Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s
For the week of May 27th
Golden Living . . . News for Seniors, Their Families and Caregivers
Todd N. Tancredi, Director
Dutchess County Office for the Aging
SUMMER IS CONTRACTING SCAM SEASON
If you’re planning on getting work done at your home this summer to improve your chances of successfully aging in place, there are key precautions to take before any contracts are signed or money changes hands.
Start by checking contractors’ references, and ask your municipal government about any contractors’ licensing necessities. Disreputable contractors may tell you “pulling a permit” won’t be necessary. Get the permit anyway, if such a thing is required. It’s a valuable way to get an independent look at the work, and it protects you from future issues.
While you can expect contractors will want a down payment on their jobs, never pre-pay more than $1000, or 10% of the job’s total cost, whichever is lower.
Get all aspects of the job guaranteed in writing, and make sure any contract includes procedures for dealing with unforeseen costs.
Never hire anybody on the spot. This is the peak season for scams involving paving, driveway sealing and other kinds of outdoor work. They’re just a few of many common scams targeting seniors, who tend to be home during the day to answer the door. Traditionally, the perpetrators of the paving scam will show up unannounced and advertise they can do paving and/or other work at a significant discount. Sometimes they will say they can offer a reduction in cost, as they are in the neighborhood working on another job and have “leftover” material. They will usually ask for a cash deposit; and once it has been paid, they disappear with the money.
Another common scam involving fake contractors is the “distraction” scam. This one involves at least two participants: one to lure an unwary senior out of the home to look at supposed areas that need repair, another to sneak into the home to steal valuables.
These crimes victimize not only seniors, but legitimate contractors as well. If you think a scammer is working your neighborhood, note their vehicle’s license plate number and get in touch with local law enforcement. They’re well versed in identifying scammers and their tactics.
Occasionally, scammers will pose as utility workers. The two utility companies that serve Dutchess County, Central Hudson and NYSEG, both have extensive safeguards in place to protect consumers. In most cases, utility employees travel in company vehicles clearly marked as such. Contractors working on the utility company’s behalf are also required to carry company identification. The customer service contact information for the two utility companies is as follows:
Central Hudson: (845) 452-2700, or 800-527-2714 outside the 845 area code;
The TTY/TDD number for both utilities is 711.
The Dutchess County Office for the Aging offers scam prevention seminars for local civic groups and houses of worship. These presentations touch on many issues of importance to seniors, though the information presented can benefit residents of every age. Though scammers often target seniors in their crimes, any resident is a potential scam target, and younger people are more likely to be successfully victimized.
Residents can learn more about scheduling a scam prevention seminar by contacting OFA Outreach Coordinator Brian Jones at email@example.com or (845) 486-2555.
Golden Living is prepared by the Dutchess County Office for the Aging, 114 Delafield St., Poughkeepsie, New York 12601, telephone (845) 486-2555, email:firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.dutchessny.gov/aging
Office for the Aging events schedule
See the online calendar at www.dutchessny.gov to find out more
(All events subject to change)
Wed 5/29 – 27th annual OFA Senior Picnic series begins
To volunteer, email email@example.com or call (845) 486-2544
For seniors’ reservations for the picnic in your community (seating is extremely limited, and some picnics are already fully booked), call (845) 486-2555
Mon 6/3 and Mon 6/10, 2:45 – 5:00 p.m. – OFA volunteering opportunity
We’re looking for assistance at OFA headquarters in Poughkeepsie in filling 1000 small bags with magnetic puzzle pieces, as part of an elder-abuse-prevention effort. Please call us in advance (486-2555) if you’d like to help out.
Fri 6/14, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. – OFA at World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2019
Drumlin Hall, Dutchess Community College
Free, with required advance registration
Space is limited to 450 attendees – fewer than 60 seats left!
Call (845) 486-2555 to reserve a seat
Thu 6/20, 1 p.m. – OFA Scam Prevention Presentation
With OFA outreach coordinator Brian Jones
Grace Episcopal Church (Parish Hall), 3328 Franklin Ave., Millbrook
“FRIENDS OF SENIORS” SEEKS VOLUNTEERS…AND GOLFERS
Friends of Seniors (9 Vassar St., 485-1277, www.friendsofseniors.biz) is a key resource for Dutchess County seniors in need of non-emergency medical transportation; shopping trips for those with no means to obtain food; visiting, companionship and respite services, and more.
Their volunteer services are much in demand, to the point where a waiting list exists for some services. You could have a role in eliminating that waiting list, by volunteering for Friends of Seniors.
Volunteers’ hours are flexible, excess insurance coverage is provided for when a client is in your vehicle, and for volunteer, drivers mileage is reimbursed at 30 cents per mile.
To step up and help Friends of Seniors, contact them using the information above.
Friends of Seniors is also hosting its second annual “Driving for Seniors” golf tournament on Monday, June 10th at McCann Memorial Golf Course (155 Wilbur Blvd., Poughkeepsie). It’s a four-player team scramble with a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start. Registration is $135 per golfer and includes 18 holes with cart, complimentary beverage carts, continental breakfast, lunch at the turn, a dinner and awards ceremony at Christo’s, closest-to-the-pin and long-drive contests, team awards, raffles and a 50-50. Every player will have a chance at a $25,000 hole-in-one, with one player having a chance for a $1 million (20 year annuity) hole in one.
Call 485-1277 for more information on either volunteering, the golf tournament…or both.
Other aging news online:
(audio) A 51-minute program on aging and financial vulnerability: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/05/20/brains_and_losses
More on Dutchess County’s new future park, Lake Walton Preserve in East Fishkill: https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2019/05/22/lake-walton-preserve-universally-accessible-east-fishkill-park/3765055002/
Here’s some more tips on traveling with older adults: https://travelwithagingparents.com/5-travel-activities-that-engage-older-adults/
This week in senior birthdays:
5/27: Jazz composer Ramsey Lewis (84)
5/28: Singer/actress Gladys Knight (75)
…who is headlining the 150th anniversary Bardavon Gala in Poughkeepsie in October. More info at https://www.bardavon.org/show/gladys-knight-live-bardavon-150th-anniversary-gala/
5/29: New York Knicks star Richie Guerin (87)
5/30: Mathematician Joan Birman (92)
5/31: Actor/director/producer Clint Eastwood (89)
6/1: Singer/actor Pat Boone (85)
6/2: Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts (78)
And a Bad Joke to send you off on a happy note:
Q: What do you get when you cross a dog with an antenna?
A: A golden receiver.
Dutchess County Office For the Aging
Main office: (845) 486-2555
Direct line to my desk: (845) 486-2544
114 Delafield St., Poughkeepsie NY 12601