Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s AGING NEWS For the week of June 19th

Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s


For the week of June 19th

Note: the Office for the Aging and OFA Friendship Centers are closed on Monday, June 19th for the Juneteenth national holiday.


If you’d like to live out the rest of your days in your own home, that’s also what most older New Yorkers have repeatedly said in many surveys, including the 2023 Community Assessment Survey for Older Adults (CASOA) recently completed by New York State in partnership with the Polco community-feedback platform. Over 26,000 older New Yorkers responded to the survey, conducted during the first quarter of this year. 212 respondents were Dutchess County residents.

It’s one thing to want to age in place, but a more considerable challenge for communities to assist older adults in reaching that goal. Older adults in the CASOA survey were asked to evaluate their communities within six domains: community design; employment and finances; equity and inclusivity; health and wellness; information and assistance; and productive activities.


The aspects of older adults’ communities found to be strongest related to safety, mobility, and physical health; while the areas showing the greatest need for improvement related to employment, housing, and independent living.

71% of older New Yorkers surveyed planned to stay in their community throughout their retirement, with about 69% rating their overall quality of life as excellent or good; however, only 51% of older residents gave their communities a positive score as a good place to retire. Elsewhere in the survey, 68% of respondents had lived in their communities for over 20 years. 31% said that having enough money to pay property taxes was either a moderate or major problem. 36% said having enough money to meet daily expenses was likewise a moderate or major problem. The takeaway: while older New Yorkers like where they live and want to keep living there, they’re not certain whether they can afford it.

New York came in for criticism from older adults for several other factors:

Cost of living in community – 82% fair or poor

Quality of employment opportunities for older adults – 81% fair or poor

Availability of affordable quality housing – 79% fair or poor

Availability of accessible housing (single floor, wide hallways/doors, no steps) – 78% fair or poor

Variety of housing – 76% fair or poor

Availability of affordable quality food – 57% fair or poor

There’s one number from the survey that we’ve got an eye on: 71 percent of New Yorkers in the survey said the availability of information about resources for older adults was either fair or poor. While that’s a statewide number, it reminds us at OFA that it’s an ongoing effort to reach out to older adults and caregivers throughout Dutchess County, so that they know to turn to the Office for the Aging with their concerns.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: get to know us before you need us. Even if you’re not sure OFA are the right people to answer your question, we can help sharpen your search for answers.

Even if you’re a healthy 60 and did a triathlon last weekend, you can call us and brag about it!

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


There are still a few seats left for the in-person AARP Smart Driver Course hosted by the Office for the Aging, 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.


The Marist College Center for Lifetime Study (CLS), having just completed its thirtieth year of service to seniors, has embarked on a campaign to attract new members.


CLS is a volunteer organization operating under the auspices of Marist College. Its primary purpose is to provide opportunities for the educational, intellectual and cultural growth for persons age 55 and older. CLS does this by offering classes to its members at the Locust Grove Estate on Route 9 in Poughkeepsie.


There is a wide range of courses offered in eight-week sessions in the spring and fall. Classes in the past have included such topics as art, computers, current events, economics, gardening, history, healthcare, law, literature, music, poetry, politics, religion, science and travel. Classes are taught by knowledgeable individuals including college faculty, CLS members, community leaders and professional experts.


CLS not only offers classes but also plans trips to places of interest, social activities, and events as well as access to various Marist College events and programs. Anyone interested in learning more about CLS are invited to browse our website at https://www.marist.edu/professional-programs/cls or by calling the CLS office at 845-575-3902.

Other local colleges offering lifetime study / adult learner programs include Bard, Vassar, and Dutchess Community College.


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 sessions will be held at OFA’s City of Poughkeepsie headquarters:

Tuesday, June 20th – 3:30 pm

Thursday, June 22nd – 3:30 pm

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, throughout the county. We’ve been in Beekman, Union Vale and Wappinger already, and have a visit planned for Dover in July. We hope your community’s seniors groups can be next!


OFA Senior Picnic season is underway! We have volunteering opportunities available at all Summer Picnics, which are held on most Wednesdays through August 30th. For volunteers under age 18, a signed parental waiver is required.

We’ll need help on picnic days getting tables and chairs set up, guiding drivers to parking spaces, bringing food and drinks to senior guests, and more. For a picnic schedule, see www.dutchessny.gov/ofapicnics.

This coming week, we’ll be at the picnic for Clinton and Hyde Park older adults, at Regina Coeli Church (in the back lot, behind the former school) on Wednesday, June 21st. Thanks to Regina Coeli for making the property available. Thanks also to our picnic season Platinum supporters: AccentCare, The Pines at Poughkeepsie and The Landing of Poughkeepsie.

The full picnic schedule is available at www.dutchessny.gov/OFApicnics.

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


The Dutchess County Division of Veterans’ Services has received an allocation of FreshConnect vouchers to distribute to veterans living in Dutchess County.

In related news, the Office for the Aging’s 2023 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is slated to begin distributing voucher booklets in early July.

SFMNP provides income-qualified older adults with access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs. An official date for the beginning of SFMNP distribution will be announced later this month.

As for FreschConnect…a New York State program, FreshConnect aims to expand access to fresh food in underserved communities to improve the diets of individuals in those communities and foster economic development. The program offers vouchers for veterans to purchase fresh foods at participating farmers markets and farm stands. FreshConnect vouchers are available to veterans, servicemembers, and their immediate family members to be used to purchase fresh foods at participating farmers markets and farm stands; a list of vendors, categorized by county, is available on the State’s website. A limited number of voucher packets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Dutchess County Veterans’ Services office, at the MHA Veterans One-Stop, 1335 US 44 in Pleasant Valley, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eligible recipients must personally sign a FreshConnect Voucher Packet Request and Acceptance Form in-person at the Veterans’ Services office to receive vouchers; vouchers cannot be mailed, and proxies may not pick up and sign for checks.

State guidelines require that state vendors may only accept FreshConnect vouchers for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible food items, including, but not limited to:

• Baked goods

• Breads

• Cereals

• Produce: fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, etc.

• Meats

• Fish and poultry

• Coffee (whole bean or ground)

• Seeds and plants that will produce food

• Eggs

• Pasta

• Honey

• Maple syrup

• Dairy products

According to State guidelines, FreshConnect vouchers are for SNAP-eligible food items only. Vouchers may not be used for any other product at the market; this includes, but is not limited to:

• Beer, wine, and liquor

• Cigarettes and tobacco

• Brewed coffee/tea (for consumption at the market)

• Pet foods

• Soaps and lotions

• Vitamins and medicines

• Hot foods (for consumption at the market)

• Other prepared foods (for consumption at the market)

• Seeds or plants that do not produce food (i.e. decorative plants and flowers)

• Crafts

Additional information about the FreshConnect program is available on the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets website.

Other news:

What does the “gut microbiome” have to do with Alzheimer’s disease?

Caregiving challenges for LGBTQ older adults.

The next phase of New York State’s master plan on aging is underway.

This week’s birthdays:

6/24: Singer-songwriter Colin Blunstone (The Zombies) (78)

6/25: Singer-songwriter Eddie Floyd (86)

6/26: Singer-songwriter Patty Smyth (66)

6/27: Designer Vera Wang (74)

6/28: Comedy legend Mel Brooks (97)

6/29: Singer-guitarist Colin Hay (Men At Work) (70)

6/30: Former Mets/Yankees outfielder Ron Swoboda (79)

Here’s the Bad Joke for the week!

What do you call macaroni and cheese that gets all up in your face?

Too close for comfort food.

Author: Harlem Valley News