Community News for Caregivers

February 2020

Blood Pressure Monitor

February is Black History & American Heart Month

Black History Month is upon us, and it's a very important time to share and acknowledge the contributions and achievements that African Americans have made to our lives. The contributions are numerous, and their inspiration continues to echo throughout all communities globally. African Americans have stood as victors through oppression, and have paved an extraordinary path for this country and our world to grapple with injustices and hopefully create a more equitable future. I want to acknowledge those influential figures because, without them, we would be experiencing a shortage of knowledge, compassion, courage, and humanity.

The fight for equality is ongoing. Conveniently, February is also heart awareness month. I would be neglectful in not highlighting the disparities that are currently impacting many communities of color. African Americans are at higher risk than any other group to develop heart disease. Various social factors such as socioeconomic status and lack of accessibility to medical providers have contributed to the worsening in prevalence rates among African Americans. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), about 2 out of every 5 African American adults have high blood pressure, and less than half of them have it under control (CDC, 2019).

Cardiovascular disease can refer to a multitude of conditions such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and heart failure. Essential caregiving tips to help care for your loved as they recover and keep their conditions controlled include:
  • Helping with the management of medications
  • Monitoring symptoms and knowing when to call for help
  • Encouraging a heart healthy diet
  • Encouraging a prescribed exercise program
Vascular dementia is another condition closely linked to complications in the cardiovascular system. African Americans have a higher prevalence of vascular dementia when compared to other groups. Caring for an individual with vascular dementia can present different challenges. Creating a supportive environment is key to maintaining stability. Other helpful strategies include:  
  • Altering the environment to reduce possible stressors
  • Avoiding loud and disruptive noises
  • Creating a routine to increase comfort and reduce agitations
  • Keeping your loved one busy by encouraging physical and social activities    
There are various changes that we all can implement (regardless of our race and ethnicity) to improve our heart health:
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Limiting alcohol and smoking
  • Knowing your family history
  • Managing medical conditions
On this wonderful month, let us all underscore the beauty that is Black History. Most of all be kind to your hearts!

Special thanks to MSW Intern Dina Exavier for this month's article!  Dina is a first year student at UNC and will be working with OCDoA through April of this year.


For additional information...

From the National Institute on Aging:
From the American Heart Association:
From the National Institutes on Health:
From Today's Caregiver


Dementia Friendly Orange County 

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

Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA)

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

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.

Click here to see this month's schedule of programming.

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.

Upcoming Events

Social Events

Memory Cafe at Cup-a-Joe

Tuesday, February 4 at 2:30pm
Tuesday, March 3 at 2:30pm
120 W. King Street, Hillsborough
Contact Kim for more information

Memory Cafe at Bruegger's Bagels

Monday, February 10 at 2pm
Monday, March 9 at 2pm

1800 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill
Contact Kim for more information

Memory Cafe on the Move

Nasher Museum of Art - 2001 Campus Drive, Durham
Tuesday, February 18 at 10:30am

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, February 13 & 27 at 1pm
Contact Kim for more information.

Caregiver Support Group at Seymour

Fridays, Feburary 14 & 28 at 10:30am
Contact Kim for more information.

Parkinson's Disease Caregivers Open Discussion Group

Seymour Center
Tuesday, February 4 at 12:30
Tuesday, March 3 at 12:30
Contact Jessica Shurer for more information.

Parkinson's Disease Patient Open Discussion Group

Seymour Center
Tuesday, February 4 at 12:30
Tuesday, March 3 12:30
Contact Jessica Shurer for more information.

Well Spouse Association Support Group for the Triangle

Seymour Center
Thursday, Feburary 13 at 5:30pm
Contact Russ Wiener for more information.

Educational Opportunities

Caring Basics Series

Managing Someone Else's Money
Seymour Center - 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill
Monday, February 24 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.

Loud and Proud 2020
Duke Integrative Medicine - 3475 Erwin Rd, Durham
February 10 and March 9 at 2:00pm
See Flyer 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 - Monday, March 2 at 2pm
Passmore Center - Monday, March 23 at 2pm

See Flyer or contact Kim for more information.

Rhythm-Kinetics for Mobility Wellness

Campus Hills Recreation Center, Durham
Thursdays, Jan 9 - Feb 27 at 10:15
See Flyer for more information

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.

Click here for further information and registration.
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

Come and share the love with our first annual Valentine’s Day Celebration.  What better way to show appreciation for a special Valentine than to create your own notes and cards during our Valentine Crafting session.  Then come show off your dancing skills during our Sweet Heart’s dance, followed by some sweet treats provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.  Let’s spread a little Valentine Love together!!!!
Register by: Mon, Feb 3 at 919-245-2015
Cedar Grove Community Center
Sat, Feb 8   (313096-01)                                             12 noon - 2 pm
What says Valentines are better than chocolate and your favorite love song?  How about a variety of gourmet hot chocolates with your favorite toppings!  Steve Toll returns for an encore performance of love songs throughout the years.  Test your knowledge as we play, name that love song, or just enjoy cheering on others.  Min: 20/Max: 50
Register by: Feb 7
Passmore Center
Fri, Feb 14       (213049-01)                                                    2 – 4 pm
Singing songs in many languages, Anna Klein celebrates our international spirit for peace and love with guitarist Rick Keena and bass player John Sparks. Program hosted by Marty Fitzpatrick.  Join us for an afternoon of music around the world.  Min: 25/Max: 75
Register by: Feb 12
Passmore Center
Wed, Feb 19                            (213051-01)                                                    2 pm
Multi-generational meet-ups are now the “in thing” and are super fun! Teen Builders is a unique social outlet created for opportunities to share, learn and develop lasting friendships between senior adults and teens.  These interactive connections not only offer a fun atmosphere, but enable each generation to learn more about each other. Take advantage of this empowering experience every 4th Monday. You’ll love it!  Min: 5/Max: 10
Register by: 1 week prior to each social
Seymour Center
Mon, Feb 24                Bake & Taste Night                           (323095-09)                5 – 7 pm
Enjoy the sounds of Bourbon St as we celebrate Fat Tuesday with the Decatur Street Beat Dixieland Band. Come dressed in Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold and green and if you don’t have a mask to wear, we will provide you with one.  After the performance we will enjoy a hot bowl of Chicken Gumbo, Creole style and traditional King Cake.  The center will provide the soup and you bring a dessert to share. Min: 35/Max: 75
Register by: Feb 18
Fee: FREE (a dessert to share)
Passmore Center
Tue, Feb 25     (223011-01)                                                    3:30 – 5:30 pm

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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