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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.​

Senior PharmAssist will host a series of Medicare Basics seminars for those who are about to turn 65 and need to learn more. In-person workshops will be held at the Durham Center for Senior Life on Tuesdays, May 21 and August 20, at 6pm. Virtual sessions will be held on Zoom on Tuesdays, June 18 and July 16, also at 6pm. You can register to attend one of these free seminars by calling the number above or by clicking here.


406 Rigsbee Ave, 919-688-8247, website

Monday–Thursday 8:30am–7:30pm and Fridays 8:30am–5pm:

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 14, 9am–noon). Call and register at ext 104 with NaQuana Johnson.

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



    • Durham County Veteran Services, 9am–1pm—military veterans and their families are encouraged to find out what benefits they’re eligible to sign up for; call and register at ext 103

    • Intermediate French, ​9:30–10:30am, in the Volunteer Room—brush up with your French language skills; call and register at ext 110

    • Total Body Workout, 10–11am, in the Exercise Room

    • Ping-Pong, 10am–noon, in the Exercise Room

    • Health and Wellness Support Group, 10:30am–noon, in the Volunteer Room

    • Low-Impact Beginning African Movement, 11:30am–12:30pm

    • Afternoon BINGO, 1–2pm, in the Lower Commons

    • Stroke Survivor Support Group, 1–2:30pm, in the Volunteer Room

    • Life Line Dancers, 3:30–4:30pm, in the Exercise Room


    • Ted Talk Tuesdays, 9:30–10:30am—tech issues with Ted Rodgers Jr; part of the DCSL Connect tech series; no registration is necessary

    • Take Off Pounds Sensibly, 9:30–10:55am, in the Classroom

    • Chair Yoga, 10:15–11am, in the Activity Room

    • Keep It Moving Gentle Exercise, 10:15–11:15am, in the Activity Room; call and register at ext 110 [Please note: No class on May 14]

    • American Sign Language, 11am–noon, in the Volunteer Room

    • Belly Dance, 11am–12:30pm, in the Exercise Room

    • Quilt Making, 1–3pm, in the Exercise Room

    • Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, 2:15–3:15pm, in the Exercise Room; call and register at ext 110


    • Durham County Veteran Services, 9am–1pm—military veterans and their families are encouraged to find out what benefits they’re eligible to sign up for; call and register at ext 103
    • Actividades en Español, 10:30am–1pm
    • Juggling Therapy, 12:15–1pm, in the Activities Room
    • Spanish Class, 1–2pm, in the Classroom
    • New World New Skills, 1–2:15pm—learn how to use your smart phone or computer; part of the DCSL Connect tech series; no registration is necessary
    • SuperAgers, 2:15–3pm—advanced tech tips; part of the DCSL Connect tech series; no registration is necessary

    • Powerful Tools for Caregivers, 3–4:30pm, May 22–June 26, in the Classroom; call and register at ext 110

    • Acoustic Guitar Club, 3:30–4:30pm, in the Activities Room​

    • Life Line Dancers, 3:30–4:30pm, in the Exercise Room


    • Open Arts, 9am–12:30pm, in the Art Studio

    • Tech Talk, 9:30–10:30am—tips for smart phone users; part of the DCSL Connect tech series; no registration is necessary

    • Keep It Moving Gentle Exercise, 10:15–11:15am, in the Activity Room; call and register at ext 110

    • Intermediate African Dance, 11:30am–12:30pm, in the Exercise Room

    • African Drumming, 12:30–1:30pm, in the Exercise Room

    • Beginning Watercolor, 1–3pm (April 25–May 30)—6-week painting class for beginners; call and register at ext 110

    • Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, 2:15–3:15pm, in the Exercise Room; call and register at ext 110

    • Playing with Music, 3–4:30pm, in the Lower Commons


    • DCSL Singers, 9–10am, in the Theater

    • Open Studio, 9am–12:30pm, in the Art Studio

    • Total Body Workout, 10–11am, in the Exercise Room

    • Ping-Pong, 10am–noon, in the Activities Room

    • Friday Matinees, ​12:30pm; with free popcorn

      • May 3—Elvis

      • May 10—The Beautiful Game

      • May 17—Amadeus

      • May 24—Places in the Heart

      • May 30—Footloose

    • Tai Chi for Arthritis & Falls Prevention, 1–2pm, in the Exercise Room

    • Improv and Storytelling Theater Class, 1:30–3pm, May 17–June 21, in the Classroom; call and register at ext 110.


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

  • Nutrition Today: Cinco de Mayo—Friday, May 3, 9:30–10:30am, in the 406 Café; hosted by Durham County DINE (Durham’s Innovative Nutrition Education) for Life program; call and register at ext 110

  • Public Transportation Information Table: GoTriangle—Wednesday, May 8, 9–11am, in the Lower Commons; learn all about local public transportation and how to get around the Triangle on the bus

  • Improv Theater Show—Friday, May 10, 10:30–11am, in the Theater; See Saw Projects will collaborate with local improve artists to share interesting stories (this event will also be livestreamed on DCSL‘s Facebook page)

  • Decluttering—Monday, May 13, 12:30–1:30pm, in the Theater; presented by certified senior housing professional Tracy Drakeford-Pierce; call and register at ext 110

  • Mother’s Day Luncheon—Monday, May 13, 2–4pm, in the Lower Commons; wear your favorite fancy hat and enjoy a light lunch; call and register at ext 110

  • Stroke Awareness Month Presentation by Duke Neurology—Tuesday, May 14, 10–11am, in the Theater; learn about the signs and symptoms of stroke and the various therapies available to stroke survivors; call and register at ext 110

  • Chair Massage for Women—Tuesday, May 14, 10am–1pm, in Room 216. Alleviate some of your chronic pain with a 15-minute therapeutic massage; same-day signups at the Reception Desk

  • Painting with Police: Memories—Wednesday, May 15, 12:30–3pm, in the Art Studio; socialize and paint with police officers; call and register at ext 110

  • Durham Volunteer Network Speaker Series—Thursday, May 16, 12:30–1:30pm, in the 406 Café; learn about volunteer opportunities with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and the Threshold Singers; cosponsored by OLLI and Americorp RSVP; call and register at ext 110

  • More in My Basket—Wednesday, May 17, 9:30–10:30am, in the Classroom; get help applying for SNAP (Simplified Nutritional Assistance Program) benefits; call and register at ext 103

  • What’s Happening at Duke?—Friday, May 17, 10–11am, in the Theater; updates on the latest research, including AI and environmental issues; call and register at ext 110

  • Senior Legal Advisor Presentation: Open Q&A on Senior Topics: Medicaid, Medicare, Senior Housing, Probate, and Wills/Trusts—Monday, May 20, 12:30–1:30pm, in the Theater; certified senior advisor and lawyer Rick Messemer will share important information on legal issues of interest to seniors; call and register at ext 110 (this event will also be livestreamed on DCSL‘s Facebook page)

  • Monthly Member Check-in—Tuesday, May 21, 12:30pm, in the Lower Commons; share your ideas and thoughts on the Center’s events and activities; no need to register

  • Monthly Birthday Celebration—Wednesday, May 22, 12:30pm, in the Lower Commons; celebrate your May birthday with treats and fun; call and register at ext 110

  • Memorial Day Party—Friday, May 24, 1–2:30pm, in the Lower Commons and Rigsbee Lawn; celebrate with a light lunch, lawn games, and good music; call and register at ext 110 by Wednesday, May 22.


The Durham Center for Senior Life also sponsors programming at the Little River Senior Center (part of the Little River Community Complex at 8305 N Roxboro Rd, in Bahama). Call 919-477-6066 for more info; you can also check out the current Our Times online schedule to see all of their classes and activities:

  • BingoCize—Mondays and Wednesdays, 9:30–10:30am 

  • Coffee Talk—Monday–Friday 8:30–9am

  • Walking Club—Monday–Friday 8:30–10am

  • Free Play Gym—Monday–Friday 8:30am–1pm

  • Games and Quilting—Monday–Friday 9:30am–1:30pm

  • Lunch (congregate meal)—Monday–Friday, 11:30am

  • Crocheting—Monday–Friday 12:30–1:30pm

  • Guitar Lessons—Mondays and Wednesdays 10:30–11:15am

  • Bass Guitar Lessons—Mondays and Wednesdays noon–1pm

  • Bible Study—Tuesdays 10–11am

  • Bass Guitar Lessons—Tuesdays noon–1pm

  • Piano Lessons—Tuesdays and Thursdays noon–1pm.

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


The Opening Ceremony for the Durham Senior Games & SilverArts Showcase will be held on Monday, April 15, 5:30–7pm, at the Holton Career and Resource Center (401 N Driver St). Enjoy the pageantry at this free event while getting ready for 2½ weeks of friendly competition in various sports and the arts. Click here for the Durham Senior Games schedule (all events are free to attend for spectators).

Click on the DPR logo to view the

January–May issue of Play More.


919-668-3154,, website


Researchers at Duke Health are conducting a study to see if Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented with cognitive training. The PACT* Study is looking for people age 65+ who would like to volunteer to participate in the study and undergo computerized training exercises that are designed to reduce that risk.


To qualify, participants should be age 65 and older, with no neurological disorders or cognitive impairments and no history of stroke or brain injury. The potential benefits of taking the computerized training exercises can include enhanced mental quickness, improved gait and balance, and protection against depression. The length of the study will be approximately 3 years, with three study visits of up to 2 hours each. The 45 1-hour computer training sessions will be done in your own home.


* PACT = Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training


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.


Duke Continuing Studies, Box 90700, Durham NC 27708; 919-684-6259,


OLLI (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) is a Duke University–affiliated organization that offers a wide variety of classes and activities for older folks. In-person courses will be held at Judea Reform Congregation (1933 W Cornwallis Rd, in the Education Bldg). Registration for the Winter 2024 season will open on Tuesday, January 9. Annual membership is $60; click here to start an account and become a member. If you’d like to participate but need a scholarship, write to and ask about “Community Membership.” 

Click on the image below to view the Winter 2024 catalog.

OLLI Winter 2024.jpg
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