Health Notes Jan. 21-27

Health Notes Jan. 21-27

To have an item listed free e-mail to Deadline is Thursday at noon for the following week’s paper. Photos encouraged. Unless otherwise noted, all events are in Potomac.

JSSA — High Schoolers Can Relate! This co-ed eight-session group will address social skills issues for high schoolers with disabilities who have difficulty relating to their peers. Learn skills for making friends, initiating and maintaining conversation, expressing feelings, and understanding nonverbal cues. Group meets on Mondays, March 16-May 4; 4-5 p.m. at JSSA, 200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville. Call 301-816-2633 to register.

JSSA — Sibling Support Group. This co-ed six-session group is for siblings of children with physical or developmental disabilities. Topics include: education on different disabilities, coping strategies (e.g., anxiety, anger and other emotions related to having a sibling with a disability), and how to improve communication between parents and children. Dates and times TBD. Group meets at JSSA, 200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville. Call 301-816-2633 to register.

JSSA — Support Group for Parents of Children with Asperger’s, Autism, POD-NOS. Parent group to share coping strategies and community resources, develop networks, and gain support. No charge. Group meets on the first Tuesday of every month: Feb. 3, March 3, April 7 and May 5; 7-8:15 p.m. at JSSA, 200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville. Call 301-816-2633 to register.

JSSA — Family Support Group. In this ongoing monthly group, parents and family members of children with disabilities share their joys and sorrows, hopes and fears, coping mechanisms and strategies for living for today and planning for the future. No charge. Two groups offered: third Tuesday of every month, Feb. 17, March 17, April 21, May 19 and June 16; 7:15-8:45 p.m. at JSSA, 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. Pre-registration required: 301-610-8371. Second group meets on Tuesdays, beginning Feb. 4; 10:30-11:30 a.m. at JSSA, 200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville. Pre-registration required: 301-610-8357.

JSSA — Educational Seminars for Family Members Caring for Children and Adults with Developmental Disabilities. Sponsored by JSSA, Montgomery County DHHS Aging and Disability and ARC of Montgomery County. Feb. 4 Camp, Recreation and Social Opportunities; March 4 Employment and Volunteer Opportunities for People with Disabilities; April 1 Guardianship: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How; and May 6 Technology and Assistive Equipment Options. Programs held from 6:45-8:45 p.m. at the Rockville Public Library, 21 Maryland Ave., Rockville. No charge. Call 240-777-1216 to register.

The Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) is hosting a support group separated and divorced women Tuesdays, 6-7:30 p.m. at JSSA, 200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville. Find mutual support and emotional sharing. Call 301-816-2633 to register.

The Wellness Community - Greater Washington, D.C. offers free, regularly scheduled support groups for people with cancer and their caregivers. Location: The Wellness Community- Greater Washington, D.C., 5430 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 100, Bethesda. Call 301-493-5002 or

The Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) is hosting a support group for bereaved parents at JSSA, 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. Times to be announced. Call 301-816-2683 to register.

The Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) is hosting a support group for newly widowed spouses on the second and fourth Wednesday and Friday of every month, 9:30-11 a.m. at JSSA, 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. For adults who have lost a spouse in the last year. Prospective members are requested to wait 2-3 months have passes since the death. Pre-registration required, call 301-816-2669.

The Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) is hosting a support group for deaf adults ages 25+ at JSSA, 200 Wood Hill Road, Rockville. Date and times to be announced. Group focuses on mental health issues impacting relationships. Pre-registration required, call 301-309-2597 (TTY) or 301-838-4200 (voice).

The Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) is hosting a support group for adult children with aging parent issues at JSSA, 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville. Dates to be announced. Pre-registration required, call 301-816-2634.

The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac (GC & P) Region asks all eligible whole blood donors to “Be the One We Count On” by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule a donation appointment right away. Blood supply levels are at a critical low. The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region of the American Red Cross is offering all blood program participants an exclusive “Be the One We Count On” T-shirt, as well as a chance to win $100 worth of free gas in a weekly drawing. Information about Regional Blood Donor Centers or community blood drive locations and times can be found at

Montgomery County residents who do not have prescription drug coverage are encouraged to use the Montgomery Rx prescription drug discount cards when filling prescriptions. The Montgomery Rx program, launched in December 2004, provides free prescription discount cards to County residents, through a program sponsored by the National Association of Counties. The cards are easy to use and offer average savings of 20 percent off the retail price of commonly prescribed drugs. Residents can find the free cards at all County libraries, County health and human services locations and at participating pharmacies throughout Montgomery County. Visit and click on the Montgomery Rx link or call 240-777-1245.

The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross reports dangerously low inventory of types O and B blood, causing the organization to issue an urgent plea to blood donors throughout the Region to schedule an immediate appointment to give the gift of life. The Red Cross is reporting an inventory level for each of these blood types which is dramatically below the desired safe level of five to seven days worth of blood. Donors are urged to call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE immediately to schedule a donation appointment. Addresses and driving directions for these Donor Centers, as well as a complete list of community blood drives can be found at or by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE.

Seniors and their caregivers can get diet and nutrition questions answered by a registered dietitian by calling Montgomery County's free Senior Nutrition Hotline at 240-777-1100. The new service is available Wednesday mornings from 9-11 a.m. Information is available on topics such as how to lower sodium intake, how to find reliable nutrition information on the Internet and how to choose the healthiest cooking oil. Bilingual assistance is also available.

Volunteer opportunities exist in the county addressing a wide range of health issues.

* Sexual Assault Victims. Montgomery County seeks residents interested in helping sexual assault victims and their families. Volunteers provide 24-hour crisis counseling and companion services at hospitals and police stations. Call 240-777-1355.

* Hospice Caring Inc. seeks volunteers to offer non-medical support to families facing terminal illness. The job involves providing companionship and respite care, assistance with household errands and tasks, and transportation. Call 240-777-2600.

* Montgomery County Hot Line. The Mental Health Association is recruiting volunteers for the Montgomery County Hot Line, a 24-hour telephone-support, suicide-prevention and crisis-intervention service. Volunteers are asked for a minimum of four hours a week for at least one year after training. Call 301-424-0656, ext. 117, to request an application.

* American Cancer Society. The Road to Recovery Program is recruiting and training drivers from Montgomery County. Donate a few weekday hours to transport patients to chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments. Must have own vehicle.

* Licensed estheticians and cosmetologists are needed to teach female cancer patients beauty techniques to restore patients' appearances and self-image. Call 301-933-9350.

Pain Connection has the opportunity to arrange a Yoga class especially designed for people with chronic pain. Susan Bowen, director of Thrive Yoga, will provide a trained teacher for this therapeutic class. The class will be for 15 weeks at $300 per person ($20 per class) and each class is 75 minutes long. A minimum of 10 people must commit with full payment on enrollment for the class to run. The classes will be held at Thrive Yoga, 1321-B Rockville Pike, Rockville. Props, mats, music and waterfalls will be provided. Visit, e-mail or call 301-309-2444.

The Kidney Cars Donation Program is accepting car donations to the National Kidney Foundation. Call 202-244-7900 or 1-800-488-CARS, or visit

AARP Widowed Persons Service offers support groups for those widowed less than two years. Meetings are held Monday-Friday. All widowed persons are invited to attend education meetings; travel and other AARP-sponsored activities available. Call 301-949-7398.

Alzheimer’s Association caregiver support groups are facilitated by trained group leaders. The meetings are ongoing, free and open to the community. Families meet with other caregivers to share experiences and caregiving tips while developing coping skills. Call 1-866-259-0042 for meeting schedules and locations.

Hospice Caring offers ongoing peer-support groups, facilitated by trained volunteers, specifically designed for those 50 years of age or younger who are grieving the death of their spouse or significant other. Groups meet weekly from 7–8:30 p.m. in Rockville. Contact Toby Rabbin, Director of Adult Bereavement, at 301-990-0854.

Montgomery County’s Area Agency on Aging, part of the Department of Health and Human Services has partnered with the University of Maryland’s Legacy Leadership Institute to offer a training program for individuals in the community interested in learning to be health coaches. Health coaches can have a positive impact on their community by teaching others how to stay healthy. Visit

SeniorTech Centers teaching seniors 50-plus the use of the computer. Classes include: basic introduction, word processing, graphics, desktop publicizing, internet, e-mail, and much more. Each six week session includes free open lab time enabling students to have hands on, one-on-one assistance with course materials. Classes are 1 1/2 - 2 hours a week and a six-week course is $75.

JCA SeniorTech Centers are located in Maryland at Asbury Methodist Village, Gaithersburg and the Bethesda Vital Living Center on Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda. Contact Teresa Simmons at 240-395-0916 or email

Support meetings and seminars take place at Suburban Hospital, 8600 Old Georgetown Road, in Bethesda. Call 301-896-3939 to register for all group meetings and for a complete listing of events.

* Gynecological Cancer. Group meets the first and third Mondays of the month from 4-5:30 p.m. in Conference Room 4. Group is designed for patients and survivors of cancer.

* Breast Cancer. Group meets the second Monday of the month from 7-8:30 p.m. in Conference Rooms 6 and 7. Group is designed for patients, survivors and family members. Guest speakers alternate with informal discussion.

* Caregivers. Group meets the first and third Wednesdays of the month from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Auxiliary House in Bethesda. Practical and emotional support for anyone serving as a caregiver.

* Multiple Sclerosis Caregivers. Group meets the first Thursday of the month from 6:30-9 p.m. in Conference Room 4.

* Eating Disorders. Group meets the second Wednesday of the month from 7-8 p.m. in Conference Room 4.

* Head Injury/Trauma. Group meets the first and third Thursdays of the month from 7-8 p.m. in Conference Rooms 1, 2 and 3. For individuals recovering from head injuries, and their families.

* Prostate Cancer. Group meets the third Monday of the month from 7-8:30 p.m. in Conference Rooms 6 and 7. Support for patients, family and friends. Guest speakers and informal discussion on alternate days.

"Because I Love You" (B.I.L.Y.) is dedicated to supporting parents of adolescent and adult children with challenging, destructive or difficult behaviors. The group meets every Thursday, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., at the Bethesda United Methodist Church, Room 209, 8300 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda. There is a $1 donation. Call Harriet at 301-530-3597.

The National Capital Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society needs volunteers for its Friendly Visitors Program. Visitors dedicate a minimum of one hour per month to visiting a nursing home resident with multiple sclerosis. Contact Alayne Bell at 202-296-9891 or via e-mail at Visit the Chapter's Web site at

Stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors, as well as victims of degenerative neurological conditions, can now use new TWIST to speech therapy. Technology with Innovative Speech Therapy (TWIST) is among the first speech-language therapy programs to integrate computers and technology into an intensive rehabilitation program. TWIST features eighteen hours of intensive individualized speech therapy that specifically defines a patient's communication and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. It then matches those strengths and weaknesses with advanced computer software. TWIST gives people the opportunity to tackle their challenges head-on through technology. Visit or call 301-602-2899 for more.

Seminars, support groups and classes through Adventist Health Care take place at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, 9901 Medical Center Drive in Rockville, unless noted otherwise. To register and for a complete listing of available classes, call 1-800-542-5096.

* Alcoholics Anonymous/Al-Anon. These groups meet every Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Call 202-966-9115.

* Narcotics Anonymous. This group meets every Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Call 1-800-543-4670.

* Sickle Cell Anemia Support Group. For individuals with sickle cell anemia, their families and friends. Call 301-972-2442.

* Healthy Hearts. Cardiac support program is designed to provide inspiration, motivation and education to patients and caregivers following a heart attack or stroke. Group meets on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Call 301-253-1502.

* Hepatitis Support Group. A group for people suffering from chronic hepatitis. For information, call 301-216-1367.

* Heart-to-Heart, a support group for people with heart disease and their spouses, meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m., at the Adventist Cardiac Rehab Center, 9715 Medical Center Drive, Room 130, Rockville.

* Amputee Support Group, "Ability with Mobility," meets the last Thursday of every month from 6-8 p.m. Call 240-864-6200.

Maryland Families for Stem Cell Research, a nonprofit education and advocacy group for stem cell research, invites citizens to share their stories of hope for a cure or treatment to debilitating diseases and injuries. By visiting, you can tell your story, send a photo and voice your support of public funding for stem cell research. Web site visitors can also donate on-line to support the education and advocacy programs of the organization. The site also serves as a source of information about stem cell advocacy efforts in Maryland for patients, families, researchers, doctors, scientists and public officials.

Bethesda Help, a 35-year-old, ecumenical, nonsectarian organization, seeks volunteers for one day’s service per month. Officers of the day work from home handling cases provided through an answering service, and drivers take qualified (elderly or disabled) persons to doctor’s appointments and deliver groceries to clients' homes. Training and backup are provided. Call 301-294-4888.