Health & Fitness

Health & Fitness

The Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross seeks volunteers to assist its blood collections staff at blood drives and blood donor centers. This position is offered to people who are 14 years of age or older. Specific responsibilities include greeting donors and providing them with essential reading materials, serving refreshments, and observing donors for post-donation reactions to giving blood. Training is provided. A commitment of two or more blood operations each month is requested. Blood drives last 4.5-6 hours and are held daily throughout the Potomac area. Locations and training are held all over Montgomery County. To register for training, call the American Red Cross Volunteer Office at 1-800-272-0094 ext 1, or e-mail

DRADA (Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association), Potomac Chapter, meets Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m., at the Parish Hall of St. Raphael's Church at 1513 Dunster Road, Rockville. The meeting is for the families and friends of people who have been diagnosed with depression or bipolar illness. Free. For additional information, call 301-299-4255 or 301-570-9065.

"Why Don't My Children Listen to Me?" is Saturday, Sept. 9 from 7:30-9 p.m. at Parent Encouragement Program, 10100 Connecticut Ave., Kensington. Free. Visit Pre-registration required 301-929-8824.

Chronic Pain Support Group meets on Thursday, Sept. 7, from 1:30-3 p.m., Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda. Support group sponsored by Pain Connection for anyone with chronic pain,their family and friends. Participants are welcome to bring pillows, mats, ice or hot packs to be comfortable. Call 301-309-2444 or see for information and check out other groups.

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center in partnership with the Montgomery County Mental Health Association is offering Emergency Action Team members and interested volunteers special interactive training on communication skills useful in numerous aspects of disaster response. The training will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 9 a.m—12 p.m. in the auditorium of the Montgomery County Executive Office Building, at 101 Monroe St., Rockville. Emergency Action Team members are a group of trained, dedicated volunteers who assist on information hotlines, at volunteer mobilization centers, in emergency shelters for displaced people, at animal shelters or wherever needed during an emergency on an on-call basis. For more information or to register for this training, contact the Montgomery County Volunteer Center at 240-777-2600 by September 5.

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.

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

CareFirst, Maryland’s largest health care provider, announced that it will be passing along the 2 percent HMO tax to its policy holders. The HMO tax is a result of a special session called by Gov. Ehrlich to address the crisis in medical malpractice. The Democratic-lead House and Senate passed the new tax through a series of bills. Gov. Ehrlich vetoed the tax but his veto was overridden by leading Democrats, who hold majorities in both the state House and Senate.

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.