Keeping seniors financially secure

Older adults living on fixed incomes have been disproportionately burdened by the recent effects of inflation. This year’s Social Security and Supplemental Security Income cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 5.9% was the biggest in 40 years, but it only blunted inflation’s effects. When you’ve got bills to pay right now, it’s small comfort that the 2023 COLA is expected to be even larger when it’s announced in October.

Older adults who want to reach out for assistance often don’t know what help is available, or how to apply — and that’s where the Dutchess County Office for the Aging (OFA) can help. Here’s a quick rundown of just some of what’s out there, provided with assistance from the New York State Office for the Aging.

Find out about the services mentioned below, and more, by contacting the OFA at 845-486-2555 or ofa@dutchessny.gov, or looking us up online at www.dutchessny.gov/aging.

Home-delivered meals

You may need meals for a short time because you were recently discharged from a hospital and can’t make meals until you recover. Or you may need meals for a longer time because you can’t do many of the things you did for yourself before.

For older New Yorkers who can’t prepare meals for themselves, home-delivered meals provide healthy, nutritious, balanced meals to a participant’s residence up to five days a week.

Up-to-date information about wellness and healthy eating habits is provided to those who receive meals. Registered dietitians offer private nutrition counseling to older people with questions about diabetes, weight loss or gain and healthy eating.

Save yourself money, learn insurance options

You’ve seen the ads and gotten piles of mail, all of it claiming that their company’s health insurance option is the right one for you. They can’t all be right… right? Understanding your insurance options is key to saving money, but where to begin?

Try the OFA’s Health Insurance Information Counseling Assistance Program (HIICAP). Our trained volunteer HIICAP counselors are available to answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Advantage programs (managed care), Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medigap and other health and long-term care insurance issues.

You can contact the OFA for an appointment with a HIICAP counselor, or you can sign up for one of our in-person “Medicare 101” presentations in Poughkeepsie or Rhinebeck.

As we get closer to Medicare’s annual open enrollment period (Oct. 15 through Dec. 7), we’ll add more Medicare 101 classes throughout the County. You can find an up-to-date calendar of OFA activities at www.dutchessny.gov/aging.

 

Golden Living is prepared by Dutchess County OFA Director Todd N. Tancredi, who can be reached at 845-486-2555, ofa@dutchessny.gov or via the OFA website at www.dutchessny.gov/aging.

Latest News

All kinds of minds at Autism Nature Trail

Natalia Zukerman playing for a group of school children at the Autism Nature Trail.

Loren Penmann

At Letchworth State Park in Castile, N.Y. the trees have a secret: they whisper to those who listen closely, especially to those who might hear the world differently. This is where you can find the Autism Nature Trail, or ANT, the first of its kind in this country, perhaps in the world. Designed for visitors on the autism spectrum, the ANT is a one-mile looped trail with eight stations at various intervals, little moments strung together, allowing visitors to experience everything from stillness to wild adventure.

The idea for the ANT was born from a conversation in 2014 between Loren Penman, a retired teacher and administrator, and her neighbor. The two women were discussing the new nature center at the park and Penman’s neighbor said that her grandson, who loved the park, probably wouldn’t be able to enjoy a nature center. He had autism and at age seven was still without language and in a state of almost constant agitation. Her neighbor went on to say, however, that she had observed her grandson finding great calm at Letchworth, a state of being he couldn’t achieve almost anywhere else. Speaking to another friend with an autistic grandchild, Penman heard the same sentiment about Letchworth; it completely calmed her grandchild. What was it about this special place that soothed the spirit?

Keep ReadingShow less
Snakes in the Catskills: A primer

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in collaboration with the Catskill Science Collaborative, presented “Snakes in the Catskills: A Primer,” the latest in its lecture series, on June 5. Presenter John Vanek, is a zoologist at the New York Natural Heritage Program in Syracuse, NY. The snake above is a harmless Northern Brown Snake. They are known as a “gardener’s friend” because they eat snails, slugs, and worms.

John Vanek

The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in collaboration with the Catskill Science Collaborative, presented “Snakes in the Catskills: A Primer,” the latest in its lecture series, on June 5. Presenter John Vanek, is a zoologist at the New York Natural Heritage Program in Syracuse.

There are thirteen kinds of snakes in the Catskills. Only two are venomous. Vanek defined the Catskills area as including the counties of Greene, Delaware, Ulster, Sullivan, and Dutchess.

Keep ReadingShow less
Brunch at Troutbeck: Black Emmer Pancakes

Black Emmer Pancakes by Chef Vincent Gilberti at Troutbeck.

Jim Henkens

At Troutbeck, every meal is an experience, but Sundays have taken on a special charm with the highly anticipated return of brunch. Impeccably sourced, plentiful, elegant yet approachable, and immensely satisfying, the brunch menu reflects the essence of Troutbeck’s culinary philosophy. Available every Sunday, brunch complements the existing offerings of three meals a day, seven days a week, all open to the public.

The culinary program at Troutbeck is led by Executive Chef Vincent Gilberti, who honors the natural landscape through thoughtful and seasonal cuisine. “We launched brunch in February,” said Chef Vinny, as he’s affectionately known. “It’s been a goal of mine to add brunch since returning to Troutbeck as executive chef last year. Before my time here and before the pandemic, we had a bustling and fun brunch program, and while we’ve all returned to ‘normalcy,’ brunch was something we wanted to get back in the mix.” Chef Vinny hails from the Hudson Valley and brings with him a wealth of experience from some of New York City’s most celebrated restaurants, including Pulino’s, Battersby, and Dover. After a stint in San Francisco’s SPQR, where he honed his pasta-making skills, Chef Vinny has returned to Troutbeck with a renewed passion for the farm-to-table philosophy.

Keep ReadingShow less