Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s


For the week of October 22

Note: there’s still some space available at our informative Senior Seminars, coming up Thursday, November 1 at New Hackensack Reformed Church in Wappinger. Details later in this Aging News.

Golden Living . . . News for Seniors, Their Families and Caregivers

Todd N. Tancredi, Director

Dutchess County Office for the Aging


The season for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which provides a one-time payment to the heating fuel supplier for households who meet eligibility requirements, officially opens on Tuesday, November 13.

Benefit amounts for the 2018-19 season are unchanged from last winter: Depending on income, the benefit amount for most senior citizens who heat their homes with oil, kerosene or propane is $700.  If you heat with wood, pellets, coal or corn heating types, the amount is $550.  Utilities like Central Hudson and NYSEG, which serve Dutchess County, have a benefit amount this year of $375.

Households that do not pay for heat directly, but instead make undesignated payments for the heat in the form of rent, may be eligible for a heat-included benefit.  Depending on income, this payment can range from $30 to $35; payment can go to the household or the utility.

If you received HEAP this past season, you should have already received an application by mail.  If you have not received an application, but meet the eligibility requirements listed below, call the Office for the Aging at (845) 486-2555.  New applicants must complete a HEAP application and interview, and provide proof of each household member’s identity (including valid Social Security number), proof of residence, a fuel and/or utility bill if you pay for heat or proof that you pay rent that includes heat, and verification of all household members’ income.

Eligibility is based on monthly income and household size.  For single-person households, monthly income should not exceed $2,391.  Two-person households have an income cut-off of $3,127, and the cut-off increases with household size to $6,918 for a household of 11; cut-offs increase by $540 per person beyond 11. If your household’s income is just above these maximums, you might still be eligible because your Medicare Part B and Part D premiums can be deducted from income.

      Once your HEAP application is processed, you will receive a HEAP Notice of Eligibility by mail.  Keep this notice in a safe place.  If you have an emergency, do not wait until you are out of heating fuel or your gas/electric service is terminated to request assistance.  Your utility company is not required to restore your service, even if you are eligible for a HEAP benefit.  Emergency HEAP does not open until January 2, 2019, and there will be no emergency benefits available before that date.

            Subscribe to the “Aging News” and other alerts from Dutchess County government by joining the county’s Dutchess Delivery service at www.dutchessny.gov/DutchessDelivery.

Golden Living is prepared by the Dutchess County Office for the Aging, 27 High Street, Poughkeepsie, New York 12601, telephone (845) 486-2555, email: ofa@dutchessny.gov website: www.dutchessny.gov/aging




            The Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s annual “Senior Seminars” day takes place Thursday, November 1st, at New Hackensack Reformed Church at 1580 Route 376, Wappingers Falls. Space is limited, so register in advance for any seminar you’d like to attend by contacting the Office for the Aging using the information at the end of this column. These seminars are a great way to find information in one place that might otherwise require a lot of time and travel.

            Here’s the schedule for this year’s seminars. You can sign up for one seminar in each of the 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 time slots.

            You can sign up for one, two, or three seminars. Keep in mind that if you choose only a 9:30 and 11:30 seminar, there’s not sufficient seating outside the classrooms while you wait – so add a 10:30 seminar to your day and learn something new.

9:30 a.m.

PARKINSON’S DISEASE – Learn more about the disease that affects hundreds of Dutchess County seniors. Presented by the Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of the Mid-Hudson Valley.

LIBRARIES – Libraries can be much more than what they used to be!  From books to streaming content, libraries engage patrons in many ways. With Poughkeepsie Public Library Director Tom Lawrence.

CENTRAL HUDSON AND SENIORS – A discussion of the many services available to senior citizen Central Hudson customers, including senior protections, life support programs and much more.

10:30 a.m.

MEDICARE Q&A – Office for the Aging Information Services Specialist Maggie Kwet helps you navigate the sometimes-challenging landscape of Medicare. The annual Open Enrollment period for Medicare began on October 15thand will continue until December 7th.

– Hearing loss can have devastating effects on all aspects of your life. Presented by professionals from Access Hearing.

FUNERALS AND YOUR RIGHTS – Every consumer has the right to a meaningful, dignified and affordable farewell. With the Funeral Consumers Alliance of the Hudson Valley.

11:30 a.m.   

EXERCISE AND BALANCE – Find out more about the Office for the Aging’s Senior Exercise and “A Matter of Balance” programs, both of which are vital to seniors looking to continue living independently.

SENIORS AND THE LAW – Always a popular topic, this year’s speaker is private attorney Paul Weinberger, with whom the Office for the Aging contracts to provide legal assistance to seniors who might otherwise be unable to afford it.

A “HEAP” OF HELP FOR THE WINTER – Cold weather will be here before you know it, and it can be a trying time for low-income seniors. Your questions about New York’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) will be answered by the Office for the Aging staff.


Office for the Aging upcoming events

Unless otherwise indicated, call (845) 486-2555 for more information

Wed 10/24, 11 a.m. – “The Facts About Diabetes”

With OFA nutrition coordinator Nimesh Bhargava

Pawling Senior Friendship Center, 154 Charles Colman Blvd.

Thu 10/25, 11 a.m. – “The Facts About Diabetes”

With OFA nutrition coordinator Nimesh Bhargava

The Landing of Poughkeepsie, 251 Boardman Rd.

Thu 11/1, 9:30 – 12:30 p.m. – Senior Seminars

                        New Hackensack Reformed Church, 1380 NY 376, Wappingers Falls

                        (See this email for a schedule of seminars)

                        Reserve seats at (845) 471-1500

Thu 11/8, 12:30 p.m. – Scam Prevention Presentation

                        With OFA outreach coordinator Brian Jones

                        St. Simeon II Community Room, 24 Beechwood Ave., Poughkeepsie

Fri 11/16, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Caregiver Conference

                        “Caregiving: A Highwire Act”

                        The Grandview, 176 Rinaldi Blvd., Poughkeepsie

                        To sign up (it’s free), call the Alzheimer’s Association: 800-272-3900

To request an Office for the Aging presentation for your senior, social and/or civic group, get in touch with outreach coordinator Brian Jones at (845) 486-2555 or bjones@dutchessny.gov. All your group needs to provide is a venue that’s wheelchair-accessible and open to the public, with space to set up a projector and screen.  We have our own projector and screen – but if you have those, let us know.

We feature presentations on Successful Aging, Office for the Aging services, Medicare/Medicaid, scam prevention, senior housing, a wide range of topics related to nutrition, and more!


            If you’re a resident of Dutchess County with questions about Medicare as this year’s open enrollment period gets set to begin on October 15th, there are Medicare-related events throughout the county. Space is limited, so reserve your spot by contacting the Office for the Aging at (845) 486-2555 or ofa@dutchessny.gov.

  • Medicare 101 – Wed 10/24, 6:30 p.m., Pawling Library
  • Medicare 101 – Wed 11/14, 10 a.m. – Poughkeepsie Galleria Community Room
  • Navigating the Medicare Website – Wed 10/24, 9:30 a.m., Adriance Memorial Library, 93 Market St., Poughkeepsie
  • Navigating the Medicare Website – Thu 11/8, 6:30 p.m., Adriance Library
  • Navigating the Medicare Website – Wed 11/28, 9:30 a.m., Adriance Library


            On Tuesday, October 30th, starting at 4 p.m., the Town of Red Hook Senior Services Committee will host an event at the Red Hook Community Center (59 Fisk St.) to assist Dutchess County residents in signing up for free and/or low cost weatherization programs through Dutchess County and New York State.  With winter approaching, a drafty house can lead to health problems, higher fuel bills, and less comfort at home.

You’ll have the chance to get your questions answered, along with help signing up for the following programs:

  • Dutchess County Community Action Partnership Weatherization Assistance Program, which is entirely free, and available to anyone who qualifies for HEAP, whether they currently use the subsidy or not.
  • EmpowerNY, which is also free, and uses the same income guidelines.
  • EnergizeNY Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star (Partially subsidized)
  • EnergizeNY Home Performance with Energy Star (not subsidized, but still good)

Friendly, helpful volunteers from the Senior Services Committee, Energize Red Hook, Bard College Office of Sustainability, and Red Hook High School will help you fill out the application, and answer your questions.  Delicious refreshments will also be available.

Other aging news online:

A ballot question up for consideration in Maine may be of interest to seniors and those in the home-care field:https://www.usnews.com/news/healthcare-of-tomorrow/articles/2018-10-11/will-maine-voters-decide-to-make-aging-in-place-affordable

Attorneys general from 35 states (including New York) are calling on the FCC to allow telephone providers to do more to block “neighborhood” robocalls – those calls that come to your phone that look like they’re local but are almost always scam attempts: https://biglawbusiness.com/state-attorneys-urge-fcc-to-combat-neighborhood-spoofing/

Considering knee-replacement surgery? Here’s some food for thought: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/15/well/live/should-you-have-knee-replacement-surgery.html

Exercise might ‘clean’ a brain with dementia…but the following story comes from a study of mice, and so ‘might’ is an important word: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-exercise-might-clean-the-alzheimers-brain1/?fbclid=IwAR3YvYlpzAichaawURGnjPw8DoWUl5hSjtTg8gQYemUnYGOqyzoRZIT4XiA

Advice on advance planning for your online presence: https://seniorplanet.org/advance-planning-for-your-online-life/

After over 50 years, Caroll Spinney, the original Big Bird, is retiring at age 84: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/17/arts/television/sesame-street-big-bird.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&fbclid=IwAR36bFBviBGyDqIyLJCj496q_eatXZ4QJamQpgIMs-S1dQjVHRoXINWjJfY

This week in senior birthdays:

10/21: Yankees pitcher and Baseball Hall-of-Famer Whitey Ford (90)

10/22: Actress/singer Catherine Deneuve (75)

10/23: Golfer Chi-Chi Rodriguez (83)

10/24: Musician/songwriter Bill Wyman (82)

10/25: Actress Marion Ross (90)

10/26: Oldest living silent-film star Diana Cary a/k/a “Baby Peggy” (100)

10/27: Actor/comedian John Cleese (79)

And our weekly Bad Joke to send you off:

A set of jumper cables walks into a bar. The bartender says “I’ll serve you, but don’t start anything.”

Brian Jones
Outreach Coordinator

Dutchess County Office For the Aging

27 High Street

Poughkeepsie NY 12601