* Melanoma group, 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

* Thyroid cancer group, 10:30 a.m.-noon Saturday.

Breast cancer group, for women living with early-stage breast cancer, 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday and Oct. 19, Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children, Radiation Oncology Conference Room, 3300 Gallows Rd., Falls Church. Use blue parking garage. Registration required. 703-776-2841.

Breast cancer group, dietitian Julia Thorsen discusses nutrition and breast cancer. 7-8 p.m., Wednesday, Sunrise Assisted Living at Fair Oaks, 3750 Joseph Siewick Dr., Fairfax. Registration required. 703-776-2841.

The ostomy support group of Northern Virginia, for patients and caregivers. "Beyond Kegels: biofeedback and urinary incontinence," a presentation by Mary Ann Brooks. 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, Physician's Conference Center, Inova Fairfax Hospital, 3300 Gallows Rd., Falls Church. Use blue parking garage. Free. 703-802-3457.

Epilepsy support group, sponsored by the Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region, for adults diagnosed with seizure disorders and caregivers. 7-8 p.m. Wednesdays, Falls Church High School, Room 100, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church. Free. 703-425-6660.

-- Compiled by JEAN MACK