top of page

Durham County Emergency Medical Services, 201 E Main St, Suite 660, 919-560-8285

Durham County EMS offers free Vials of LIFE (Lifesaving Information for Emergencies) to anyone who wants to make sure that vital information can easily be found during emergencies. It’s a great way to help ensure that you and your loved ones are protected in times of medical emergencies.

Each Vial of Life kit is made up of one labeled bottle (approximately 3 inches tall with a screw-on cap—it looks like an oversized prescription bottle), an instruction sheet, a special business-card-sized magnet and a form to fill out with the following information: Name, address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number, hospital preference, medical history (there’s a list of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, plus a blank space), other medical history/assistive devices, allergies (to medications or otherwise), doctor’s name and phone, advanced directives (like DNR (Do Not Resuscitate), etc), space for listing medications and dosages, health insurance policy info, emergency contacts (names and phone numbers), and a space for additional information.

After filling out the form, you should fold or roll it up, put it in the bottle, and screw the cap on. Then place the bottle somewhere on the top or condiment shelf of your refrigerator so it can be found easily and stick the magnet on the refrigerator door.  If EMS is called to your home, they’ll know to check your refrigerator for a Vial of Life magnet, which will then lead them to the Vial of Life bottle inside. Emotions can run high, people can get confused, and it’s so important to have one place where vital information can be accessed quickly.

You can get a set for yourself and even get an extra set so you can place a bottle in your vehicle‘s glove compartment. And if you have a family or live with someone, consider getting a Vial of Life set for each person (especially for elderly members of your family).

You can pick up your free Vials of Life at the Durham County EMS office; call first to make sure they have them in stock. If you can’t stop by, you can order kits by calling Durham One Call (919-560-1200) or via the Durham One Call app, and your order will be mailed to you.


406 Rigsbee Ave, 2nd floor, 919-688-4772,
Senior PharmAssist helps Durham County residents age 60+ manage and get access to the medications they need. They’re able to find resources that make medicines available at low cost, and they help teach how to use medications safely and effectively. A staff pharmacist can take a good look at all of the medications being taken by a resident and can recommend which ones are inadvertently working against each other. (This sometimes happens when someone has multiple doctors who aren’t aware of what the others are prescribing.) Call to set an appointment.​


406 Rigsbee Ave, 919-688-8247, website:

Here are a few programs and activities offered by the Center; click here to read “Our Times,” DCSL’s monthly schedule, which includes activities such as Belly Dancing, Line Dancing, African Drumming/Dance, Yoga, and more.

  • The Center is hosting an Essentials Supply Drive all month to help seniors in need gain access to things that can make their everyday lives a little easier. If you can afford to, please make your donation(s) of any type of cleaning , hygiene, and self-care supplies and/or nonperishable food donations at the front desk. Please keep in mind that many struggling seniors are caring for their grandkids and/or elderly partners.

  • The DCSL EATS (Ease Access To food for Seniors) program is designed to help those age 55 and up stay healthy with affordable and nutritious foods:

    • Food Pantry—If you’re in need, you can get one bag of food per month

    • Commodity Supplemental Food Program—When you’re approved (based of age and income), you can pick up food at a certain time and place

    • Shop & Grab—You can “go shopping” by choosing food out in the lobby to take home (this month on Tuesday, May 2, 9am–noon). Call and register at ext 104; bring a reusable grocery bag (limit 2)

    • Kitchenless Seniors EATS—Homeless seniors can get free bags of food.

  • The Center will be screening free movies (and serving free popcorn) for Friday Matinees at 12:30pm in the Theater (documentaries are shown every morning at 9am):

    • May 5A League of Their Own

    • May 12—The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    • May 19—The Pursuit of Happyness

    • May 26The Life Ahead.

  • DCSL Connect offers free classes: 

    • Ted Talk Tuesdays (tech issues with Ted Rodgers Jr) on Tuesdays, 9:30–10:30am 

    • New World New Skills (how to use your smart phone or computer) on Wednesdays, 1–2pm

    • SuperAgers (advanced tech tips) on Wednesdays, 2:15–3pm; and

    • Tech Talk (tips for smart phone users) on Thursdays 9:30–10:30am. No registration is necessary.​

  • Tell your story with a creative flair during Playback Theater on Mondays, 12:15–1:15pm, in the Exercise Room. No registration is necessary.

  • The Aging with Pride Support Group for members of the LGBTQ+ community will meet on Mondays from 4 to 5pm in the Classroom and also on Zoom. Share information and identify resources; allies are welcome. Call and ask for x114 to get the Zoom link.

  • Join the weekly Lift Every Voice singalong sessions on Wednesdays from 2 to 3pm.

  • Bring your drum and learn new rhythms and patterns during the African Drumming class on Thursdays, 12:30–1:30pm.

  • Get professional help learning how to use exercise bands, hand weights, and ankle weights during Virtual Strong & Steady sessions on Mondays 8:45–9:45am and Thursdays 10–11am, on Zoom. The Zoom meeting ID is 464 379 5852, and the passcode is 9196141923.

  • Here are some special events for May; see more by exploring the Our Times online newsletter:

    • Call and register at ext 110 by Thursday, May 4 for the Mother’s Day Luncheon, which will be held on Friday, May 12, 2–3:30pm.  

    • The Get Healthy Cooking Class will include a Cinco de Mayo Celebration on Friday, May 5, 2–3pm, in the 406 Café. Adopt a healthier lifestyle and earn how to use higher-quality ingredients when preparing food. Call and register at ext 110. 


    • Certified senior housing professional Tracy Drakeford will make an Aging in Place Presentation on Monday, May 8, 12:30–1:30pm, and will talk about seniors living safely and independently in the comfort of their own homes. Call and register at ext 110.

    • The Community Health Coalition will host a Wellness Clinic on Tuesday, May 9, 10am–noon. You can get your blood pressure, weight, and glucose levels checked for free.

    • Take a Hands-Only CPR Class on Friday, May 12, 10–11am, in the Classroom. Call and register at ext 110.

    • The next Ensure Handout will take place on Friday, May 12, 10–11am, in the Support Services Offices. If you’d like to pick up some of these nutritional supplements/meal-replacement drinks, stop by with your current photo ID.

    • The next Painting with Police session on Wednesday, May 17, 12:30–3pm, will feature clay pots. Call and register at ext 110.

    • The NBCA/DCSL Older Americans Month Celebration will be held on Thursday, May 18, 9–11am. Enjoy refreshments with guests from the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging. No need to register.

    • The Durham Volunteer Network Speaker Series will feature special guests from Interfaith Food Shuttles on Thursday, May 18, 12:30–1:30pm. Learn about local volunteer opportunities; cosponsored by OLLI and Americorp RSVP. Call and register at ext 110.

    • The DCSL Fruits & Veggies Grab Bag will take place on Friday, May 19, 10–11am. Stop by and pick up some fresh produce during this free event.

    • Take a Get Healthy Cooking Class on Friday, May 19, 2–3pm, in the 406 Café. Adopt a healthier lifestyle and earn how to use higher-quality ingredients when preparing food. Call and register at ext 110.

    • Certified Senior Advisor/Lawyer Rick Messemer will lead a talk on Planning for Medicaid for Long-Term Care on Monday, May 22, 12:30–1:30pm, in the Theater. Call and register at ext 110.

    • Enjoy refreshments, lawn games, and music at the Memorial Day Party on Friday, May 26, 1–2:30pm. Call and register at ext 110 by Monday, May 22.

    • Express yourself at the Open Mic that will be held on Tuesday, May 23, 11am to noon, in the Lower Commons. Danny Lightheart will host the sessions where you can share your favorite poetry, songs, and/or standup comedy routines.

    • The May Birthday Celebration will be held on Tuesday, May 23, 12:30–1:30pm. Call and register at ext 110.

    • A representative from the State Employees Credit Union will share safety tips during a Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft presentation on Wednesday, May 24, 9:30–10:30am. Call and register at ext 110.

    • Share your ideas and give feedback on the Center’s activities at the Monthly Member Check-in on Wednesday, May 24, 11:30am, in the Lower Commons. No need to register.

    • Take a Hands-Only CPR Class on Friday, May 26, 10–11am, in the Classroom. Call and register at ext 110.

Here’s a nice Spanish/English message from the Durham Center for Senior Life.


Raleigh office, 919-277-4201, website:

The BBB wants to point out three of the most-used scams out there that are targeting seniors. Make sure that your families and friends are aware that tricksters like to prey on older adults when they’re not up with the latest scams:

  • Lottery and sweepstakes scams—Criminals will send you a check with a cover letter congratulating you for winning a huge amount of money. They’ll tell you to deposit the check and then wire funds to cover the cost of fees, insurance, taxes, or whatever. Even if the check looks real and has the name of an actual bank on it, it’s a fake. If you went ahead and sent funds from your account, you have lost that money. Remember, you’re not likely to win a contest you didn’t enter, and you should never pay anyone to accept a prize.   

  • Medical alert scams—You’ll get a phone call from someone claiming to be from Medicare or another government office. They’ll ask for all kinds of personal information, like bank account/credit card numbers, claiming that they’re trying to verify or update something or to fix an error. Medicare never calls and asks for information—if you’re on Medicare (or Medicaid), the government already has all the information they need.

  • Grandparent scams—A stranger will call you on the phone claiming to be your grandchild (sometimes saying that they have a bad connection if you don’t recognize their voice). They’ll claim that they’re in trouble or ran out of money and will beg you to wire they some money to help them out. Stay calm and ask questions you know only your grandchild would know the answer to. You can also call their number or their parents’ number after hanging up. Sometimes criminals go so far as to call, claiming to have people’s grandkids in custody and demanding a ransom. Frantic family members can lose thousands with these sick scams.

If you’d like to have someone from the local Better Business Bureau to speak to your group about senior issues, call the Raleigh office at the number listed above.


Walltown Recreation Center, 1308 W Club Blvd, 919-560-4296 or 919-354-2710, website. The DPR Mature Adults office serves people age 55+:

  • Explore your creativity during an Arts & Crafts session at the Holton Center (401 N Driver St) on Tuesdays, 11am–12:30pm. Free admission; click here for more info and to register with Durham Parks and Recreation. (DPR activity code: 15887 for February 1–22, 15888 for March 1–29)

  • Let’s Get Together! on Tuesdays, 11am–noon, at the Lyon Park Recreation Center (1309 Halley St). Play checkers, join discussion groups, and watch movies. Free admission; click here for more info and to register with Durham Parks and Recreation. (DPR activity code: 15895 for February 1–22, 15896 for March 1–29)

  • Let’s Get Together! on Tuesdays, noon–1pm, at the Walltown Park Recreation Center (1308 W Club Blvd). Play checkers, join discussion groups, and watch movies. Free admission; click here for more info and to register with Durham Parks and Recreation. (DPR activity code: 15903 for February 1–22, 15904 for March 1–15)

  • Let’s Get Together! on Mondays and Wednesdays, 10am–noon, at the WD Hill Recreation Center (1308 Fayetteville St). Play checkers, join discussion groups, and watch movies. Free admission; click here for more info and to register with Durham Parks and Recreation. (DPR activity code: 15976 for January 10–May 23)

  • Play BINGO at the Holton Center (401 N Driver St) on Wednesdays, 10–11:30am (DPR activity code: 15016 for December); also at the IR Holmes Recreation Center (2000 S Alston Ave) on Wednesdays, 10:30–11:30am. Free admission; click here for more info and to register with Durham Parks and Recreation. (DPR activity code: 15870 for February 2–23, 15871 for March 2–30)

  • Play Bridge and make friends on Thursdays, 1–3pm, at the Edison Johnson Recreation Center (500 W Club Blvd). Free admission; click here for more info and to register with Durham Parks and Recreation. (DPR activity code: 15854 for January 6–May 26).

Click on the DPR logo to view the

January–May 2023 issue of Play More.


Levin Jewish Community Center (“the J"), 1937 W Cornwallis Rd,

Here are a few upcoming events; click here to see the entire calendar:


  • The Kol Haskalah Chanukah Party will be held on Saturday, December 10, 3–5pm. (Kol Haskalah is the Triangle’s congregation for Humanistic Judaism.)

  • Jewish For Good and Chabad at Duke & UNC Chapel Hill are cohosting the Hanukah Festival on Sunday, December 11, 2–5pm. They’ll have kids’ crafts, face painting, inflatables/bounce houses, PJ Library activities, plus the menorah lighting at 4:30pm. You can also buy Judaica goods and crafts, and goodies from the J Café.

  • Seniors with memory loss or cognitive decline can virtually visit with staff and social workers on Thursday, December 15, 10:30am–noon, for the Memory Café. Join in the conversation and take part in activities; contact Jordana Brown at for the Zoom link.

  • The JCC Women’s Group and JCC Men’s Group (for retirees) will have a joint virtual meeting on Friday, December  16, 10:30am–noon. E Halperin will discuss “How to Help Run a Jewish University: Some Amusing, Some Poignant, and Some Serious Tales from 10 Years at New York Medical College/Touro University.”

  • The Israel Center Community Candle Lighting will take place on Sunday, December 18, 3:30–5:30pm. Enjoy a Hebrew sing-a-long, quiz, BINGO, and more. Bring your own hanukiah/menorah.

  • Celebrate Chanukah at the Streets at Southpoint Mall (6910 Fayetteville Rd) across from Barnes and Noble on Sunday, December 18, 4:30–6:30pm. They’ll have kids’ crafts, Chanukah prizes for each child, plus latkes, donuts, and more.

bottom of page