It’s frightening to receive a diagnosis of heart failure. For most people, the words “heart failure” bring on fears of imminent death. But once patients realize the diagnosis doesn’t mean their heart is going to stop beating immediately, they need to learn skills to better manage their condition and they may also want to connect with others who have the same problem.

If so, a series of five free classes known as “The Beat Goes On” will be offered by Waldo County General Hospital on Thursdays from 1:30 to 3 p.m. beginning Sept. 27. The classes will be held in the second floor conference room at 125 Northport Ave., the new green-roofed building across from the hospital.

The five classes and the instructors are:

• Sept. 27: You can do this: Self-Management Skills for Living Well with Heart Failure by Deb Czuchra, the nurse practitioner in the cardiology office;

• Oct. 4: Eating Well with Heart Failure: Get the Low Down on Salt by Jen Nelson, registered dietician at the hospital;

• Oct. 11: Pills and Me: Understanding the World of Heart Failure by Nancy Nystrom, a pharmacist at the hospital;

• Oct. 18: Pump it Up: Exercising with Heart Failure by Teri Blackadar, RN, who oversees the hospital’s Swing Bed program; and

• Oct. 25: Ahhh: Managing the Stress of Heart Failure by Jo-Ann Whiting, RN, the hospital’s community case manager.

While the course is free, space is limited, so register early by calling Barbara Crowley at 930-2650 or e-mailing her at bcrowley@wcgh.org.