Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s AGING NEWS For the week of November 22nd

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Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s


For the week of November 22nd

Note: The Office for the Aging and OFA Senior Friendship Centers are closed on Thursday, November 25th, for Thanksgiving Day. Senior Friendship Centers are also closed on Friday, November 26th – but OFA offices will be open.

Clients of OFA’s Home Delivered Meals program will receive shelf-stable meals in advance of the holiday weekend.


Before long, snow will fall here in Dutchess County and may make travel difficult, especially for seniors. Before that happens, check up on the absolute safety basics that no home should be without, especially as more seniors stay home during the winter:

  1. Smoke / carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. These can be purchased together or as separate units. An older unit may no longer get the job done. Even a hardwired detector loses effectiveness over time. New York State law now requires all new or replacement smoke alarms be powered by a 10-year, sealed, non-removable battery, or be hardwired to the home. Rebuilding Together Dutchess County (RTDC) offers a Home Safety and Fire Prevention program that includes free installation of smoke and CO detectors for eligible homeowners. The program also includes other items as needed: fire extinguishers, reflective house numbers, fire preparedness education, and more. Contact RTDC at www.rebuildingtogetherdutchess.org or 845-454-7310 for eligibility information.
  2. A fire extinguisher. Adults over age 65 suffer twice as many fire deaths as the general population, and people over 85 are four times as likely to die in a fire, with the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimating that 83% of deaths resulting from sleepwear fires involve people over 65. Modern fire extinguishers are designed to be easily operated, and some are specific to rooms like kitchens, where most home fires originate. It’s important to become familiar with proper extinguisher use before there’s a fire, lest having one around lead to a false sense of security, improper extinguisher use, or delays in reporting a fire. Most extinguishers contain between 30 and 60 seconds of firefighting material, according to the New York State Office of General Services.
  3. A first aid kit that goes above and beyond. For seniors, a typical off-the-shelf first aid kit may not be sufficient, due to typically more delicate skin and brittle bones. To augment your first aid kit, look to add items specific to the added risks of life as a senior: ice packs to help reduce swelling; Ace-type and nonstick gauze bandages to support injured limbs; appropriate over-the-counter pain relievers for help with bruising;



The Office for the Aging has a limited number of “File of Life” packets available. The File of Life is designed to help first responders quickly obtain correct medical and contact information during emergencies, when you may be unable to communicate.

The File of Life includes a refrigerator magnet that holds a card on which vital information can be recorded. When recording this information, use a pencil so that it’s easy to update medical conditions and medications as needed.

Contact OFA if you or a Dutchess County senior you know needs a File of Life. While we cannot mail the File of Life, they can be picked up at OFA offices in Poughkeepsie. We can also arrange for a File of Life to be available for you to pick up at an OFA Senior Friendship Center near you.

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


as of Friday morning (11/19), a weather system was threatening to send an early-season winter (or at least wintry) storm early next week to affect much of the northeast, including Dutchess County. It might be rain, it might be snow, it might be some of both…either way, it could be a mess leading into Thanksgiving.

In the event of weather disrupting OFA Home Delivered Meals activities and/or friendship centers, any postponements and cancellations will be announced on area radio stations, and posted on Dutchess County Government social media…which you can follow at www.facebook.com/DutchessCoGov and www.twitter.com/DutchessCoGov.

Sign up also for emailed alerts from Dutchess County using the “DutchessDelivery” system – click here to sign up.

A Matter of Balance” – NEW virtual SESSIONS BEGIN IN DECEMBER

OFA’s popular “A Matter of Balance” program is getting ready for a series of virtual (Zoom) classes, which will begin in December. Prospective participants should contact the Office for the Aging to sign up. Click this link for a printable participant application: https://www.dutchessny.gov/Departments/Aging/Docs/MOBParticipantApplication.pdf

The class is designed to reduce the fear of falling, stop the fear-of-falling cycle, and improve activity levels among older adults living in the community. Technical assistance can be provided for those who have difficulty connecting with virtual classes.


Our senior volunteers bring tremendous value to Dutchess County’s seniors and caregivers, with the New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) estimating that the value of senior volunteers’ work throughout the county came to well over $100 million.

NYSOFA recently issued its annual recognition of volunteers making a difference for older New Yorkers, at a virtual celebration held in November. Among the honorees are two Dutchess County volunteers in our Home Delivered Meals program: Sue van Oss and Michael Sawitsky. Click here to read about the honorees; Sue and Mike are honored on Pages 19-20.

Sue and Mike both deliver midday meals to homebound seniors in the Towns of LaGrange, Pleasant Valley and Poughkeepsie as part of the HDM program, which provides meals for over 400 homebound seniors throughout Dutchess County.

Sue, Mike, and hundreds of other HDM volunteers provide more than meals – they’re trained to note their clients’ emotional and physical state, and are thus often the first to notice when something’s amiss. This enables seniors’ caregivers to be alerted quickly to medical needs that may require intervention.

The more volunteers we have, the more seniors we can help. Besides HDM volunteers, we’re also looking for volunteer exercise class leaders, clerical volunteers, volunteer helpers at upcoming outdoor events, and more. Email bjones@dutchessny.gov or call 845-486-2544 for more information.


Local aging-in-place group Rhinebeck@Home (www.rhinebeckathome.org; 845-379-1114) Invites you to join us at a free concert on Tuesday, November 23rd at 2:00 PM at The Pavilion at Brookmeade, 34 Brookmeade Dr. in Rhinebeck, featuring the Mid-Hudson Classical Guitar Quartet. This new ensemble was formed earlier this year by classical guitarist Greg Dinger.

Greg Dinger is a guitar recitalist, chamber musician, concerto soloist, and teacher. He is joined by fellow classical players Russ Austin, President of the Mid-Hudson Classical Guitar Society, Maureen Newman, a ‘period’ guitar musician who plays on a 19th century replica guitar; and Richard Udel, a proficient flamenco guitarist. Contact Rhinebeck@Home for more information.

Brookmeade Dr. is just off Route 308 near the eastern border between the Village and Town of Rhinebeck.

Other aging news online:

A lot of proposed Alzheimer’s drugs are headed for FDA review. Here’s a wrapup of the many unanswered questions involved: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-03410-9

Too much screen time may change the shape of your eyeballs, according to research from ophthalmologists – so take a break after reading this story, and come back for the rest of the Aging News later: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/nov/14/eyeballs-screens-vision-nearsightedness-myopia?utm_term=6193afe957b18a652a320163f53af562&utm_campaign=SocietyWeekly&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=societyweekly_email

A daily multivitamin…might…slow cognitive decline, but more study is needed: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/aging/daily-multivitamin-help-slow-cognitive-decline-rcna5121

CDC investigators are studying a large recent flu outbreak at the University of Michigan, trying to figure out if it’s a sign of the winter flu season to come: https://record.umich.edu/articles/cdc-in-ann-arbor-to-research-flu-cases-on-campus/

Those of you with experience growing up on Depression-era food may remember making delicious meals from less-marketable meats and vegetables. One person’s castoff is a delicacy elsewhere…in the case of turkey tails, that elsewhere would be Samoa: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/turkey-tails?utm_source=Gastro+Obscura+Weekly+E-mail&utm_campaign=0f7efe6f1a-GASTRO_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_11_16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2418498528-0f7efe6f1a-67314961&mc_cid=0f7efe6f1a&mc_eid=76bf222fbd

Big game hunting season begins in our region at half an hour before sunrise on Saturday, November 20th: https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/sports/recreational/2021/11/17/new-york-big-game-hunting-season-what-know-dec/8643397002/

Aging rock stars can still catch COVID, even if fully vaccinated – but also stand better odds of recovering and continuing their tour: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2021/11/15/genesis-phil-collins-nerve-damage-final-us-tour-tony-banks-mike-rutherford-interview/8626452002/

If you’re one for Black Friday shopping – or not – here’s a few consumer tips: https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/money/five-things-to-avoid-black-friday-2021/

This week in senior birthdays:

11/22: Director/actor Terry Gilliam (Monty Python) (81)

11/23: Former MLB pitcher Luis Tiant (81)

11/24: Drummer/songwriter Pete Best (The Beatles, for a little while) (80)

11/25: NFL coach/racing team owner Joe Gibbs (81)

11/26: Comedian/impressionist Rich Little (83)

11/27: Science guy Bill Nye (66)

11/28: Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, Jr. (92)

Here’s five servings of Bad Jokes to share over Thanksgiving dinner. Warning: you may be sent to the kids’ table after telling any of them. The material may go over better there anyway.

What key has legs and can’t open a door? A turkey!

What do you get when you cross a turkey with a ghost? A poultry-geist.

What side dish do you bring for Thanksgiving when you accidentally sat on the sweet potatoes? Squash casserole.

What noise does a limping turkey make? Wobble, wobble.

Knock knock. Who’s there. Norma Lee. Norma Lee who? Norma Lee I don’t eat this much.

Author: Harlem Valley News