Community News for Caregivers

January 2020

Brain Healthy New Year's Resolutions

‘Brain Healthy’ New Year’s Resolutions

Traditional New Year’s resolutions, like losing weight or exercising more, seem to focus on our efforts around physical well-being.  While physical well-being is important to our overall well-being, taking care of our minds is equally as valuable!  Caring for our minds may not prevent cognitive change, but it can help to bolster our brain’s defenses.

The Alzheimer’s Association has listed out ’10 Ways to Love Your Brain:’

Break a sweat

Engage in regular cardiovascular exercise that elevates your heart rate and increases blood flow to the brain and body. Several studies have found an association between physical activity and reduced risk of cognitive decline.
Hit the books
Formal education in any stage of life will help reduce your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. For example, take a class at a local college, community center or online.

Butt out

Evidence shows that smoking increases risk of cognitive decline. Quitting smoking can reduce that risk to levels comparable to those who have not smoked.

Follow your heart

Evidence shows that risk factors for cardiovascular disease and stroke — obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes — negatively impact your cognitive health. Take care of your heart, and your brain just might follow.

Heads up!

Brain injury can raise your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Wear a seat belt, use a helmet when playing contact sports or riding a bike, and take steps to prevent falls.

Fuel up right

Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Although research on diet and cognitive function is limited, certain diets, including Mediterranean and Mediterranean-DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), may contribute to risk reduction.

Catch some Zzz's

Not getting enough sleep due to conditions like insomnia or sleep apnea may result in problems with memory and thinking.

Take care of your mental health

Some studies link a history of depression with increased risk of cognitive decline, so seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns. Also, try to manage stress.

Buddy up

Staying socially engaged may support brain health. Pursue social activities that are meaningful to you. Find ways to be part of your local community — if you love animals, consider volunteering at a local shelter. If you enjoy singing, join a local choir or help at an after-school program. Or, just share activities with friends and family.

Stump yourself

Challenge and activate your mind. Build a piece of furniture. Complete a jigsaw puzzle. Do something artistic. Play games, such as bridge, that make you think strategically. Challenging your mind may have short and long-term benefits for your brain.


For questions about how to incorporate one of the above strategies into your own life, feel free to reach out to the Aging Information Helpline at 919-968-2087 or

Additional Reading:

From the Alzheimer's Association
The Caregiver Solution to New Year's Resolutions

From Daily Caring:
4 New Year's Goals to Improve Caregiver Well-Being

From The Health:
15 New Year's Resolutions for your Brain


Martin Luther King Jr.

The Department on Aging, Seymour Center, and Passmore Center will be closed on January 20th in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Dementia Friendly Orange County 

Special thanks to the following organizations for committing or recommitting to being part of the Dementia Friendly movement!

Hillsborough Self-Storage

Dementia Friendly organizations aim to be aware and accommodating of the needs of patrons with dementia or other special needs. Thank your local businesses for being a Dementia Friendly Partner or ask them to become one!

Dementia Friendly Orange County Logo

Orange County Caregiver Support Logo

New Program: Care Partner Collaborative

Join us as we come together weekly to co-create a space that welcomes and supports seniors experiencing cognitive and/or physical challenges.  In a relaxed setting, we’ll share conversation, have lunch, and enjoy music, movement and other activities of our own design.

This gathering, Wednesdays at the Seymour Center from 10 am to 1 pm, is part of a collaborative project that relies on the input and participation of care partners. Through their active involvement, care partners gain connection, community, comfort and confidence for their journey ahead.

Registration is required. Please contact Lisa Meinert at or 919-245-4251 to discuss eligibility details and whether this is a good fit for you and the person you are caring for.

Administration for Community Living

Request for Information:

RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council

ACL is requesting information from individuals and organizations to assist the RAISE Family Caregiving Advisory Council in developing goals, objectives and recommendations for an initial report to Congress and national family caregiving strategy, which are required by the RAISE Family Caregivers Act of 2017. The input will also help the Council plan public listening sessions. See also the Federal Register notice.

Family caregiving affects those in rural areas and cities, crosses cultural boundaries, and can span generations in a single household. A national strategy must address supporting caregivers of older adults as well as people of any age with long-term care and respite care needs, including people with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Through this RFI, ACL seeks input on a broad range of family caregiving experiences. We would like to learn from you about the challenges faced every day by caregivers. We also want to hear about recommended actions and best practices that can expand or improve existing supports for caregivers.


Administration for Community Living

Request for Information: Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

ACL is requesting information to assist the Advisory Council to Support Grandparents Raising Grandchildren in developing an initial report to Congress, which will include best practices, resources, and other useful information for grandparents and other older relatives raising children. See also the Federal Register notice.

Through this RFI, ACL seeks your input on information, resources, programs, and/or best practices to help grandparents, other relatives, and kinship caregivers:
  • Meet the mental/physical health, education, and nutrition needs of those for whom they provide care;
  • Address pressing concerns such as legal assistance, financial support, and affordable housing; and
  • Maintain their own physical, mental, emotional, and financial well-being.
ACL is also interested in learning about gaps and/or unique needs related to this caregiver population, including:
  • Unmet service and support needs of grandparents, older relatives, kinship caregivers, and children in their care;
  • People impacted by the opioid epidemic or related concerns (e.g., fetal alcohol syndrome, chemical exposure);
  • Meeting the needs of Native American tribes; and
  • Additional federal legislative authority that may be needed to better support and serve older relatives raising children.


Upcoming Events

Social Events

Memory Cafe at Cup-a-Joe

Tuesday, January 7 at 2:30pm
Tuesday, February 4 at 2:30pm
120 W. King Street, Hillsborough
Contact Kim for more information

Memory Cafe at Bruegger's Bagels

Monday, January 13 at 2pm
Monday, February 10 at 2pm
1800 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill
Contact Kim for more information

Memory Cafe on the Move

Carolina Basketball Museum - 450 Skipper Bowles Dr, Chapel Hill
Wednesday, January 15 at 1:30pm

Contact Kim for more information

Pickleball for Parkinson's

Seymour Center: Wednesdays at 2pm
See Flyer for more information
Passmore Center: Mondays at 3:30pm
See Flyer for more information

Support Groups

Caregiver Support Group at Passmore

Thursdays, January 9 & 23 at 1pm
Contact Kim for more information.

Caregiver Support Group at Seymour

Fridays, January 10 & 24 at 10:30am
Contact Kim for more information.

Parkinson's Disease Caregivers Open Discussion Group

Seymour Center
Tuesday, January 7 at 12:30
Contact Jessica Shurer for more information.

Parkinson's Disease Patient Open Discussion Group

Seymour Center
Tuesday, January 7 at 12:30
Contact Jessica Shurer for more information.

Well Spouse Association Support Group for the Triangle

Seymour Center
Thursday, January 9 at 5:30pm
Contact Russ Wiener for more information.

Educational Opportunities

Caring Basics Series

Assistive Devices to Help you Care
Seymour Center - 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill
Monday, January 27 at 1:30pm
See Flyer or contact Kim for more information.

Dementia Basics Education Series

Chapel Hill Public Library - 100 Library Drive, Chapel Hill
Tuesdays, February 4, 11, 18, & 25 at 10:00am
See Flyer or contact Marie for more information.

Special Events

Parkinson's Wellness Recovery

UNC Wellness Centers: New program each month
See Flyer for more information.

Caregiver's Zentangle

Coming Soon - A NEW monthly class at each senior center!
Seymour Center - 1st Mondays starting in March
Passmore Center - 4th Mondays starting in March

See Flyer or contact Kim for more information.

The Annual Durham Rotary Valentine's Luncheon

Care partners and those living with dementias are invited for lunch as we honor the caregivers. This event is a partnership with the Durham Rotary Clubs, Jewish Family Services and the Duke Dementia Family Support Program. 

Levin Jewish Community Center, 1937 West Cornwallis Rd, Durham
Saturday, February 1 at 12pm

Registration required by January 27th, no associated cost
Contact Jenny Schwartz to register or for more information: 919-354-4936

Let’s Get Practical:
A Positive Approach to Real Life Dementia Care with Teepa Snow

February 28, 2020
Alliance Convention Center, Burlington, North Carolina 

This comprehensive caregiver conference features Teepa Snow, who has generously donated this training to Dementia Alliance of North Carolina. Teepa will focus on GEMS® states, providing practical tips and caregiver skill-building for each stage of dementia progression. There will also be a special session for support group leaders focused on supporting their group members throughout the dementia journey.
As one of America’s leading educators on dementia, Teepa has developed a dementia care philosophy she calls a Positive Approach™ to Care. She is a graduate of Duke University, and received her Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. As an Occupational Therapist, she has over 40 years of experience in the field of dementia.

Early Bird Registrations available until January 14.
Early Bird Family Caregiver Registration:
$40 per person ($50 after 1/14)
Early Bird Professional Rate:
$75 per person (3.5 CEUs) ($100 after 1/14)
Support Group Leader Symposium
(this special session for support group leaders only)
$25 per Support Group Leader
Duke Dementia Family Support Program's Brain Walking Group

Upcoming at the Senior Centers

Passmore Center Image

Below is a selection of low-stress programs that could easily be enjoyed by caregivers and those they care for.

Please note each event’s location and call the respective senior center to register. 

Seymour Center Image

Passmore Center: 919-245-2015            Seymour Center: 919-968-2070

Take a virtual stroll through the galleries as our guide from NCMA uses their state-of-the-art technology cart to show and explain art works in real time (and enjoy closer views than are possible in person!).  The main focus of this tour is a colorful painting by American impressionist Frederick Frieseke, The Garden Parasol.  This and similar paintings will give us a refreshing taste of summer in the middle of winter. Max: 80
Register by:  Tue, Dec 31
Fee:  FREE
Seymour Center
Wed, Jan 8                       (313094-01)                                               1 - 2 pm

Visit for an hour with the Find Your Own Voice Singers, local musicians who bring their voices and instruments to create an enjoyable sing-along, featuring American folk and pop favorites, classics from the 1960s -- and songs you suggest. Raise your voice in song, clap your hands or just enjoy the rousing music. Embrace Spring by experiencing songs that will lift your spirits! Min: 25/ Max: 65
Register by: Sat, Jan 4
Seymour Center
Sat, Jan 11                         (323085-02)                                             11 am – 12 noon
Our featured artist, Myles Farrington, has been painting for 25 years.  One of his mentors, Dan Eubanks, encouraged him to begin putting his work on canvas. Myles took that advice and has been creating his artwork ever since.  You are invited to an open reception and an opportunity to meet the artist.
Register by: Mon, 6
Passmore Center
Mon, Jan 13                            (253002-01)                                        3 pm
Huazhe Cheng is a scholar and self-taught oil painter. He paints mainly landscapes or city scenes, people, and events. His paintings can quickly bring you back to memories of places like: a basketball game at Kenan Stadium, UNC Old Well, Top of Hill in downtown, Seymour Center in Chapel Hill, an ancient Great Wall, or Guilin mountain in China. He captures moments of American and Chinese lives and makes them permanently alive in your memories through his paintings.  His work will be on display Mon, Jan 27 - Thu, Mar 12.  Art Opening Hostesses will be: Joy Gattis, Amina Singletary, Fung Little and Irene Ferguson with live music by Jimmy Smith.
Seymour Center
Mon, Jan 27                            (353003-10)                               3 - 4 pm
The most important Chinese holiday is the Lunar New Year, which is known in China as Spring Festival, and in other Asian cultures as Lunar New Year. The festival ushers in the Lunar New Year and is the West’s Christmas and New Year’s Eve rolled into one. Enjoy a variety of entertainment followed by a reception with traditional snacks to celebrate. All are welcome. Min: 50/Max: 100
Register by: Thu, Jan 23
Seymour Center
Thu, Jan 30                            (353045-01)                              2:30 – 5 pm
Once again, experience the joy of sitting around a campfire, visiting friends, and singing songs of days gone by.  We are recreating the joy we experienced as we make our s’mores and drink hot cocoa around a campfire.  What fun we will have remembering all the campfire songs we used to sing.  Let us know if you have a special song you would like us to sing so we can print the words out for everyone. Min: 15/Max: 30
Register by: Fri, Jan 17
Passmore Center
Fri, Jan 31                               (213054-01)                               3 – 4:30 pm
Join us for a performance by Fruit of Labor followed by a delicious brunch. Their music was born out of the struggle of organizing African American workers in the “Black Belt” region of NC and the South. They have created more than 60 songs and have performed before countless rallies, picket lines and marches, as well as concert halls, schools, colleges, workplaces, churches, communities, Junteenth and Kwanzaa celebrations - and on radio stations nationally and internationally. Cosponsored by Chapel Hill Hargraves Center. Min: 25/ Max: 65
Register by: Sat, Jan 25
Seymour Center
Sat, Feb 1                              (350019-01)                               10 am – 12 noon

Contact Us

Aging Information and Referral Helpline - (919) 968-2087

For more information, resources, and services, please reach out to our team through the Aging Information & Referral Helpline:



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