Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s AGING NEWS For the week of January 16th

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Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s


For the week of January 16th

Note: OFA offices and Friendship Centers will be closed on Monday, January 16th, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Clients of the OFA Home Delivered Meals (HDM) program receive meals in advance of the day. HDM clients also receive shelf-stable meals in advance of predicted inclement winter weather that could disrupt HDM deliveries. For more information about the HDM program, contact OFA at 845-486-2555 or ofa@dutchessny.gov.


The days get longer in January, but nowhere as quickly as many of us would like. This week we enter the meteorological “dead of winter,” the coldest part of winter. Here in New York, that’s usually from mid-January to mid-February.

You might start to feel sad this time of year, without being able to put a finger on why. The “winter blues” are common enough, but some people may have a type of depression that cycles with the seasons, peaking in the winter. It’s called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Why winter?

Winter brings colder weather, shorter days and longer periods of darkness which can bring symptoms of depression including loss of energy, changes in appetite and sleeping habits, irritability, and loss of interest in participating in social activities.

Treatment, Pharmaceutical and Otherwise

Like other forms of depression, SAD can be treated with antidepressant medications. Because medications can take time to work, it is best to start treatment prior to the onset of symptoms each year. Talk therapy may help, either with or without antidepressants. A non-pharmaceutical option for treatment of SAD is light therapy. Bright light therapy utilizes a piece of equipment called a “light box,” which is a fluorescent lamp that emits a spectrum of light intended to simulate natural sunlight. It’s important to make certain the light box has a filter that blocks harmful UV rays, so the light does not cause any damage.

The Vitamin Connection

Low levels of vitamin D have been found in people with SAD. It is unclear whether this is linked to SAD, but Vitamin D deficiency is particularly dangerous for older adults. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are very subtle and can include muscle and bone pain, excessive fatigue, and depressed mood. Older adults are more at risk for being vitamin D deficient due to changes in diet which result in eliminating foods rich in vitamin D; additionally, aging bodies have more difficulty converting and absorbing vitamin D from foods. Older adults deficient in vitamin D are at increased risk for negative impacts on bone and heart health; increased risk of cognitive decline; heart disease, hypertension, cancer, diabetes, and decreased immune function.

You can obtain vitamin D by increasing intake of foods where vitamin D is naturally found such as: eating beef liver, egg yolks, cheeses, and fatty fish like salmon. You can also increase intake of vitamin D fortified foods including milk, yogurt, cereals, and juice. You can take a vitamin D supplement but should only do so if recommended by your physician.

Did you know?

  • Women are four times as likely as men to be diagnosed with SAD.
  • Vitamin D levels tend to drop during the winter months.
  • Certain medications, such as the anti-inflammatory prednisone, can inhibit the ability to produce and metabolize vitamin D.
  • Those who suffer from depression or bipolar disorder may see symptoms worsen with seasons changing.

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

Senior Park Prints Art Series – SIGN UP SOON!

Older adults interested in learning more about creating their own art can take part in the “Senior Park Prints Arts Series” in conjunction with Dutchess County parks. It’s taking place at three OFA Friendship Centers around the county.

Assistant Park Naturalist Jess Steinbach is taking her artistry on the road, and will be teaching on how to make nature art with acrylic. These are free classes, and all supplies will be provided. Limited availability. Call OFA at 845-486-2555 to reserve your space. Choose one:

• Thurs., January 19th – Office for the Aging, 114 Delafield St., Poughkeepsie

• Thurs., February 2nd – Northeast/Millerton Library Annex, 28 Century Blvd., Millerton

• Thurs., February 16th – East Fishkill Community Center, 890 Route 82, Hopewell Jct.

Each event takes place 2:30-3:45 pm. Please register in advance; walk-ins cannot be accepted.


In conjunction with the course “Lifespan Physical Therapy-Adult/Geriatrics,” the Marist DPT program is seeking volunteers to participate in a series of labs with students in their final year of the program. These labs have been an integral part of the students’ learning.

This year the labs will include an annual physical therapy assessment or Adult Functional Independence test; goals set by the students in collaboration with the volunteers; hands on interventions completed in lab; and, finally, a home program being provided to the volunteer based on those goals and any impairments noted during the assessment.

Volunteers must be able and willing to commit to joining the series of labs in person at Marist College (provided health restrictions are not in place at the time of the labs) on all three of the following dates:

Friday, March 3rd, Friday March 10th, and Wednesday, April 5th.

All sessions will begin between 8:30 and 9 am and run until approximately 10:30. Please note that there are two weeks between the second and final meetings to allow the volunteers to work on their Home Exercises which will then be assessed, and modifications made if needed for optimal benefit during the final session. A small stipend from Marist is available for volunteers who complete the labs.

Areas that will be assessed include general muscle strength, muscular and aerobic endurance, flexibility, fall risk, and balance and gait assessment as well as postural functional assessments. Volunteers will be asked to provide medical clearance from their physician.

Space at the labs is limited – but as of January 13th a few slots remained. To register for the program, email Yvonne.egitto@marist.edu or call 845-575-5037.

Women’s Safety Awareness Night (THU 1/26)

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) of Dutchess County and the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department will host a Women’s Safety Awareness Night on Thursday, January 26th, starting at 6pm at the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response campus, 392 Creek Road, Poughkeepsie. The event is free to attend, but registration is required by emailing mrc@dutchessny.gov.

Town of Poughkeepsie Police Lieutenant Patrick Barry and Officer Lindsay Marinelli will discuss how to encourage and empower women by raising awareness of safety measures, understanding the important role instincts and gut reactions play, determining how to identify and avoid potentially dangerous situations, making a safety plan, and giving participants other tools to decrease the odds of becoming a victim.

MRC of Dutchess County hosts various trainings for members and non-members alike throughout the year. For more information or to sign-up to volunteer, visit www.dutchessny.gov/mrc or email mrc@dutchessny.gov.


Shake off the winter blues and commit to getting your daily steps in in 2023! Walk Around Wednesdays, sponsored by Dutchess County Parks, will include short distance walks of approximately 1-1.5 miles, led by Assistant Park Director Serge Nalywayko. This 5-week program will be held from noon-1pm on Wednesdays at various Dutchess County Park locations. Walks are free, but registration is required and are weather dependent. To register, call 845-298-4600.

January 18 – Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Road

January 25 – Dutchess Rail Trail Hopewell Depot Trailhead, 36 Railroad Avenue

February 1 – Wilcox Park, State Route 199, Milan

February 8 – Dutchess Rail Trail Morgan Lake Trailhead, Creek Road, Poughkeepsie

February 15 – Bowdoin Park, 85 Sheafe Road

The Dutchess County Parks Division offers a variety of programs for both children and adults and holds special events throughout the year.

Other news:

Healthy meal planning tips for older adults.

Gardeners, you’ll need to get ready for the season a little early.

Not much snow thus far this winter, but that can change in March sometimes.

This week’s birthdays:

1/15: Guitarist/actress Charo (72)

1/16: Journalist/author William Kennedy (95)

1/17: Actor and Dutchess County resident James Earl Jones (92)

1/18: NHL Hall of Famer Mark Messier (62)

1/19: Actress/activist Tippi Hedren (93)

1/20: Astronaut Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11) (93)

1/21: Golf legend Jack Nicklaus (83)

And here’s our weekly Bad Joke:

Cowboys in the Old West used to hang lanterns on their horses’ saddles at night to help them find their way home. This was an early form of saddle light navigation.

Author: Harlem Valley News