Community News for Caregivers

December 2019

Norman Rockwell_Freedom from Want

For many, this time of year creates opportunities for special gatherings with friends and family. It’s a time to reconnect, share, reminisce, but also to make new memories and have meaningful conversations. It’s also a great time to observe and reflect on how folks are “really” doing. Changes in well-being can be more pronounced if it has been some time since a last in-person visit. 

As a social worker, I always think about these as times to do a “check-in” with family about health, home safety, wellness and future planning. Recognize that these conversations are not a one and done; this is truly a conversation and whatever is broached today is the start of more richness and understanding. Also remember that no decisions need to be made over the holiday table, but it’s important to have these discussions while the family is together.   

An important opening question is to learn about the care that family may be receiving from a primary care doctor (or geriatrician). A primary care doctor's (or geriatrician's) job is to know their patient and to coordinate all their care. Primary care doctors are best situated to spot health concerns or trends, track medicines, and connect all the parts so your family member gets the care they need.

Follow-up questions or other areas to consider broaching… Sometimes these questions can be best couched with what you may have already done to address your own plan for aging and potential care needs.

These sensitive topics require you, as a caring family member or friend, to do a little planning ahead so that the conversation might be more productive and feel more natural for everyone.  Maybe outlining your thoughts so you don’t forget the important questions or points you want to convey.  It can also help to run your thoughts past an impartial person if you are nervous. Having these kinds of conversations while the family is together can help you all be more prepared for the future – and to ensure the future is something to celebrate.

Let us know if we can help you prepare for or debrief as you approach these conversations with the important people in your life. We can be reached at the Aging Helpline: 919-968-2087. 



Heart Wreath

The Department on Aging, Seymour Center, and Passmore Center will be closed on December 24, 25, and 26 and January 1 in observance of the Holiday Season.

Dementia Friendly Orange County 

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

Edward Jones – Kendall Thomason
Edward Jones – Tom Struckmeyer

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.

Upcoming Events

Social Events

Memory Cafe at Cup-a-Joe

Tuesday, December 3 at 2:30pm
Tuesday, January 7 at 2:30pm
120 W. King Street, Hillsborough
Contact Kim for more information

Memory Cafe at Bruegger's Bagels

Monday, December 9 at 2pm
Monday, January 13 at 2pm
1800 E. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill
Contact Kim for more information

Memory Cafe on the Move

Carolina Inn Holiday Tour - 211 Pittsboro St, Chapel Hill
Tuesday, December 17th at 2pm

Contact Kim for more information

Pickleball for Parkinson's

Seymour Center: Wednesdays at 2pm
See Flyer for more information

Support Groups

Caregiver Support Group at Passmore

Thursdays, December 5 & 19 at 1pm
Contact Kim for more information.

Caregiver Support Group at Seymour

Fridays, December 6 & 20 at 10:30am
Contact Kim for more information.

Parkinson's Disease Caregivers Open Discussion Group

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

Parkinson's Disease Patient Open Discussion Group

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

Well Spouse Association Support Group for the Triangle

Seymour Center
Thursday, November 14 at 5:30pm
Contact Russ Wiener for more information.

Educational Opportunities

Parkinson's Disease Support & Education Group
Understanding Psychosis with PD

Seymour Center - 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill
Tuesday, December 3 at 1:30
Contact Jessica Shurer for more information.

Caring Basics Series

When the Person you are Caring for is a Veteran
Seymour Center - 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill
Monday, December 16 at 1:30pm
See Flyer  or contact Kim for more information.

Special Events

Parkinson's Wellness Recovery

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

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

Seymour Quilters will share another colorful and eclectic display of various patterns pieced together.  The quilts will also feature their stories which will help viewers connect and understand the love and time put into each quilt.  The quilts will be on display Mon, Dec 9 - Thu, Jan 23. If you are interested in quilting, this would be a great opportunity to engage with members of the quilting class to learn more. They would love for you to join them! If you can’t make the show, you may contact Susan Zeisel at 919-932-9080 or Hein Chu at 919-357-5471.The group meets every Mon from 10 am to 12 noon.  Art Opening Hostesses will be: Margaret Mays, Ceresa Clark and Ann Wilkerson with live music by Horace Sher.
Seymour Center
Mon, Dec 9                 (353003-08)                                                    3 – 4 pm
Join our spunky elves for selfies, cider, cookies, candy canes, and holiday tunes. Bring your cell phones to take as many selfies with the elfie as you’d like. In exchange for selfies, we ask that you bring and donate 1 breakfast food item to be delivered to the IFC Women’s Shelter. Donations should have an extended shelf life without refrigeration. Suggested items include: cereal, instant oatmeal or grits, pop tarts, pancake mix, syrup, jelly, honey, canned fruit, cereal bars, granola and etc. Min: 25/Max: 100
Register by: Thu, Dec 5
Fee: FREE (bring 1 breakfast food item to donate)
Seymour Center
Thu, Dec 12     (313082-02)                                                               9:30 am – 12:30 pm
We welcome back these talented musicians from Eno Academy High School as they present a variety of festive holiday music.  This year, in addition to the Strings Ensembl, we will enjoy songs performed by the Brass Ensemble.  There is nothing that gets you into the holiday season more than gathering with others, enjoying light refreshments, and listening to the beautiful sounds of the season.  Min: 25/Max: 75
Register by:  Fri, Dec 6
Passmore Center
Fri, Dec 13                  (213023-01)                                        10:30 – 11:30 am
The sounds of holiday jazz and pizazz will be music to your ears featuring Gary Brunotte & George Hindenach. This dynamic duo will jazz up the Holiday Season with their renditions of the Holiday Classics. You’ll love Gary’s musical talent on the Hammond Organ and George on the drums.  They will be taking you on a Sleigh Ride through a Winter Wonderland. Get ready for an exciting musical experience.  Min: 25/Max: 80
Register by: Wed, Dec 4
Seymour Center
Wed, Dec 18   (313104-11)                            10 am – 11 am

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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