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

Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s


For the week of May 22nd


Note: the Office for the Aging and all OFA Friendship Centers will be closed in observance of Memorial Day on Monday, May 29th. Clients of the OFA Home Delivered Meals program should use the shelf-stable meals provided in advance of the holiday.

The Dutchess County Office for the Aging is hosting an in-person AARP Smart Driver Course on Friday, June 23rd, 9 am – 4 pm, at the OFA Poughkeepsie Friendship Center, 114 Delafield St. in Poughkeepsie. It’s open to all licensed drivers from Dutchess County over age 60. Lunch from OFA can be provided, or you can bring your own.

The AARP Smart Driver course is the nation’s first refresher course specifically designed for older drivers. In many states, including New York, drivers may benefit from a discount on their auto insurance premium upon completing the course. And you will learn something new along the way. One evaluation of the course found that 97% of participants changed at least one driving habit because of what they learned.

Advance registration for this class is required and can be made by calling OFA during business hours at 845-486-2555. Class capacity is limited by space.

There’s a $30 fee for the course, payable on the day of the course by check, money order or cash. The fee for AARP members is $25.

The Smart Driver course can help you:

  • Receive a multi-year discount on your auto insurance. Consult your insurance agent for details;
  • Refresh your driving skills and your knowledge of the rules — and hazards — of the road; and
  • Reduce your chances of receiving a traffic violation or getting into an accident.


A new phone scam is targeting New Yorkers who are enrolled in publicly funded health care programs, including Medicaid. Confusing matters is that New York State this spring has been mailing legitimate Medicaid renewal notices to subscribers of Medicaid, the Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus.

Scammers thrive by causing confusion and, while it’s important to avoid scams, it’s just as important not to mistake legitimate communications for a scam. We expect that scammers will attempt phone, mail, and electronic methods.

Legitimate renewal notices will include the deadline to take action to renew your publicly funded insurance or risk having a gap in coverage. Deadlines will be based on your enrollment end dates and will range from June 30, 2023, through May 31, 2024.

Important: No one can ever charge you a fee to renew your health insurance in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, or the Essential Plan.

Older Dutchess County residents on publicly funded insurance plans can contact OFA for renewal help and any other follow-up questions at 845-486-2555 or ofa@dutchessny.gov.

You can report suspected fraud. Call the New York State of Health’s Customer Service Center at 1-855-355-5777. TTY users should call 1-800-662-1220Contact the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) health care helpline at 1-800-428-9071 or the New York State Department of Financial Services’ consumer hotline at 1-800-342-3736.


There is an immediate need for OFA Home Delivered Meals volunteer drivers in the Wappingers/East Fishkill area. Volunteers who can help on any or all weekdays, contact OFA at 845-486-2555 or email ofa@dutchessny.gov. Mileage reimbursement is available for drivers who use their own vehicles.


Register today for an upcoming OFA Friendly Calls Volunteer Orientation session. It’s a great opportunity to help our older adults avoid loneliness and social isolation, with the convenience of volunteering from home if you so choose. Each orientation session lasts 40-50 minutes. Our next orientation session will be held at OFA’s City of Poughkeepsie headquarters:

Thursday, June 1st – 3:30 pm

We’re also holding Friendly Calls information sessions, for those who want to learn more about the program before committing to volunteering. The next one takes place Thursday, June 8th, 10:00 am, at Beekman Library (11 Town Center Blvd., Beekman).

If you speak a language in addition to English, you’d be a fantastic addition to our Friendly Calls volunteer team. Other commonly spoken languages in Dutchess other than English and Spanish include Chinese (any dialects), Arabic, German, Italian, Korean and Polish…but speakers of all Earth languages are welcome!

To register for orientation at OFA, or to request a group orientation at your place of business or meeting venue, call 845-486-2555 or email ofa@dutchessny.gov. We plan to schedule additional orientations throughout the summer.


Help your older-adult Dutchess County friends and neighbors by helping prepare goodie bags for the guests at Office for the Aging’s Summer Picnics. This volunteering opportunity is open to any person age 18 and up, at OFA headquarters in the City of Poughkeepsie. Here’s the coming week’s schedule:

Monday, 5/22 – 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Tuesday, 5/23 – 9:30 am – 2:30 pm

Thursday, 5/25 – 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Friday, 5/26 – 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

If you’re available for any of or all that time, we’d love to hear from you. Prospective volunteers, email bjones@dutchessny.gov for further details. Volunteering space is limited, so reach out to OFA before stopping by.

We also have volunteering opportunities at the Summer Picnics themselves, which are held on most Wednesdays from May 31st to August 30th. For a picnic schedule, see www.dutchessny.gov/ofapicnics. For picnic volunteers under age 18, a signed parental waiver is required.

For information on all OFA volunteering opportunities, visit www.dutchessny.gov/ofavolunteer or email bjones@dutchessny.gov.


Learn about Alzheimer’s, dementia, and memory loss, along with Office for the Aging services, in a community-focused listening session aimed specifically at rural older adults and caregivers:

Thursday, June 1st, 1:00 – 2:30 pm – at Sun River Health, 3360 NY 343 in Amenia. (Masks are required at all Sun River Health facilities and will be available there.)

Registration is required, via the Alzheimer’s Association at 800-272-3900.

We’ll review the basics of Alzheimer’s and related dementias and hear from participants how OFA and the Alzheimer’s Association can expand the reach of local programs and services. Bilingual (English/Spanish) OFA staff are scheduled to be available at the event.


Town of Wappinger older adults and caregivers are invited to the “2023 Senior Living in Wappinger Expo” on Wednesday, May 31st from 10am to 4 pm at Wappinger Town Hall (20 Middlebush Rd., Wappingers Falls).

OFA will be represented along with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, Central Hudson, Rebuilding Together Dutchess County, Habitat for Humanity, Grinnell Library and other local businesses and professionals. For more information, call 845-297-3670.


We mentioned earlier that OFA and our Friendship Centers will be closed on Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day, the holiday which honors American servicemembers who died defending their country.

Here are the other federally and locally observed holidays coming up over the summer:

Monday, June 19th – Juneteenth – commemorating the 1865 emancipation of enslaved African Americans

Tuesday, July 4th – Independence Day – commemorating the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence

Monday, September 4th – Labor Day – A celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers.

OFA offices and Friendship Centers will be closed for each holiday, and clients of OFA’s Home Delivered Meals program should use the shelf-stable meals provided in advance of the holidays.

Other news:

Ugh: a tick bit you. Now what? When do you need to see a doctor, and when don’t you? Lots of useful tips in that link.

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and make some serious modifications to your home aimed at the goal of aging in place. And you don’t know where to begin, and you want to get the project(s) right? This may help, especially when you’re not sure of what your budget can be. And if you don’t have the money for a big project, there are a lot of things you can do to improve home safety that are free, or at least doable with a quick trip to the hardware store. Click here for a fall prevention checklist from OFA (PDF).

This week’s birthdays:

5/20: Former New York governor David Paterson (69)

5/21: Actor/wrestler Mr. T (72)

5/22: Songwriter/poet Bernie Taupin (73)

5/23: Mets manager Buck Showalter (67)

5/24: Singer/songwriter Bob Dylan (82)

5/25: Actor/activist/wizard Sir Ian McKellen (84)

5/26: Sportscaster Brent Musburger (84)

And the weekly Bad Joke:

What happens to a frog that’s parked illegally?

It’s toad.

Author: Harlem Valley News