Education Programs

The Fearrington Cares Education Committee plans programs each month at The Gathering Place from September through June.

Lectures cover a wide variety of health-related topics, such as hypertension, macular degeneration, healthful cooking, exercise, long-term care insurance, hospice, and diabetes.

Occasionally we sponsor a Lunch and Learn or a one-time seminar on a particular topic of interest.

All fall education programs will be on Zoom only.

Fall 2021 Programs


Cancer Care in Older Adults: Walking in the Shoes of a Senior Cancer Patient and Their Caregiver
Thursday, September 23
1:30–2:30 pm
Click on Zoom to join.

Someone you love has cancer. What do you need to know and how do you best assist them? Cancer in senior citizens is something many residents have experienced, are experiencing, or will be experiencing as they help friends and family members with this malady.

Join our expert speakers and your Fearrington neighbors, Dr. Hyman Muss and his wife Loretta Muss, RN, both health professionals at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Muss, the Mary Jones Hudson Distinguished Professor of Geriatric Oncology and director of geriatric oncology, will discuss changes in oncology treatments and caring for senior patients who may have additional health issues in conjunction with their cancer diagnosis.

Loretta Muss, RN, coordinator of the Patient and Family Advisory Council and Patient and Family Centered Care, will discuss the needs of the cancer patient and the critical roles of caregiver and friends. 

Ethical Decision-Making at End of Life
Four-part series
September 9 to December 9

The first two sessions in this four-part series will explore the ethical and legal context for end-of-life decision-making from foundational “right to choose” cases that brought bioethics into public awareness in the 1970s to present-day questions related to medical aid in dying (sometimes referred to as “assisted suicide”). Also included will be discussion of the limits of our choice mechanisms and the distress that may occur at the hospital bedside when patient preferences have not been communicated in advance.

The last two sessions in the series will build on this background by supporting participants in articulating their values for care at end of life and exploring the range of available options for translating those values into purposeful advance care plans.

Session 2: Medical Aid in Dying (MAID): Lessons Learned from Vermont and Elsewhere
Thursday, October 21
7 to 8:30 pm
Click on Zoom to join

Mara Buchbinder, PhD, is a professor in the University of North Carolina (UNC) Department of Social Medicine and a core faculty member in the UNC Center for Bioethics. Her presentation will cover:

  • Current legal landscape of medical aid-in-dying in the United States.
  • Stories from clinicians and patients in Vermont and how they stray from the dominant public narratives about assisted death.
  • Broader takeaway lessons about choice, control, and the privilege of planning.

Session 3: Death and Dying: Isn’t It Time We Talked?
Thursday, November 11
7 to 8:30 pm
Click on Zoom to join

Deb Love, JD, MBA, MA (Bioethics), an adjunct assistant professor in the UNC Department of Social Medicine, and Mara Buchbinder will provide a joint session covering:

  • Personal nature of values and preferences.
  • Clarifying your values.
  • Considerations in selecting your healthcare agent and understanding the North Carolina statutory hierarchy for decision makers in the event you do not choose.
  • Beginning the conversation with your loved ones.

Session 4: Helping Others Know and Honor Your Wishes
Thursday, December 9
7 to 8:30pm
Click on Zoom to join

Deb Love, JD, MBA, MA, will complete our series by discussing:

  • The benefits and limitations of advance directives and portable medical orders.
  • Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED).
  • Dementia advance directives.
  • Differences between palliative care and hospice and end-of-life doulas.


Cancer Care in Older Adults: Walking in the Shoes of a Senior Cancer Patient and Their Caregiver
Thursday, September 23
1:30–2:30 pm
Click on Zoom to join

Someone you love has cancer. What do you need to know and how do you best assist them? Cancer in senior citizens is something many residents have experienced, are experiencing, or will be experiencing as they help friends and family members with this malady.

Join our expert speakers and your Fearrington neighbors, Dr. Hyman Muss and his wife Loretta Muss, RN, both health professionals at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Muss, the Mary Jones Hudson Distinguished Professor of Geriatric Oncology and director of geriatric oncology, will discuss changes in oncology treatments and caring for senior patients who may have additional health issues in conjunction with their cancer diagnosis.

Loretta Muss, RN, coordinator of the Patient and Family Advisory Council and Patient and Family Centered Care, will discuss the needs of the cancer patient and the critical roles of caregiver and friends. 


Is Your Home an “Accessible Place”?
Tuesday, October 12
7 to 8:30 pm
Click on Zoom to join

If you’re contemplating aging in place and what changes you might need to make to your home, come learn from your neighbor, Doug Zabor, a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS). Doug has combined the best references and designed an assessment that will benefit any homeowner interested in an accessible home.

Clients have said: “Thanks for your recent aging-in-place assessment of our home. We appreciated your professionalism and the fact that you went just deep enough into the most important issues without getting us too lost in the details. We thought you asked all the right questions, and we found your recommendations very helpful.”

From a careful look at your primary entrance to the placement of stability bars, this comprehensive home assessment will help identify critical areas of focus to support your goals.

Hospital at Home: Would You Be a Candidate?
Thursday, October 28
1 to 2:30 pm
Click on Zoom to join

If you or a loved one suffer from a medical condition that requires inpatient care, you may be eligible for a new Hospital at Home® program.

UNC Health Care is working in partnership with Medically Home, a Boston-based company that brings acute-level care to your home. Patients who qualify may have heart failure, COPD, pneumonia, COVID-19, or infections that require monitoring.

The nationwide Hospital at Home® movement provides high-quality hospital-level care for acutely ill older adults in the comfort of their homes.

Dr. Meera Udayakumar and Ila Mapp, RN, MSN, of UNC Health Care will discuss this new program for patients of UNC Medical Center and UNC Hospitals – Hillsboro campus.

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