If you have found yourself helping your parents out as they age or keeping an eye on an elderly neighbor, the Office of the Aging has some helpful tips and useful tools to not only make your job a little easier but also help seniors keep themselves safe during the winter months.

As we get older, our bodies ability to handle cold temperatures changes, if you add in some medications, that can make it even worse. If you are having a hard time keeping your home warm this winter, please don't use any open flames or your oven to heat your home. Call the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to find out if you qualify for some assistance or the Office of the Aging can help you find ways to make your home more energy efficient.

If you are out of town or you can't get to your parents' house because of weather, there's a program called 'Are you Okay?', in conjunction with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office. Sign-up for this program is free. Here's how it works. A computer will call their home at a time they designate every day.  If no one answers, the computer will call their emergency contact.  If that person doesn't answer, the Sheriff’s Office will dispatch a unit to check on the resident.  Call the Office of the Aging for an application, 845-486-2555.

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In addition, because of your job, you may not always be available to help your parents out, that where the Friends of Seniors program comes in.  They can be connected with a volunteer who not only makes telephone contact but can also help provide some transportation. For more information, call 845 485-1277.

You can get more information on these programs as well as others by in the brochure “Staying Safe at Home,” which you can find here or request one be sent to you by calling (845) 486-2555.

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