Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s


For the week of January 14

Note: the Office for the Aging and our Senior Friendship Centers will be closed for the federal and state Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 21. Clients of our Home Delivered Meals program will have received a shelf-stable meal in advance of the holiday.


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

Todd N. Tancredi, Director

Dutchess County Office for the Aging



            Staying mentally and physically active is a well established principle of healthy aging, but there are days in any Dutchess County winter where the weather tells you, “Not today.”

            You can find an opportunity in weather-related downtime. Having errands and other distractions temporarily put off is a chance to study your home in closer detail and take stock of what work needs to be done to make your home senior-friendly for many years to come.

            What you learn about your own home will also come in handy if you choose to move to a new residence. You’ll know what features to look for as you search for the place that’s just right.

            If you have a yardstick handy, get it ready. Use the yardstick to approximate the minimum width your hallways and doorways would need to be to accommodate a standard wheelchair. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the absolute minimum clear width for a wheelchair in an existing hallway is 36 inches, and 32 inches for an existing doorway. Chances are your hallways and doorways are narrower, especially if you’re in an older home. Also keep in mind that any trim along the base of hallway walls will have the effect of making the hallway narrower. The same narrowing effect applies for casings around doorways.

            If you’re planning to invest in senior-friendly renovations, or if you’re looking for a new place altogether, remember ADA requirements call for hallways to be at least 48 inches wide, and doorways at least 36 inches wide. Other features that may be relevant to your needs include non-slip flooring, ramps, and walkways; special lighting; roll-out or pull-out shelving; easy-to-operate faucets, door handles and drawers; accessible switches; no-step entries; roll-in showers; and roll-under countertops and work spaces.

            The concept that embodies all of the above is one you’ll want to remember: It’s called “universal design.” The goal of universal design is to make homes accessible for all generations and ability levels, without making homes look sterile or institutional.

            It can cost several thousand dollars to renovate a bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair by widening doorways and adding a roll-in shower. That’s a considerable expense, but it’s a one-time cost you will want to weigh against the ongoing cost of an assisted living or skilled nursing facility.

            IRS Publication 502 contains a lengthy explanation of how some renovations made to accommodate disabled residents of your home may be tax-deductible. If you have a tax preparer, they’ll know about Publication 502. If you’re having trouble finding that publication for yourself on the IRS website (www.irs.gov), email OFA Outreach Coordinator Brian Jones at bjones@dutchessny.gov and he’ll send you the link. You can also receive this information by subscribing to weekly Aging News e-newsletters via Dutchess Delivery at www.dutchessny.gov/DutchessDelivery.

            If you’re not online and would like to order IRS forms and publications, call the IRS publications hotline at (800) 829-3676.


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


Office for the Aging upcoming events

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

All events subject to unannounced schedule changes

Thu 1/31/19, 10:30 a.m. – Senior Pedestrian Safety

                        With Emily Dozier, Senior Planner, Dutchess County Transportation Council…and Brian Jones, OFA outreach coordinator

                        Tri-Town OFA Senior Friendship Center

                        55 Overlook Rd., Poughkeepsie (rear of American Legion building)

Tue 2/5/19, 3:30 p.m. – Successful Aging

                        With OFA outreach coordinator Brian Jones

                        The Grand at River Valley, 140 Main St., Poughkeepsie

Thu 2/7/19, 10:30 a.m. – Senior Pedestrian Safety

                        With Emily Dozier, Senior Planner, Dutchess County Transportation Council…and Brian Jones, OFA outreach coordinator

                        Town of Poughkeepsie Senior Center, 14 Abe’s Way

Sat 3/16/19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – LaGrange Association Library volunteering event

                        With OFA outreach coordinator Brian Jones

                        488 Freedom Plains Rd. (Route 55) #109

                        www.laglib.org or (845) 452-3141 for information

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’d like to watch last October’s OFA Senior Prom, you’ll have a few more opportunities to do so on various public access TV channels.

            For those who receive the City of Poughkeepsie’s public access channel, the prom will air at 5 p.m. on Saturday, January 12th and at 12 noon on Sunday, January 13th.

            In Rhinebeck, Red Hook and Tivoli, the prom will air on PANDA 23 public access television on the following dates and times:

            Saturday 1/12, 9 a.m.

            Sunday 1/13, 12 noon

            Wednesday 1/16, 6 p.m.

            Thursday 1/17, 10 a.m.

            Friday 1/18, 3 p.m.

            Saturday 1/19, 4 p.m.

            Sunday 1/20, 6 p.m.

            And if you’d rather watch online, the prom is available by clicking this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1e4A7bc9Tk436PAmXaCmH3glExZy31xFF/view

            We also have a very small number of DVD’s from some previous years’ proms. Email bjones@dutchessny.gov to find out more.


            Seniors getting their tax paperwork together will want to know about this one…although it might not be an issue if you’ve already done the paperwork as noted in this article: https://www.lohud.com/story/news/politics/politics-on-the-hudson/2019/01/03/enhanced-star-seniors-there-important-change-know-year/2472538002/

            Check with your local assessor’s office for more information; they can help get you through any confusing spots.



            The East Fishkill Veterans Committee and American Legion Post 1758 present this talk from Dutchess County resident Craig Marshall, of his experiences as a U.S. Navy Seabee stationed in Da Nang, Vietnam, as part of the Civic Action program to help local families.

            The talk takes place Saturday, January 12th (snow date Sat 1/19) at 2 p.m. at the East Fishkill Community Center (890 NY 82, Hopewell Junction – same building as the OFA Senior Friendship Center). Light refreshments will be served.


You may be eligible for an Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) benefit if:

  • You have received HEAP or SNAP HEAP during the 2018-19 HEAP season,
  • Your electricity is necessary for your heating system or thermostat to work and is either shut off or scheduled to be shut off,
  • Your electric or natural gas heat is off or scheduled to be shut off,
  • You are out of fuel, or you have less than one quarter tank of fuel oil, kerosene or propane or have less than a ten (10) day supply of wood, wood pellets, corn, or other deliverable heat source,
  • Your household’s available resources are:
    • less than $2,000 if no member of your household is age 60 or older; or
    • less than $3,000 if any member of your household is age 60 or older.

Emergency HEAP applications are completed over the phone- no written application or in-person interview is required. Contact HEAP at the Office for the Aging by calling 845-486-2553 to request an Emergency HEAP Benefit, or for more information.

The Regular HEAP benefit is still open, so if you haven’t applied for HEAP yet, please call the number above for eligibility details or to request an application.


Other aging news online:

The latest phone scam? Calls from thieves pretending to report that your credit/debit/bank card info was stolen:https://seniorplanet.org/new-phone-scam-targets-seniors/?mc_cid=4e5df29c28&mc_eid=4149ad7bda

Social Security is changing in four key ways in 2019 – this goes for current beneficiaries as well as younger people paying into the system: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/4-ways-social-security-set-191500306.html?fbclid=IwAR2DOCckLw-QETAzrDKVy75g-rRngnyz0S8vqChykGBKf_W-xSjrw7OUWsw

People often say that time seems to pass more quickly as they age…but why? We’re going to need some advanced physics to help figure that out: https://qz.com/1516804/physics-explains-why-time-passes-faster-as-you-age/?utm_source=qzfb&fbclid=IwAR2Rj4j2aSjjBe0yh63IK3HYlvMev57XKYaJnvsu6kV5bEKzLB21HTSvwKw

A study indicates that Alzheimer’s disease may develop differently in African-Americans, but there are other potential contributing factors that still need research: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/01/07/682036486/study-suggests-alzheimer-s-disease-may-work-differently-in-african-americans?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20190107&fbclid=IwAR3-S_hQUK5Dpzlc9ArJfjTFuUy5rHindJDoON648hqldFmjPbDmykeAydw

You’ve just been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Only thing to do about that is…go back to college, of course:https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/following-alzheimer-s-diagnosis-this-81-year-old-ont-man-enrolled-in-university-1.4244388#_gus&_gucid=&_gup=Facebook&_gsc=IgSmeIS


This week in senior birthdays:

1/14: Drag racing legend Don Garlits (87)

1/15: Guitarist/actress Charo (68)

1/16: Journalist/author William Kennedy (91)

1/17: Actress/comedian Betty White (97)

1/18: Actor/director Kevin Costner (64)

1/19: Singer/songwriter/activist Dolly Parton (73)

1/20: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin (Apollo XI) (89)


And this week’s Bad Joke:

A tractor salesman was heartbroken over the way his girlfriend broke up with him. She sent him a John Deere letter.