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Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s


For the week of September 13th


Fall begins on Wednesday, September 22nd. OFA marks the season change every year with Fall Prevention Awareness Week, September 20th-24th, in conjunction with New York State Senator Sue Serino, Lower Hudson Valley Falls Prevention Network, and Vassar Brothers Medical Center Trauma Department. The week kicks off with Community Panel livestreamed on www.facebook.com/lhvfallprevention on Monday, September 20th at 3:00 p.m., discussing increasing fall injuries in the region. You can see the full regionwide calendar of free Fall Prevention Week events at the same Facebook page.

Reserve your spot for Thursday, September 23rd as OFA offers a special “Sample Day” of many of our great exercise and activity options. Take part a live Tai Chi class, a walk with a naturalist hosted by Sue Serino, Bingocize, and a senior exercise class demonstration, at Bowdoin Park (85 Sheafe Rd., Poughkeepsie). The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Lunch will be provided. Capacity is limited to 30, so registration is required. Call 845-486-2555 to register.

Other highlights of the week’s calendar include:

Wednesday, September 22nd, 10-11 a.m. – Kovacs balance class with Hudson Valley Regional Community Health Centers, via Zoom; register by emailing drmarckaplan.gait@gmail.com or call 845-278-6930.

Friday, September 24th, 3 p.m. – finale, livestreamed on Facebook

To find out more about Fall Prevention Awareness Week, contact Jill Bubel at jill.bubel@nuvancehealth.org or call 845-797-6768.


The days of area-codeless local phone calls will go away in Dutchess County on Sunday, October 24th. That’s the day when 10-digit local dialing will become mandatory for all phones using the 845 or 914 area codes. 10-digit dialing has been mandatory for a few years already, in the 518 area code that covers northeastern Dutchess County and regions to our north, along with the many area codes that cover New York City. The change will apply to cell phones, landlines, and VoIP systems. If you slip up and dial a seven-digit number out of habit after October 23rd, you’ll hear a recorded message asking you to try again – and include the area code. Ten-digit dialing has been enabled since April, so use the next month or so to learn new dialing habits.

The switch to 10 digits is needed as part of the process of making it easier for people in need of immediate mental health assistance to call the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline. Last summer, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline be reachable at the three-digit number 988, starting in July 2022. If you or a loved one is in crisis now, the national lifeline’s number is 1-800-273-8255. That number will remain active even after 988 becomes available.

Closer to home, Dutchess County’s 24/7 mental health and substance use crisis number is available, by calling or texting 845-485-9700. 24/7 walk-in assistance is available at the Dutchess County Stabilization Center, 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie. They can be reached at 845-486-2849. No appointment or referral is needed.

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


Demand has been strong for spaces at this year’s “Golden Gathering” at Arlington High School (1157 NY 55, LaGrangeville), hosted by the Office for the Aging and New York State Senator Sue Serino, on Saturday, October 2nd from 9:30 to 12:30 p.m.

Seniors and their accompanying caregivers living anywhere within the 41st Senate District or Dutchess County are eligible to take part, and receive an influenza shot and/or a to-go meal – but reservations are required and space is limited. Call 914-962-2624 to arrange your time slot.

Public health experts expect an increase in the incidence of flu this season, from last winter’s record lows. (More here: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/09/07/1033756464/flu-shot-covid-booster)

Only flu shots will be available at the Golden Gathering, but the Centers for Disease Control has revised earlier guidance and now indicates there’s no problem with getting a COVID vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time.


If your home was damaged as the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed through the region earlier this month, you might be eligible for federal assistance. Dutchess County is collecting damage information at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5K2FYRM?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery


Central Hudson has put a new customer information system in place and seniors will likely see changes to their account.  All customers will receive a new account number, which can be located on bills beginning in September, by logging into My Account at www.centralhudson.com or by contacting Central Hudson (845-452-2700). If you elect to make a payment at a store like Smokes for Less before you receive your new account number your old account will work. Currently Central Hudson is not assessing late charges.

For additional information about the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) as it applies to Dutchess County seniors, email zserrano@dutchessny.gov or call 845-486-2553.

New York State is experimenting this heating season with an earlier start to HEAP winter programming: Friday, October 1st. Previous years’ HEAP start dates took place in early November. Seniors who previously qualified for HEAP were mailed “early outreach” recertification applications early this month.


The OFA “Medicare 101” class scheduled for October 5th at Lakeside Park in Pawling has been postponed. A new date will be announced once it’s determined.

For a full list of OFA “Medicare 101” classes, visit the Dutchess County calendar page: https://www.dutchessny.gov/Calendar-Page.htm. We’ve added extra classes throughout the county in September and October with Medicare’s annual open enrollment season running from October 15th to December 7th.

Other aging news online:

When to start taking Social Security? That depends…on lots of factors: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/01/your-money/social-security-when-to-collect.html (subscription may be required)

It’s possible that postponing retirement could keep dementia at bay: https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-09-07/postponing-retirement-might-help-keep-dementia-at-bay

Social media: it’s not just for the kids any more: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-09-06/social-medias-70-up-grandfluencers-debunking-aging-myths

Astronomy buffs, the James Webb Space Telescope has its official launch date, one week before Christmas Day: https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/09/the-james-webb-telescope-has-a-bona-fide-launch-date/?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=spotlight-nl&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_mailing=thematic_spotlight_090821_2&utm_medium=email&bxid=5cec26a424c17c4c64607b7a&cndid=21991033&hasha=b2946d7b42377b4841b3ffa8671b2edb&hashb=ba91f3a063159a5c023d7932d9b913dadf31574d&hashc=f0cf0a8a5b7325e0660e56c41aa6b7ce5658c27c483fece30d7a8bcf02463554&esrc=thematicseed&sourcecode=thematic_spotlight&utm_term=Thematic_Spotlight

This week in senior birthdays:

9/13: NY Rangers player/coach Emile “The Cat” Francis (95)

9/14: Star Trek actor Walter Koenig (85)

9/15: Actor/director Tommy Lee Jones (75)

9/16: Actor/boxer Mickey Rourke (69)

9/17: Mountaineer/explorer Reinhold Messner (77)

9/18: Basketball coach Rick Pitino (69)

9/19: Journalist/author Roger Angell (101)

An unnamed Dutchess County senior contributed this week’s Bad Joke:

Q: How does a cookie feel when it’s sick?

A: Crumby.