Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s

AGING NEWS

For the week of February 15th

Note: the Office for the Aging is closed on the following holidays:

  • Friday, February 12th – Lincoln’s Birthday (NY state holiday)
  • Monday, February 15th – Presidents Day (national holiday)

Clients of our Home Delivered Meals (HDM) program will receive a “night tray” in advance of the Friday holiday, and a shelf-stable meal in advance of the Monday holiday.

With periods of snow in the forecast for much of the coming week, HDM deliveries may be affected. Updates will be posted at www.dutchessny.gov/aging. Those without internet access can listen to area radio stations for advisories, which will also be available on Spectrum News Hudson Valley.

COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE (key information in boldface)

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro recently announced the County’s Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) has updated its notification system, refining the County’s system to better assist Dutchess County residents looking for information about COVID-19 vaccine availability. The new form is available on the County’s vaccine information page: www.DutchessNY.gov/COVIDvaccine.

Dutchess County residents who complete the new Vaccination Information Request Form will receive a notification when a vaccine appointment is available to them, based on eligibility, at a Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health Point of Dispensing (POD) site. As it may be many months before an appointment is available based on current vaccine supply, residents will also receive weekly updates about New York State’s allocations to other area vaccine providers including pharmacies where they may have the opportunity to make an appointment.

Molinaro said, “We are committed to helping every Dutchess County resident who wants a vaccine to get one. Residents who complete the form will receive a notification when we can offer them an appointment at one of our POD sites, hopefully preventing the stress and anxiety of having to watch for new appointments to open, only to see all appointments filled in seconds. It is important to remember that national vaccine supply remains very limited and it may be months before an appointment is available – as our County health department has been only receiving 600-700 doses per week and we have close to 100,000 currently eligible Dutchess County residents. Patience continues to be paramount as we work to vaccinate residents as quickly as we receive doses.”

The new DBCH Vaccination Information Request Form gathers more detailed information from residents to assess their eligibility, under New York State’s phased distribution program. As New York State continues to expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and providing new directives to vaccine providers, including local health departments, the new vaccination information form will enable the County to notify eligible residents about vaccine availability in accordance with the State’s vaccine distribution guidance. Residents will be able to identify their eligibility category – including those 65 years and older, essential workers, and those with comorbidities.

Currently, under NYS vaccine distribution guidance, local health departments are directed to prioritize essential workers in Phase 1B of the State’s phased distribution process – including police, fire, teachers, grocery store workers, public transit personnel and others. Additionally, the Governor recently announced those with co-morbidities will be eligible for vaccination starting February 15th. As more information about the new expanded eligibility is provided to the County, the new Vaccination Information form will assist in ensuring the County is meeting the state required mandates about vaccine distribution to eligible populations.

The new Vaccination Information Request Form will replace current email notifications. As such, the more than 25,000 Dutchess County residents who had previously signed up to receive such notifications are asked to fill out the new form with their updated information in order to continue receive notifications.

Those without internet access can call the Dutchess County Corornavirus Information Line at 845-486-3555 to hear weekly updates about vaccine availability by selecting Option 1. Those over 65 years old can then choose to be connected with the Office for the Aging to be added to notification lists about appointment availability.

This form does not pre-register individuals for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, though the updated information received will be added to a County notification list, and those registered will receive email or text message updates from Dutchess County about when and where appointments will be available.

Dutchess County continues to provide updated information about COVID-19 vaccine availability on its webpage www.DutchessNY.gov/COVIDvaccine. This webpage includes status updates, as the County receives information from New York State, about allocations for the week and current appointment availability.

FEBRUARY IS HEART MONTH

While there have been several occasions over the past year when the COVID-19 virus has been the nation’s leading cause of death, the overall leading cause of death for 2020 remained heart disease, with COVID third overall behind heart disease and cancer. That’s according to the American Heart Association’s 2021 Update for heart disease and stroke statistics, published last month in its journal Circulation as a lead-in to February’s AHA “Heart Month.” The report uses data gathered in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies.

The report goes on to predict the global burden of cardiovascular disease will grow exponentially over the next few years as the long-term effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic evolve. More information is available at www.heart.org/statistics.

We can all benefit from improved heart health. The American Heart Association has identified seven simple low-cost steps called “Life’s Simple 7” that will help you live heart healthy and add quality years to your life:

  • manage your blood pressure;
  • control cholesterol;
  • reduce blood sugar;
  • eat better;
  • lose weight; and
  • stop smoking.

Learn more on the American Heart Association’s website, http://mylifecheck.heart.org, which includes an interactive online tool that helps people assess and track their heart health information.

Additional recommendations from the National Institutes of Health include continuing to work with your healthcare team, which can help you prevent or treat the conditions that can lead to heart disease. If you’ve already had a heart attack, your healthcare team will work with you to prevent another one. Your treatment plan may include medicines or surgery and lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. Be sure to take your medicines as directed and follow your doctor’s instructions, and come to your appointments with questions prepared. As a rule, doctors recommend you continue to go to your doctor’s appointments as scheduled, rather than putting them off out of concern about the pandemic.

Many of the same factors that can reduce your risk for heart disease have the additional benefit of reducing your risk of catching the COVID-19 virus. According to Harvard Medical School, a person with a vulnerable heart is more likely to succumb to the effects of fever, low oxygen levels, unstable blood pressures, and blood clotting disorders — all possible consequences of COVID-19 — than someone previously healthy.

When it comes to eating better, you can find more in OFA’s monthly nutrition e-newsletters. Subscribe at www.dutchessny.gov/DutchessDelivery. The newsletters, including back issues, are posted in the Nutrition Services section at www.dutchessny.gov/aging.

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 SEEKS NEW “HIICAP” VOLUNTEERS

Many Dutchess County seniors find themselves confused by health insurance concerns – and need accurate, unbiased, understandable guidance to find the options that best meets their needs.

You can help them, as an Office for the Aging “HIICAP” volunteer.

HIICAP stands for Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program. HIICAP educates the public about Medicare, Medicaid, managed care, EPIC, and other health insurance options and issues. HIICAP assists Medicare beneficiaries to access needed health care and to apply for programs such as the Medicare Savings Programs.

That may sound like a lot to learn, but you need no health insurance expertise to train to become a HIICAP volunteer. OFA takes care of the training, with regular follow-up sessions to keep volunteers up-to-date.

OFA is holding a socially-distanced three-part HIICAP training session for new counselors in March, at our City of Poughkeepsie headquarters. The training is focused specifically on volunteers who would like to help clients with Medicare issues, and will take place on three consecutive Tuesdays: March 2, 9 and 16, with each class lasting from (time) to (time).

The ability to speak languages in addition to English is desired, but not required.

For more information, call the Office for the Aging at (845) 486-2555 or email ofa@dutchessny.gov.

 

FREE ZOOM EVENT: “COPING AND CARING IN THE TIME OF COVID” (Thu 2/25)

Please join Marist College faculty members Kate Chaterdon, Asst.Prof. of English; Brian Loh, Lecturer of Religious Studies; and Mary Stone, Asst. Prof. of Psychology; for a discussion on how mindfulness can aid daily life during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ll discuss research behind contemporary secular mindfulness, and lead participants through a few mindfulness-based practices.

The event takes place on Zoom at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 25th. Register in advance at this link: https://marist-edu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUuduipqT4iHddsxUtJrAJeNHNLNZRj7aTy

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.

To learn more, visit www.thegillespieforum.org.

TAI CHI AND “MATTER OF BALANCE”

The Office for the Aging is planning for remote and socially-distanced in-person Tai Chi and “A Matter of Balance” falls prevention classes to take place in the spring. A doctor’s approval is required for Tai Chi and Senior Exercise.

For more information, contact the Office for the Aging.

Free Virtual Balance Classes – Wednesdays in FEBRUARY

Balance, flexibility and strength are all necessary to complete everyday tasks in and out of the home. If you haven’t yet been able to sign up for one of OFA’s “A Matter of Balance” classes, here’s an alternative – free virtual classes taking place on Zoom every Wednesday in February. If you participate via a mobile device, be sure that Zoom is downloaded on your mobile device before joining the class. It’s also possible to participate over the phone.

Here’s the technical particulars:

Zoom Meeting Link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85401478842?pwd=dG1XNTN5Smp3b3czMkxSTEtQYndRZz09

Zoom App/Online information:

Zoom Meeting ID: 854 0147 8842 Passcode: special

Join Zoom by Phone/landline – audio only – call 1-646-558-8656

Meeting ID: 85401478842

Password: 5295607

For additional information, email dmtsantes@gmail.com. To find out more about “A Matter of Balance,” contact the Office for the Aging.

Other aging news online:

Tips from the Federal Trade Commission for avoiding coronavirus scams (printable PDF): https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/sites/www.consumer.ftc.gov/files/tips_from_ftc_covid-19_one-pager_en_508.pdf

Dementia patients have a greatly increased risk for COVID-19, with the risk increasing additionally for African-American COVID-19 patients: https://www.medpagetoday.com/neurology/dementia/91108?xid=nl_covidupdate_2021-02-09&eun=g1261622d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=DailyUpdate_020921&utm_term=NL_Gen_Int_Daily_News_Update

A bit more on Tony Bennett’s recent disclosure of his Alzheimer’s disease: https://www.medpagetoday.com/blogs/celebritydiagnosis/91111?xid=nl_mpt_SRNeurology_2021-02-09&eun=g1261622d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NeuroUpdate_020921&utm_term=NL_Spec_Neurology_Update_Active

If you haven’t been able to visit senior family members because of the pandemic, but vaccinations start making it possible to do so, here are five key points to keep in mind. The article says “rural” but the principles within apply to pretty much everybody everywhere: https://dailyyonder.com/commentary-five-signs-rural-elders-may-need-a-helping-hand/2021/02/09/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=173470656019870&fbclid=IwAR06wYwIPB87bYvVb09AUFd74lok4-NhfyN-Je9uwStEUwnZxFaBN2nCpgk

A French nun celebrated her 117th birthday this week, right after surviving a bout with COVID: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-10/europe-oldest-woman-116-overcomes-coronavirus-infection/13141112

AAA reviews the pros and cons of various ice-melting strategies: https://magazine.northeast.aaa.com/daily/life/home/guide-common-snow-melt-solutions/?mqsc=ED4116063&utm_source=AdobeEmail&utm_medium=Daily&utm_campaign=210211_YourAAADaily&cid=DM182252&bid=205426066&hme=f0cf0a8a5b7325e0660e56c41aa6b7ce5658c27c483fece30d7a8bcf02463554

This week’s free virtual museum tour – the Musée d’Orsay in Paris: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/musee-dorsay-paris

This week in senior birthdays:

2/15: Animator/screenwriter Matt Groening (67)

2/16: Actor/director LeVar Burton (64)

2/17: NFL Hall of Famer/actor Jim Brown (85)

2/18: Actor/singer John Travolta (67)

2/19: Singer/songwriter Smokey Robinson (81)

2/20: NHL Hall-of-Famer Phil Esposito (79)

2/21: King Harald V of Norway (84)

We looked a year ahead for this week’s Bad Joke:

February 22nd, 2022 (2/22/22) is…of course…a Tuesday.

But that’s not even a Bad Joke.

Okay, okay…

There are five kinds of people in the world: those who are good at math, and those who aren’t.