The primary objectives of the Dutchess County Office For The Aging, as specified in the Older Americans Act, are to:
make available for older citizens comprehensive programs which include a full range of health, education and social services;
give full and special consideration to older citizens with special needs in planning programs, and pending the availability of such programs for all older citizens, to give priority to the elderly with the greatest economic and social need;
provide comprehensive programs which will assure the coordinated delivery of a full range of essential services, and where applicable, also furnish meaningful employment opportunities for many individuals, including older persons, young persons and volunteers from the community, and;
insure that the planning and operation of such programs will be undertaken as a partnership of older citizens, community agencies, and State and local government, with appropriate assistance from the federal government.
"The Dutchess County Office For The Aging is the main conduit through which information, services and overall support is provided to the senior citizens of our county. From nutrition to long term care decisions, the Office For The Aging is here to serve the over 60 population."
Marcus J. Molinaro
Dutchess County Executive
In order to accomplish the stated objectives in an efficient and cost effective manner, the Dutchess County Office For The Aging serves elderly residents by providing information and referral services which include an outreach program, legal assistance, and an Ombudsman Program for adults residing in private proprietary homes.
Through programs sponsored by the Office For The Aging, transportation is provided for frail and handicapped individuals who cannot use private cars or the mass transit system.
An extensive nutrition program for the elderly provides nutritious, well balanced meals in addition to nutrition education and counseling. Nutrition sites at senior centers located throughout the county provide participants with a mid-day meal as well as recreation, socialization, information and referral, and nutrition education. Transportation is available to participants in the congregate nutrition program. Home Delivered Meals are available for the homebound elderly.
NYConnects is a division of the Dutchess County Office For The Aging which provides a single entry point for those who require assistance in the long term care system. Their emphasis is in community based care as opposed to more costly institutional care. Services may include case management, care plan development, home health care, personal care, information. NY Connects can be reached at (845) 475-3511.
Other specific programs of the Office For The Aging include: Caregiver support groups, Energy Assistance Programs, Housing Information, Discount I.D. Cards, Summer Picnics, Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy
Between 1990 and 2000 (the most recent U.S. Census), Dutchess County realized a 12.6 percent increase in its 60+ population. Even more significant was the 17.8 percent increase in the 75+ population and the 30.7 percent increase in the 85+ population during the same ten year period.
Not only is the total number of elderly persons growing, but senior citizens are living longer, leading to the tremendous growth in the older senior population and demand for senior services and programs.
The Dutchess County Office for the Aging/DUTCHESS NY Connects are assisted in their mission by a volunteer advisory board appointed by the Dutchess County Executive.
The Advisory Board meets on a regular basis to offer input in the planning and delivery of services to senior citizens in Dutchess County.
The Office for the Aging holds at least one official public hearing each year to solicit input from senior citizens, services providers, advocates and the general public into its Annual Implementation Plan. In addition, numerous other forums and conferences are held throughout the year to allow for and obtain community input.
The Dutchess County Office For The Aging is the official Area Agency on Aging in Dutchess County. Services are provided to senior citizens either directly by staff members or through contracted services with other agencies.
Funding for these services and programs is received, in part, from the United States Administration on Aging and local revenues.
Local revenues include participant contributions and cost-sharing, sub-contractors' match, revenues from individual municipalities and Dutchess County Government.
The Dutchess County Office For The Aging denies no person access to services or employment based on age, race, national origin, creed, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, and/or handicapped condition.
For more information call (845) 486-2555 or toll free (866) 486-2555