National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities will commemorate National Disability Employment Awareness Month with a celebration on Tuesday, October 26, noon. Local businesses that remove workplace barriers for disabled people and create an equitable work experience will be honored. This year‘s keynote speaker will be Jane Dunhamn, director of the National Black Disability Coalition. Call 9190560-4180 x17242 or write to Jennie.Lunsford@durhamnc.gov for more info; click here to attend this free Zoom event.
New skills series for dementia caregivers
Dementia inclusive Durham and the Durham Center for Senior Life are cosponsoring a Skills Training Series for Family Care of People with Disabilities for those who want to do a better job caring for their elderly loved-ones. Four online 1-hour sessions (one per month) will be offered. Here’s the schedule:
Click here to register for these free sessions on Zoom. If you need an in-home respite voucher to attend, call Melissa Black (from the Triangle J Council of Government) at 919-627-0080.
COVID-19 vaccine update
You can also click here to locate local pop-up vaccination spots.
Free COVID-19 tests by OptumServe Health Services
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has contracted with OPTUM Serve, LHI, and UnitedHealth Services to administer free COVID-19 tests. You don’t need to have your photo ID, and the tests can be taken by anyone age 1 and up. OptumServe promises to always have someone there who speaks Spanish. You don’t have to make an appointment, but if you’d like to make one anyway, click here.
Here’s the schedule for the current week:
Monday, October 18
Tuesday, October 19
Wednesday, October 20
Thursday, October 21
Friday, October 22
Saturday, October 23
Sunday, October 24
Free COVID-19 testing
This month, you can get tested for COVID-19 at the Durham County Department of Public Health (414 E Main St) on weekdays, 8:30am–5pm.
The American Red Cross will host the following pop-up Blood Drives. (Blood/platelets can also be donated at the American Red Cross office (4737 University Dr). Click here for more info and to set an appointment.
The Blood Connection will host mobile Blood Drives throughout Durham. Here’s the schedule for this month (in the most public spaces). Click here to see the full list of locations and dates:
Online hangout for folks with autism
The LGBT Center of Raleigh will host the next Triangle Autism Discussion on Saturday, October 2, 4:30–6pm. Self- and professionally-diagnosed people with autism are welcome to attend, as well as individuals in and outside of the LGBTQ+ community. This month’s topic will be Camouflaging. Visit the Facebook event page for more info, and click here to sign up and to attend this free Zoom event.
Hersey Pharmacy (4711 Hope Valley Rd, in the Woodcroft Shopping Center) offers free vitamins for kids, adults, and seniors. Stop by and sign up for your 30-day supply; you can pick up free vitamins every month. Call 919-346-4008 for more info.
NAMI’s COVID-19 guide
NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) has put together a thorough, handy, and useful COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide (timed perfectly for Mental Health Awareness Month). We’ve all heard about the importance of washing our hands and cleaning surfaces and doorknobs, but NAMI goes beyond this and helps us deal with our feelings, doubts, and anxieties in a helpful and reassuring way. It’s excellent—check it out below (the first one is in English and the second one is in Spanish):
Community Health Coalition’s monthly tips
This month’s Health Tips newsletter from the Community Health Coalition emphasizes the fact that Men’s Health Matters. Read it below:
Health Tips is created in partnership with Duke Energy, Duke Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Durham County Department of Public Health, and BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina.
That All May Read
The National Library Service, in cooperation with libraries across the country, hosts the That All May Read program. People with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that keeps them from reading or holding a book can have braille or audio books delivered to them free of charge. You can choose physical books or free downloads. Click here to get started.
Operation Medicine Drop
Formed by a partnership of Safe Kids North Carolina, the Riverkeepers of North Carolina, NC State Bureau of Investigation, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of North Carolina, and local law enforcement agencies, Operation Medicine Drop is an initiative that helps people safely dispose of expired and unused medications. A common practice is to flush them down the toilet, but that poisons the waters and endangers wildlife. Simply tossing them in the trash is also a bad idea. Someone could come along, fish them out, and use them as recreation drugs. A large percentage of overdoses and other drug-related problems are actually due to the abuse of over-the-counter medications (some of which have been improperly disposed of).
Operation Medicine Drop provides safe dropoff points for those who want to get rid of their old medications easily and safely. Here are the Durham County locations:
Click here 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 HELP (Health Equipment Loan Program) helps 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.) If you any have walkers, wheelchairs, bedside commodes, canes, knee-scooters, reachers, and tub-transfer benches, it would be greatly appreciated if you can donate them on a Tuesday (10am–2pm) or a Friday (1–5pm). Everything will be sanitized and repaired if necessary so they can be loaned out to people in need. Call 919-470-7281 or click here for more info. HELP’s new location is 4206 N Roxboro St, Suite 100.
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:
IMPORTANT HEALTH TIP:
Because of the coronavirus scare, people are becoming more aware of the importance of keeping your hands as clean as possible. Try not to use your fingertips when using public computer screens (like at the store or post office). Use your knuckles instead.
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Find the closest testing sites
Find the nearest coronavirus testing site; just so you know.
Legal Aid NC webinar
Here’s a webinar about Wills, Power of Attorney, and Living Wills. It originally aired live on the Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Facebook page.
How to convince COVID skeptics
This is a media briefing on how to work on overcoming reluctance to mask up, distance, and vaccinate by experts from Duke University.