Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s

AGING NEWS

For the week of September 28th

Safe Walking for Older Adults: Visibility

(Third in a series of monthly pedestrian safety columns, prepared in conjunction with Emily Dozier, Senior Planner with the Dutchess County Transportation Council; and Aisha Phillips, Senior Public Health Education Coordinator with the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health)

As daytimes become shorter and it gets dark earlier, it becomes more important to think about being visible when we’re out walking, especially in the evening and early morning. In the City of Poughkeepsie, 40% of crashes between vehicles and people walking occur in dark or dusk conditions, according to Dutchess County’s Complete Streets Committee (www.dutchessny.gov/CompleteStreets).

What do you do to be visible when you’re walking outside? Here are some tips:

Wear bright colors. White is most visible, especially at night. Bright yellow or orange are also good. A bright shirt or jacket, hat or cap, pants and sneakers all help you be more visible.

Carry a flashlight. The light will help you see curbs and other obstacles. It can also help drivers see you, because the light moves as you walk.

Wear clothes with reflective material. Many jackets and sneakers have reflective strips that make you more visible. You can also find reflective tape or stickers and add them to your jacket or pant legs. Reflective material works best when it’s on a part of your body that moves as you walk—your arms or legs. That way, a driver is more likely to see it.

While visibility is especially important at dawn, dusk and evening hours, it’s good practice to follow these tips whenever you walk outside. “See – and be seen” is how our safety campaign describes it. If you’re crossing near a bus, truck or other large vehicle, wait for that vehicle to be well on its way before crossing, until it no longer blocks sight lines.

Use crosswalks and pedestrian push-buttons where available, and cross at intersections if you can, because that’s where drivers are most likely to expect to see you. New York State law gives pedestrians the right of way in all crosswalks and at intersections with marked or unmarked crosswalks – but as a pedestrian, don’t assume a driver knows the law and will yield when they’re supposed to.

If there is a location that needs safety improvements such as better lighting, crossing signals, sidewalks, curb ramps or crosswalks, alert the local officials in your town, village or city. Depending on who maintains the road, they may need to coordinate with New York State or Dutchess County to make improvements.

In the meantime, check out Dutchess County’s “Watch Out For Me” webpage (www.dutchessny.gov/WatchOutForMe) and explore the available resources, including a street safety tips brochure and street safety quiz. New York State’s Pedestrian Safety program (www.ny.gov/pedsafety) has videos, information about laws, and other resources —including a short video about visibility.

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

OFA DRIVE-IN BINGO (Wed 10/14, Tue 10/20, Thu 10/22)

In October, the Office for the Aging is presenting a new series of socially-distanced social events for Dutchess County seniors – drive-in bingo.

Continued New York State restrictions on large gatherings mean the annual OFA Senior Prom can’t happen as it usually would in October, so OFA is adapting to circumstances with these drive-in bingo events.

The events are free, but because space is limited to 60 vehicles, reservations are required and can be made by calling (845) 486-2555 during business hours. You can choose any one of three bingo events, all of which take place from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.:

    • Wednesday, October 14th at Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Rd., Poughkeepsie
    • Tuesday, October 20th at Dutchess County Fairgrounds, 6636 US 9, Rhinebeck
    • Thursday, October 22nd at Thomas Boyce Park, 6420 NY 55 in Wingdale

Rain dates for each event will be the following day.

If you were able to enjoy a Drive-Thru Senior Picnic over the summer, the Drive-In Bingo events will be somewhat similar. You’ll remain in your vehicle for the duration of the event. Every participant will receive an OFA goodie bag and a sheet of six randomly-numbered bingo cards.

Make sure your car’s radio is in good working order, because we’re going to use a low-power FM transmitter from the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office to broadcast the calling of each number. And when there’s a bingo? Honk your horns, flash your lights, and once you have our attention an OFA runner will check over your card and bring your prize.

Many thanks to 2020 OFA Platinum sponsors Home Energy Solutions and EverCare At Home, along with Wingate Healthcare, for their support.

If you have questions, or would like to make a reservation, call (845) 486-2555.

GOLDEN GATHERING (Sat 10/3): FLU SHOTS FULLY BOOKED, OTHER SPACE AVAILABLE

The drive-thru version of the annual Golden Gathering is proving to be just as popular as the in-person version. The Golden Gathering will take place in the parking lot of Arlington High School (1157 NY 55, LaGrangeville) from 9:30 to 12:30 on Saturday, October 3rd, and is hosted by the Office for the Aging and State Senator Sue Serino.

Organizers say all the available flu shots have been fully reserved, but there’s still a little bit of time to reserve a time slot to come by for plenty of useful information for seniors and caregivers, plus a to-go meal. Call (914) 962-2624 and leave your contact information at the voice-mail prompt. Registration closes Monday, September 28th or if the event reaches full capacity, whichever comes first.

ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION FREE EDUCATIONAL WEBINARS IN OCTOBER

The Alzheimer’s Association and the Office for the Aging are presenting four webinars in October. To RSVP for any of these programs, contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 800-272-3900. Here’s the October schedule of webinars:

Monday, 10/5, 2-3 p.m. – 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Monday, 10/12, 2-3 p.m. – Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Monday 10/19, 2-3 p.m. – Effective Communication Strategies

Monday 10/26, 2-3 p.m. – Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behavior

These programs are supported in part by a Dutchess County Office for the Aging grant and the New York State Department of Health.

Other aging news online:

The state Office for the Aging has launched a new online tool to help older New Yorkers protect themselves from COVID-19: https://newyork.cv19checkup.org/

Reassuring news in the debate over the safety and effectiveness of statins: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/21/well/live/for-older-people-reassuring-news-in-the-statin-debate.html

Helpful information for those exploring high-tech (or medium-tech) solutions to caregiving and self-care needs: https://www.kiplinger.com/retirement/601429/high-tech-aids-for-aging-in-place

Sometimes, the barber shop can be key to improvements in men’s health: https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/ash/88592?xid=nl_telehealth_2020-09-21&eun=g1261622d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=TelehealthConsult_092120&utm_term=NL_Gen_Int_Telehealth_Active

And wish a happy 107th to the world’s oldest Marine: https://www.stripes.com/news/oldest-living-marine-veteran-celebrates-her-107th-birthday-1.645873

This week in senior birthdays:

9/26: Singer/songwriter Bryan Ferry (75)

9/27: Baseball Hall-of-Famer Mike Schmidt (71)

9/28: Actress Brigitte Bardot (86)

9/29: Singer/songwriter Jerry Lee Lewis (85)

9/30: Actress Angie Dickinson (89)

10/1: Actress/singer Julie Andrews (85)

10/2: Singer/songwriter Sting (69)

And the Bad Joke!

Of all mankind’s inventions, the dry-erase board is the most remarkable.