Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s

AGING NEWS

For the week of June 29th

Grandfather and grandson playing in backyard with gardening tools

Note: the Office for the Aging will be closed on Friday, July 3rd, in observance of the national Independence Day holiday. Seniors in OFA’s Home Delivered Meals program will receive their July 3rd meals in advance of the holiday.

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

Todd N. Tancredi, Director

Dutchess County Office for the Aging

WATCHING FOR SIGNS OF DECLINE

In this most unusual year, it may have been a while since you’ve seen an elderly relative or friend. With Dutchess County reopening, you finally have a chance to see them, but you may notice they’ve developed difficulty taking care of themselves. The Office for the Aging is ready to help seniors and caregivers negotiate this delicate topic.

Seniors are understandably afraid to lose their independence. Still, an elderly loved one is most likely to maximize their independence by facing the issue directly, rather than ignoring or denying it.

There’s a distinct difference between a senior needing a little extra help with a few household tasks, and needing 24/7 care at a nursing home or assisted living facility. A few hours of home care or other assistance goes a long way to keeping them safely and happily at home, and as independent as possible. The important thing is to address the issue quickly and map out a plan of care.

Here are a few of the most common warning signs a senior may need help:

  • Poor Eating Habits: This can include not eating regular meals, weight loss, lack of appetite, or spoiled foods not thrown away. Consult with their physician first; depression can often be the cause of poor eating habits.
  • Poor Hygiene: Unpleasant body odor, infrequent showering or bathing, poor grooming, neglected nails and teeth, and wearing dirty clothes are hallmarks of poor hygiene.
  • Neglected Home: A dirty living space, extreme clutter, dirty laundry piling up, a strong smell of urine in the house, and partially eaten food left out are all signs an elder needs assistance.
  • Changes in Behavior: Watch for out-of-character behavior like unusual loudness or quiet, paranoia, agitation, repeated phone calls at all hours or extreme mood swings. Watch for uncertainty or confusion when performing tasks that should be familiar.
  • Isolation: Be aware if your normally socially active older adult has suddenly lost interest in keeping in touch with family or friends, or in social, religious, recreational and/or civic activities.
  • Unexplained Injuries: Burns or injuries from weakness, forgetfulness, or misuse of alcohol or medications should concern you. If your loved one still drives, look for unexplained dents or scratches on their car.
  • Forgetfulness: Are bills piling up without getting paid or being paid twice? Are prescriptions remaining unfilled, or are they taking more than prescribed? Is mail left around unopened? Newspapers unread or appointments missed?
  • Mobility Issues: Are they having trouble getting up from a seated position or having difficulty with walking, balance or getting in or out of the car?

If you aren’t sure where to turn for help, the Dutchess County Office for the Aging may be able to assist you. Visit our website at www.dutchessny.gov/aging for a comprehensive list of resources, or call us at (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: ofa@dutchessny.gov website: www.dutchessny.gov/aging

ST. SIMEON (POUGHKEEPSIE) NEEDS VOLUNTEER HELP

St. Simeon Senior Apartments in Poughkeepsie is looking for volunteer help for its senior residents in two areas:

– Volunteers who would be willing to make friendly calls to isolated seniors who are still concerned about leaving their apartments at this time;

– Volunteers to assist with delivering meals within the St. Simeon complex since COVID-19 restrictions currently prevent them from arranging their usual congregate meals.

For more information, contact Jennifer McEvoy-Reilly at (845) 471-9651 or email stsimeonproperties@gmail.com.

DUTCHESS HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE DISPOSAL DAYS SCHEDULED

(Sat 7/18 and Sat 9/19)

2020’s first Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Day was cancelled due to the pandemic, but with Dutchess County anticipating entering Phase 4 of reopening on July 7th, the county Division of Solid Waste Management has set up two disposal days: on Saturday, July 18th and Saturday, September 19th, both at the Dutchess County Department of Public Works, 626 Burnett Blvd. in Poughkeepsie.

Pre-registration and pre-payment ($10) are required. Registration is only open for the July 18th event; registration for the September 19th event will open on August 19th. Space is limited. For more information, including a list of what waste will and won’t be accepted, go to www.dutchessny.gov/solidwaste or call (845) 463-6020 (new number).

MODERATE FIRE DANGER THROUGHOUT THE HUDSON VALLEY THIS WEEK

The rain we got in the middle of this past week was not enough to reduce the danger of outdoor brush fires in New York. If you’re planning to use an outdoor fire pit, make it a habit to have your garden hose nearby and ready to use. For a look at the most recent map of fire danger conditions, use this map from the state Department of Environmental Conservation: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/68329.html

UPCOMING ALZHEIMER’S WEBINARS (Mondays in July)

The Alzheimer’s Association, in partnership with the Dutchess County Office for the Aging, presents a series of four free educational one-hour webinars covering various aspects of Alzheimer’s disease. All four webinars take place at 12 noon on the following Mondays in July:

7/6 – 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

7/13 – Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia

7/20 – Effective Communication Strategies

7/27 – Understanding & Responding to Dementia-Related Behavior

You can find out how to participate by contacting the Alzheimer’s Association at (800) 272-3900.

Other aging news online:

Planning a short summer road trip to New England? Many of New York’s neighboring states in New England are requesting that visitors from other states self-isolate before visiting: https://www.newstimes.com/travel/slideshow/Summer-travel-Here-s-where-you-ll-be-asked-to-204181.php?fbclid=IwAR0SCWtAfZGqVIxdszBpsFup1j007QIPcl5Pan24KCZFL_CGwJs58DNjftU

More on a recent Aging News item on a study that tied patterns of negative thinking to Alzheimer’s disease: https://www.medpagetoday.org/neurology/alzheimersdisease/87213?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2020-06-24&eun=g1261622d0r&utm_term=NL_Daily_DHE_dual-gmail-definition&vpass=1

This week in senior birthdays:

6/27: Fashion designer Vera Wang (71)

6/28: Comedy legend Mel Brooks (94)

6/29: Actor Gary Busey (76)

6/30: Mets/Yankees outfielder Ron Swoboda (76)

7/1: Actress Olivia de Havilland (104)

7/2: Fashion designer Pierre Cardin (98)

7/3: Apollo 17 astronaut/former senator Harrison Schmitt (85)

This week’s Bad Joke

Q: What’s the difference between a hippo and a zippo?

A: One is really heavy; the other is a little lighter.