Autism Awareness Month
A special 2017 Autism Awareness Month event will be held on Wednesday, April 5, 7–8:30pm, in the Levine Science Research Center’s Love Auditorium (308 Research Dr, on Duke’s West Campus). Anyone interested in the topic of autism is invited to meet journalists John Donvan and Caren Zucker, who wrote the book, “Autism’s First Child: Lessons On Acceptance, from a Small American Town,” which is about autism Case #1, a child who was diagnosed back in 1943 (and who is now in his 80s). Admission is free, but you must register; click here for more info (including parking) and to sign up.
Smoke no more
If you’re age 55+ and this is the year for quitting that smoking habit, take a free Fresh Start Smoking Cessation Class every Wednesday, 2–3pm, at the Durham Center for Senior Life (406 Rigsbee Ave). For more info and to reserve your spot, call the Durham County Department of Public Health at 919-560-7765.
Former smokers and people who could use some support while kicking the smoking habit are invited to attend the Stay Quit Support Group meeting on Thursday, April 6, 5:30–6:30pm, in the Durham Human Services Building (414 E Main St). It’s free and light refreshments will be served; call 919-560-7895 for more info and to sign up. Another meeting will be held on Thursday, May 4.
Armonía Health grand opening
The grand opening ceremony of Armonía Health will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2–5pm, at their new location at 1911 Hillandale Rd, Suite 1230. Acupuncture practitioners Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss and Austin Dixon and reiki/co-active coach Raquel Dominguez decided to leave the space they shared with other health practitioners on Westgate Blvd so they could open a space of their own. Meet them and learn about acupuncture sessions, Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®, reiki, and energy healing. Services are offered in English and Spanish (Armonía means Harmony in Spanish.) The afternoon will begin with a gratitude ceremony and Taiwanese ribbon cutting at 2:15pm, followed by speakers, and ending with live music by The Unincorporated (Alex Weiss and Steve Fishman) and Juanito Laguna. Call 919-251-9698 for more info and click here to visit the website and subscribe to their newsletter.
Free blood pressure readings
The Community Health Coalition and the American Heart Association are teaming up to present Check, Change, Control! Every Thursday through April 20, 10am–4pm, anyone who wants to get a blood pressure reading can stop by the CHC office (407 Crutchfield St, back entrance) to check their blood pressure. You can even monitor your blood pressure every week. This is a free service and you’ll be able to learn about local resources and get tips on maintaining a healthy heart. No appointments are necessary—walk-ins are welcome. Call 919-470-8680 for more info.
Free counseling services
People often say, especially after a tragedy occurs, “Too bad people don’t have access to mental-health services.” The Freedom House Recovery Center (formerly Mental Health America of the Triangle) has stepped in and has developed the Pro Bono Counseling Network for underinsured/uninsured people in need of services. Up to eight counseling sessions with licensed therapists are available—swift action can often prevent situations where things can spiral out of control. Call 919-942-8083 for an interview where the ideal therapist for the situation can be assigned. (You should always call 911 for mental-health/substance abuse emergencies—don’t wait.)
Licensed therapists who’d like to join the Pro Bono Counseling Network can call or write to email@example.com.
The Freedom House Recovery Center is located at 104 New Stateside Dr, in Chapel Hill. Click here to learn more about their programs and services.
Free rides for cancer patients
The American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program provides free rides to and from cancer-related treatments for Durham County residents. Call 800-227-2345 x1. You need to give at least four business days’ notice, with the date, time, and location of your appointment. This service operates on weekdays, 8am to 5pm, and it relies on volunteer drivers—so if you have the time and ability to offer assistance as a driver, please click here for more information. Drivers might not be able to accommodate physically disabled patients, but it’s usually okay to take a friend/family member who can help you in and out the vehicle.
Project Access connects people who don’t have health insurance with medical services that are affordable or free of charge. Their new HELP (Health Equipment Loan Program) will help uninsured medical patients gain access to medical equipment that they couldn’t otherwise afford. (Even people under Medicaid or Medicare can only qualify for certain equipment once every five years.) The Scrap Exchange (2050 Chapel Hill Rd, in the Shoppes at Lakewood) has agreed to house this much-needed program. If you any have walkers, wheelchairs, bedside commodes, canes, and tub-transfer benches, it would be greatly appreciated if you can donate them on a Tuesday or a Friday. Everything will be sanitized and repaired if necessary so they can be loaned out to people in need. Call 919-470-7281 or visit projectaccessdurham.org/HELP for more info.
Get your eating under control
Overeaters Anonymous meetings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays, 12:30–1:30pm, at First Presbyterian Church (305 E Main St). Call Robin at 919-683-3013 for more info. Meetings are also held on Saturdays, 10–11:30am, at Westminster Presbyterian Church (3639 Old Chapel Hill Rd). Sunday meetings are held at 10:30am at the Structure House (3017 Pickett Rd). Call Judith at 919-929-9891 for more info.
Children and teens are often warned about the dangers of alcohol and illegal drugs, but many parents don’t realize the danger of letting unused prescription medications sit around in their medicine cabinets. Half the teens surveyed believe that prescription drugs are “safe,” at least safer than illegal drugs. This often leads to experimentation, and young people can succumb to accidental poisoning, addiction, and abuse. Most unused or expired prescription drugs that end up being experimented with and sold on the street are taken from home medicine cabinets.
Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reports that young people who experiment with prescription drugs are twice as likely as other teens to use alcohol, more likely to use marijuana, and even more likely to seek out illegal street drugs like heroin and cocaine.
Adults are just now realizing that they shouldn’t let medications they’re no longer using sit around. Safe Kids North Carolina (Durham County branch) partners with the Durham Police Department to offer safe dropoff locations where medications can be disposed of. Tossing them in the trash doesn’t keep them from being discovered and flushing them down the toilet can poison the water supply. Special events such as Operation Medicine Drop make at least half a dozen dropoff points available for certain days of the year, but there are three dropoff points that are operational throughout the entire year:
Alzheimer’s Disease is on the rise and as the baby boomer generation ages, the medical profession is stepping up its efforts to try to find a cure. Countless studies have been undertaken, but researchers now want to see whether African-Americans have any differences in memory and age-related conditions as compared to the majority population. The Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at Duke is now embarking on an African-American Study of Memory in Aging. This research study is under the direction of Dr Kathleen Welsh-Bonner, and Henry L Edmonds is the program coordinator.
Here are the criteria for participating in this study:
Here’s what will happen during that two-hour visit:
This month’s ‘Health Tip’ from the Community Health Coalition
In the January issue of ‘Health Tips,’ you can get all kinds of encouragement to “Step It Up: Make Exercise a Habit.” An effective, healthier, and more satisfying alternative to medications is regular movement. Get tips on dealing with various health conditions can be controlled through exercise by reading the newsletter below.
Here’s the closing ceremony of CHC’s successful healthy-lifestyle workshop series for people with diabetes (or prediabetes).