Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s AGING NEWS For the week of October 30th

Dutchess County Office for the Aging’s


For the week of October 30th

November schedule advisory:

The Office for the Aging and OFA Friendship Centers will be closed on the following holidays in November:

Tuesday, November 7th (Election Day)

Friday, November 10th (Veterans Day Observed)

Thursday, November 23rd (Thanksgiving Day)

OFA offices will be open on Friday, November 24th but OFA Friendship Centers will be closed on the 24th.


Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cardholders, including those with SNAP or Temporary Assistance cards, are being warned to take extra precautions when using their cards, due to a rash of scams targeting the cards. Victims have been losing their entire monthly card balances to thieves, in some cases.

One key vulnerability of EBT cards is that they lack the “chip” security technology that’s used on credit and debit cards; as a result, it’s easier for bad actors to “skim” benefits using a device attached to a store’s card reader.

Skimmers most commonly show up on point-of-sale (POS) terminals, ATMs, and fuel pumps. Thieves often target small businesses that sometimes have only one person on duty, who can’t always keep an eye on the card readers. It’s easy for a team of two criminals to install a skimmer, even at point of purchase: one distracts the clerk, while the other installs the skimmer. It takes as little as 30 seconds.

It’s possible for EBT benefits to be stolen via fraudulent but official-looking emails and text messages aimed at tricking users into disclosing EBT information.

If your EBT benefits have been stolen…

It’s possible to replace certain stolen benefits. Here’s what to do:

Immediately contact the EBT Customer Service Helpline at 888-328-6399, visiting www.connectebt.com, or through the ConnectEBT mobile app. After you have reported your EBT card stolen and requested a replacement card, you can apply for replacement benefits. If you already received a replacement card since your benefits were stolen, you do not need to replace your card again.

State and federal authorities are working on solutions to EBT card vulnerability. There are currently no states that use chip technology on EBT cards.

In the meantime, EBT and SNAP card users can take precautions, as recommended by the FBI and USDA:

Check every card machine before you use it. Skimmers can be difficult to notice, but sometimes it’s possible to see telltale signs that something’s not right with the card reader:

    • Look for anything loose, crooked, damaged, or scratched.
    • Some skimmers block LED indicator lights or illuminated keypads.
    • Pull at the edges of the keypad before entering your PIN. Then, cover the keypad with a hand when you enter the PIN, to prevent pinhole cameras above the reader from seeing your PIN.

Keep your PIN secret. Log into your EBT account regularly to check for unauthorized activity.

Dutchess County residents should report stolen benefits to their local law enforcement agencies. It’ll help investigators if you know where and when you used your EBT card.

EBT fraud affects all of us. According to a LexisNexis study, every $1 of benefits lost through fraud ultimately costs SNAP agencies $3.72 in additional costs for detection, investigation and more. Those costs are borne by taxpayers.

One last tip: For those of us who use credit and debit cards, security experts recommend using contactless payment methods when possible.

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’s no time like the present to join the Office for the Aging’s ‘Friendly Calls’ program as a volunteer caller. You’ll brighten the day of an older adult right here in Dutchess County, and help keep them socially connected during a time of year when staying in touch is more important than ever. It’s easy to volunteer. All it takes is 20 to 30 minutes of your time, once a week. Make an appointment for a Friendly Calls orientation session at OFA, and we can answer your questions and get you connected with an older Dutchess County resident who’s participating in the program. You can make weekly calls to your older friend from anywhere – your own home, your job during a break, or even from vacation. We have Friendly Calls orientations available on the following dates and times. Pick one:

Monday, October 30th, 10:30 am

Wednesday, November 1st, 10:30 am

Wednesday, November 8th, 12 noon

Thursday, November 9th, 1:30 pm

Space at orientations is limited. To make an appointment, email bjones@dutchessny.gov or call 845-486-2555. If you are unable to come to Poughkeepsie for an orientation, contact OFA and we’ll work with your schedule as best we can.

OFA also offers onsite orientations for Dutchess County workplaces with group volunteering programs. Contact OFA to find out more!


The Dutchess County Office for the Aging contracts with a local private attorney to provide legal advice to Dutchess County residents age 60 and over – and as of this week, the waiting list for such services is shorter than usual.

The program is intended for Dutchess County seniors who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance. Because the funding for this program is limited, the primary focus is generally on immediate threats to income, shelter, patient’s rights, and health matters. Preparation of simple wills is also available. Clients may make an appointment by calling the Office for the Aging at 845-486-2555 during business hours.

There is no fee for this service; however, contributions are accepted.


The Hudson Valley CA$H coalition (www.hv-cash.org) is preparing to train volunteers to help prepare taxes for local low-income taxpayers, enabling them to receive the refunds and credits they’re entitled to, as well as to save hundreds of dollars on tax preparation fees.

Volunteer preparers include retirees, professionals, and students, who receive 40 hours of instruction that’s needed to pass the required IRS certification to assist filers. Volunteers who are bilingual and/or fluent in languages other than English are particularly appreciated.

If your volunteering strengths run more to administrative and support roles, there are volunteering opportunities in that field as well.

Hudson Valley CA$H is a coalition of partners representing libraries, human service agencies, local government, business, faith-based organizations, and volunteers, operating in Dutchess, Putnam, and Orange counties.

For more information, call Linda Eddy at 845-475-7500 or email leddy@dutchesscap.org.


The Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of the Mid-Hudson Valley is moving its October 27 and November 10 meeting locations to the Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church (1168 NY 55, LaGrangeville). Both meetings take place from 10 am until noon. For more information, visit www.midhudsonparkinsons.org or contact Nancy Redkey at nredkey@aol.com or 914-475-2793.

Other news:

New York State is continuing to look for the public’s input on its Master Aging Plan. In the link above is a survey you can take any time before December 31st.

How your brain changes as you age.

The World Health Organization has released a new series of fact sheets on the mental health of older adults.

The Elder Index helps older adults calculate how much income is needed to age in place with dignity, based on national county-by-county measurements.

Do you battle arthritis? So does Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, who’ll be 80 by the time the Stones begin their latest tour. Here’s the quote to live by: “And so you’re always learning. You never finish school, man.”

This week’s birthdays:

10/28: Businessman/philanthropist Bill Gates (68)

10/29: Director/producer Ralph Bakshi (85)

10/30: Singer/songwriter/painter Grace Slick (84)

10/31: Actor/director/producer/screenwriter Peter Jackson (62)

11/1: Golfer Gary Player (88)

11/2: Singer-songwriter k.d. lang (62)

11/3: Comedian/talk show host Dennis Miller (70)

Of course you can have another Bad Joke to share with friends and family:

Q: What’s worse than raining cats and dogs?

A: Hailing taxis.

Author: Harlem Valley News