Over the past year, the Health section has suggested places to turn for help and information on a wide variety of subjects. Here are some of those organizations again:
Aging These are among the sources of information and assistance about aging:
Local government aging offices: Alexandria, 838-0920; Arlington, 558-2341; the District, 724-5622; Fairfax, 246-5411; Montgomery, 279-1920; Prince George's, 699-2797.
American Association of Homes for the Aging, 1129 20th St. NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20036. 296-5960. Offers a variety of pamphlets, including "Choosing a Nursing Home: A Guide to Quality Care" and "Living Independently: Housing Choices for Older People."
American Association of Retired Persons, 1909 K St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20049. 872-4700. Legal Counsel for the Elderly, 1331 H St. NW, Suite 1005, Washington, D.C., 20005. 234-0970. National Association for Home Care, 519 C St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002. 547-7424. National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, 1424 16th St. NW, Suite L2, Washington, D.C. 20036. 797-0657. National Council of Senior Citizens, (including Nursing Home Information Service), 925 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20005. 347-8800. National Council on the Aging, 600 Maryland Ave. SW, West Wing 100, Washington, D.C. 20024. 479-1200. National Hospice Organization, 1901 N. Fort Myer Drive, Suite 307, Arlington, Va. 22209. 243-5900. National Institute on Aging, Information Center, 2209 Distribution Circle, Silver Spring, Md. 20910. 495-3455. United Seniors Health Cooperative, Formerly United Seniors Consumer Cooperative. 1334 G St. NW, Washington D.C. 20005. 393-6222. AIDS Hotline For information on the AIDS epidemic, how the virus is transmitted, and antibody testing, call the Whitman-Walker clinic's AIDS information line. 332-AIDS. AIDS Ministries These religious organizations offer counseling and other assistance to AIDS patients: Damien Ministries, 387-2926. Catholic Charities AIDS Program, 269-3312. Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry: helpline, 751-5500, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday, and answered by a machine at other times; to volunteer, 751-5520. Episcopal Caring Response Committee, 797-7698; to volunteer, 387-0098. National Jewish AIDS Project, 387-3097. Alzheimer's Disease Families of people with Alzheimer's disease can get assistance to cope with the changes their relatives experience. Treatment programs for Alzheimer's disease have openings for patients. National Institute on Aging. Phone: 496-4754. Dementia Care and Respite Services information. Linda Orgain, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, P.O. Box 2316, Princeton, N.J. (609) 452-8701. Susan Gannon, Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Association, (312) 853-3060. Arthritis People with arthritis may need special help coping with every day tasks. The Metropolitan Washington Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation loans out films, tapes and slide presentations to clubs, organizations and others. Free. 276-7555. Asthma For additional information on asthma or to find support services, contact one of the following organizations: American Lung Association, National Office, P.O. Box 596-WP, New York, N.Y. 10001. Or call the local offices: District, 682-5864; Maryland, (301) 494-1100; Virginia, (804) 355-3295. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 1717 Massachusetts Ave., Suite 305, Washington, D.C. 20036. Telephone, 265-0265. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, Bldg. 31, Room 7A-32, Bethesda, Md. 20892. American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, 611 E. Wells St., Milwaukee, Wis., 53202. Telephone, (414) 272-6071. National Foundation for Asthma Inc., P.O. Box 30069, Tucson, Ariz. 85751-0069. Telephone, (602) 323-6046. National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, 1400 Jackson St., Denver, Colo. 80206. Telephone, (303) 398-1477. LUNG LINE hotline: (800) 222-5864, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Rocky Mountain time. Mothers of Asthmatics Inc., 5316 Summit Dr., Fairfax, Va. 22030. Telephone, 631-0123. They publish the MA report, the newsletter of a self-help group for mothers with asthmatic children, for $10 a year. Parents of Asthmatic/Allergic Children Inc., 1412 Miramont Dr., Ft. Collins, Colo. 80524. Telephone, (303) 482-7395. Bee Stings For most people, bee stings are an aggravating summer nuisance. To others, they can be deadly. A free pamphlet on insect allergy is available from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Write: Insect Allergy, NIAID, Building 31, Room 7A32, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md. 20892. A free brochure on insect sting prevention is also available. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: American Academy of Allergy and Immunology, 611 East Wells St., Milwaukee, Wis. 53202. Breast Cancer There are many sources of information about breast cancer in the metropolitan area: The District chapter of the American Cancer Society has a list of low-cost mammography centers. In Maryland, health insurance policies are required by law to offer options covering up to $100 for a mammogram. For the list and other information, call the American Cancer Society, D.C. Division: 483-2600. The National Cancer Institute, a branch of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, has openings in clinical trials in the metropolitan area comparing mastectomy with lumpectomy and radiation. Call Dr. Judith Bader, 496-5457. For other information and to help doctors and patients find the most appropriate tests and therapies, including experimental ones, phone: 1-800-4-CANCER. This hotline is operated by NCI. For information on inherited breast cancers, write Dr. Henry Lynch, Creighton University School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, 24th and California streets, Omaha, Neb. 68178. For brochures with the latest information on breast cancer, write Woman's Breast Cancer Advisory Committee, Box. 224, Kensington, Md. 20895. Books: "Alternatives" by Rose Kushner (Warner Books, $5.95); "Coping with Chemotherapy" by Nancy Bruning (Ballantine, $3.95); "Choices" by Marion Morra and Eve Potts, (Avon Books, $10.95). Children's Surgery Any surgical procedure -- especially one involving general anesthesia -- can be frightening for young children. Prospective surgical patients at Children's Hospital National Medical Center take part in activities -- including a puppet show -- designed to introduce them to the hospital and deal with some their fears. For information on the program, contact the Child Life Department at Children's Hospital, 111 Michigan Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20010; 745-2062. For information on how to prepare a child for a hospital experience, contact the Association for the Care of Children's Health, 3615 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20016; 244-1801. The ACCH publishes excellent booklets designed to help both parents and kids cope with surgery, as well as annual lists of recommended books for children on hospitalization and illness. Consumer Concerns With skyrocketing health costs, these brochures offer budget conscious tips for consumers: Consumers and Health Consumer Protection Division of the Maryland Attorney General's Office publishes a brochure, "Health Care Shoppers' Guide," featuring ways to save money on health care services and "Doctors Fees in Maryland," a comprehensive list featuring doctors, their price and specialty. Free. Write: Offices of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, 3rd floor, Munsey Building, Calvert and Fayette streets, Baltimore, Md. 21202. Crisis Hotlines Some area hotlines that specialize in counseling and referrals for various problems: D.C. Hotline: 223-2255. Montgomery County Hotline: 949-6603. Northern Virginia Hotline: 527-4077. Suicide Prevention Hotline: 561-7000. Baby Hotline: 723-2229. Gay Hotline: 833-3234. Family Services of the District of Columbia sponsors a 24-hour FACT-Hotline for families and children in trouble. 628-FACT. Prince George's County Hotline and Suicide Prevention provides 24-hour short-term crisis intervention, information and referral. 577-4866 or 731-0004. Crohn's Disease For assistance with this and other digestive disorders, contact: American Digestive Disease Society, 7720 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md., 20814; 652-9293.National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis, Northern Virginia and Washington chapter, P.O. Box 15402, Arlington, Va., 22215-0402; (202) 943-9371. Baltimore chapter, 6400 Cross Country Blvd., Baltimore, Md., 21215; (301) 358-1510.National Digestive Disease Information Clearing House, 1255 23rd St. NW, suite 275, Washington, D.C., 20037; 468-6344.Digestive Disease National Coalition, 1275 K St. NW, suite 800, Washington, D.C., 20005; 484-5116. Endangered Species Children interested in animals may want to become more involved in preserving endnagered species by joining the Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ). Write FONZ Membership Dept., c/o The National Zoo, Washington, D.C. 20008; phone 673-4950. The zoo education office also offers a variety of opportunities for families, including the hands-on activity areas ZOOlab, BIRDlab and HERPlab. For information, call 673-4800. Eye Care for VDT Users Computer terminals are now a part of everyday life. But they can take a toll on the eyes. For a brochure on eye care and VDT use, "VDT User's Guide to Better Vision," send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the American Optometric Association, Communications Center, 243 N. Lindberg Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63141. Family Violence Some area organizations that offer assistance to people touched by family violence include: For a list of agencies dealing with family violence, ask for: "My Family is O.K. (But Hey, It Could Be Better!)," Family Stress Services of D.C., 2001 O St. NW, Suite G-100, Washington, D.C. 20036. Federal government: Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, P.O. Box 1182, Washington D.C. 20013. (703) 821-2086. Up-to-date information from the Office of Human Development Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 2401 Virginia Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20037, or P.O. Box 15127, Washington, D.C. 20003-0127. Phone: 293-8860. Referrals to shelters, hotlines around the country. House of Ruth, abused women's hotline: 347-2777. Survival of Incest, Anonymous: (Baltimore) (301) 282-3400 for dates and times. Community of Hope, volunteer nonprofit church/clinic/shelter/agency to aid D.C. homeless and abused. 1417 Belmont St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009; 232-9091. D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, c/o Women's Legal Defense Fund, 2000 P St. NW, Suite 400, Washington D.C. 20016. My Sister's Place, Washington D.C. shelter, (exact location confidential for protection of the residents.) 529-5991. Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, c/o Ruth Edwards, CASA, Gorman Plaza Suite 124, 8950 Route 108, Columbia, Md. 21045. (301) 997-CASA. Chesapeake Institute, 10605 Concord St. Kensington, Md. 20895; 949-5000. Treatment of sexually abused children. Shelter Line: 949-8118, for emergency housing in Montgomery county. Family Crisis Center of Prince George's County: 864-9101 or 864-0282 (TDD for the deaf). Mongtomery County Community Crisis Center 24-hour Emergency Services. Abused persons: 654-1881. Sexual Assault: 656-9420. Virginians Against Domestic Violence, P.O. Box 5692, Richmond, Va. 23220. (804) 780-3505. John Marshall Family Institute and the Northern Virginia Child Sexual Abuse Network, 2501 N. Glebe Rd. Arlington Va. 22207. Phone: (703) 243-1050. Incest support groups: Women's Center of Northern Virginia, 281-2657. A national toll-free hotline for victims of domestic violence has 15 full-time and part-time operators prepared to offer information on emergency shelters around the clock, throughout the United States. The hotline (800-333-SAFE) is a joint project of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) and Johnson & Johnson's consumer companies. Hearing Loss For assistance on coping with hearing loss: Write for a free copy of "Answers to Your Questions About Hearing Loss," The National Technical Institute of Technology, Division of Public Affairs, Room 870, One Lomb Memorial Drive, P.O. Box 9887, Rochester, N.Y. 14623-0887. Heat and the Elderly Sweltering summers are not only uncomfortable for many but can be dangerous to the elderly: For a brochure on "Heat, Cold and Being Old," write NIA Information Center, Heat, 2209 Distribution Center, Silver Spring, Md. 20910. Home Care For families with children who are sick at home or who have special needs: Coordinating Center for Home and Community Care, 621-7830. Parents of Preemies support group, 625-8406. Sick Kids Need Involved People, (301) 647-0164. Visiting Nurse Association, 387-7333.Hospital Death Rates The federal government earlier this month released the first report on hospital death rates, permitting comparisons to be made in some cases. To get the mortality figures for any hospital, phone or write the area Peer Review Organization (PRO), which monitors care of Medicare patients for the government. For the District and Maryland: Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care, 341-B N. Aurora St., Easton, Md. 21601; (301) 822-0697. For Virginia: Medical Society of Virginia Review Organization, 1904 Byrd Av., Room 120, PO Box 6569, Richmond, Va. 23230; (804) 289-5320. In late January the Washington Consumers' Checkbook organization plans to reprint most of the nationwide statistics in a 250-page "Consumers' Guide to Hospitals." Send $10 (including mailing costs) to: Checkbook, 806 15th St. NW., Washington, D.C. 20005.Public libraries should be stocking either the massive seven-volume government report ("Medicare Hospital Mortality Information") or the Checkbook version. The entire set can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402-9325. (Seven volumes, $69.) Incontinence One new resource for women with problems with incontinence and bladder problems is the Continence Center at Columbia Hospital for Women (293-5211). Juvenile Diabetes Children struggling with the daily insulin injections needed to control their disease sometimes need the support of others who have the same problem. For information on Camp Glyndon, a summer camp for children with diabetes located outside Baltimore, call the American Diabetes Association at (301) 486-5515. Kidney Transplantation In the Washington area, the largest mid-Atlantic transplantation service is administered at the Washington Hospital Center in the District. For more information about kidney and other transplants, call 877-7777. For information about donor cards and about kidney disease in general, contact the National Kidney Foundation of the National Capital Area, 2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW, No. 320, Washington, D.C. 20007; phone 337-6600. Lawn Chemicals It is often possible to eliminate lawn pests without using toxic chemicals. For information: National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, 530 Seventh St. SE, Washington D.C. 20003. For booklet, send $5. Booklets and other information: Rachel Carson Council Inc., 8940 Jones Mill Rd., Chevy Chase, Md. 20815. Home Alarm Devices A number of organizations offer to rent or sell electronic devices to be places in the home of an elderly or disabled person, making it possible to call for help in an emergency. Phone numbers listed are for the hospital switchboard; ask for the office handling the specific service named: Lifeline or Voice of Help. Suburban Hospital, 530-3100. Arlington Hospital, 558-5000. Sibley Memorial, 537-4000. Washington Adventist, 891-7600. Providence, 269-7000. Holy Cross, 565-0100. Capitol Hill, 269-8000. Washington Hospital Center, 877-7000. Link to Life. Commonwealth Hospital, 391-3600; $10. Mt. Vernon, 664-7000. Fairfax, 698-1110; $10. This service also can be leased directly from the supplier; call 1-800-327-4566. Montgomery County has its own "Life Safety System," which provides much the same service as the others on this list but is assigned on the basis of need, free of charge. Preference goes to people with low incomes. 468-4443. Lou Gehrig's Disease: To learn more about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or to find out about support groups and other assistance, call the Muscular Dystrophy Association, (703) 823-5113. Memory People who are worried that they are having a memory problem can turn locally to two sources for free evaluations. They are: The National Institute on Aging, Laboratory of Neurosciences, Bethesda, Md. 20892. For information call Angela Moore, 496-4754. Memory Assessment Clinics Inc. 8311 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md. 20814. 657-0030. Provides free memory assessment as part of a research project.
Elsewhere, the National Institute on Aging supports 10 Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers, including one at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, that will evaluate memory problems: Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. 27710. (919) 386-2228. Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, Fruit Street, Boston, Mass. 02114. (617) 726-1728. The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, 600 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, Md. 21205. (301) 955-5632. Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Fifth Avenue and 100th Street, New York, N.Y. 10029. (212) 241-8329. University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla, Calif. 92093. (619) 534-4606. University of Kentucky, Sanders-Brown Research Center on Aging, Lexington, Ky. 40536. (606) 233-6040. University of Washington, Department of Pathology, Seattle, Wash. 98195. (206) 543-5088. Washington University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology and Neurological Surgery, Suite 16304, Box 8111, 4989 Barnes Hospital Plaza, St. Louis, Mo. 63110. (314) 362-2683. Multiple Sclerosis: For more information on MS, contact the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 205 E. 42nd St., New York, N.Y. 10017; (212) 986-3240. Orthopedic Advice Joint Replacement: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons publishes a pamphlet on "Joint Replacement Surgery." Free. Send a self-addressed, stamped business-size envelope to: Total Joint Replacement, c/o AAOS, P.O. Box 618, Park Ridge, Ill. 60068. Premature Infants These books provide useful information about premature infants: "On Becoming a Family" by T. Berry Brazelton, MD. (Delta/Seymour Lawrence, 1981). "The Premature Baby Book: A Parents' Guide to Coping and Caring in the First Years" by Helen Harrison with Ann Kositsky, RN (St. Martin's Press. 1983). "Premature Babies, A Handbook for Parents" by Sherri Nance (Arbor House, 1982). For further information, call Parents of Preemies, 625-8406. Schizophrenia For information about this mental condition -- its causes, treatments and how you can help -- send for a copy of "Schizophrenia: Questions and Answers" available free from the National Institute of Mental Health, Dept. 566 R, Consumer Information Center, Pueblo, Colo. 81009. Smoking Cessation: For people serious about quitting cigarettes: The American Cancer Society will refer people to smoking cessation classes throughout the metropolitan area. 483-2600. Stepfamilies A medical authorization form permits a stepparent to act as a parent in approving a child's medical care. For a free copy, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to Richard S. Victor, 555 S. Woodward Ave., Birmingham, Mich. 48011. 313-646-7177.
Among the sources and books available for stepfamilies are: The Stepfamily Association of America, Inc., 602 E. Joppa Rd., Baltimore, Md. 21204. Phone: (301) 823-7570. This nonprofit organization has chapters nationwide, which conduct monthly self-help meetings for stepparents and their spouses. For an information packet, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The Stepfamily Bulletin, 602 E. Joppa Rd., Baltimore, Md. 21204. (301) 823-7570. Quarterly newsletter is $14 a year. :: "The Stepfamily Living Series" by Elizabeth Einstein and Linda Albert. Four booklets; $3.50 each from the Stepfamily Association. "She's Not My Real Mother" by Judith Vigna. (Albert Whitman & Co.). "Daddy's New Baby" by Judith Vigna (Albert Whitman & Co.). "Stepfamilies: Myths and Realities" by Emily and John Visher (Lyle Stuart Inc.). Teen Pregnancy Area Programs that offer information and help with teen pregnancy: Teen tips hotline, a 24-hour service that provides information on problems affecting teen-agers. 675-9300. Operating Services Assisting Youth, a District Recreation Department program providing educational, employment, health, nutrition and legal services to young people. 576-7581. Male Youth Project, a program at Shiloh Baptist Church for black men of the church who want to reach out to young black men in the Shaw community. 232-4200. Planned Parenthood, 347-8500. Children's Defense Fund, 628-8787. For more information on resources involving teen pregnancy, call the Office of Maternal and Child Health, Commission of Public Health, 673-4551. Travelers' Vaccinations Thinking of leaving the country to travel to parts unknown? For information on the proper vaccinations, contact: International Health Service at Georgetown University Hospital, 687-8672. Travelers Clinic at George Washington University Medical Center, 994-8466. Traveler's Medical Service of Washington, 2141 K St. NW, Suite 408, 466-8109. Ulcers Ulcers are a common problem, but usually can be successfully treated: A brochure on peptic ulcers is available from the American Digestive Disease Association, 7720 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, Md. 20814. 652-9293. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Vision Limitations People with limited vision can get assistance from: A newsletter, "Sight Lines," is available from the Center for the Partially Sighted, 720 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, Calif. 09401. (213) 458-3501. Another aid to viewing regular television programs is called the Beamscope, a large magnifying lens system placed in front of a TV screen to give large-screen viewing. Three sizes are available and the device requires no power source or wiring. Also available is a Compu Lenz for those who work with computers. Compu Lenz not only magnifies the character size but reduces glare as well. Contact the Center for the Partially Sighted at (213) 458-3501. Women's Health A number of organizations specialize in health problems that affect women: Cervical Disorders: American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists publishes a booklet on "Disorders of the Cervix." Send a stamped, self-addressed, business-size envelope along with the name of the booklet to: American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Resource Center, 600 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20024. Chlamydia: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists publishes a pamphlet on "Chlamydial Infections." Send a self-addressed, business-size envelope along with the name of the pamphlet to: Resource Center, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 600 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20024.
Youngsters and Stress: A relaxation technique called the quieting response can help children deal with stress. Children are also victims of stress.
For information on Kiddie QR and QR for Adolescents, audio tapes and teaching cards, write Quieting Reflex Publications, Wethersfield, Conn. 06109.
Space did not permit us to list all area organizations that provide help. Nonprofit groups may submit entries to the Health Calendar, published every week, for inclusion in a future section. See Page 16 for details.