The Are You Ok? Program for Senior Citizens is a function of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office and the Dutchess County Office For The Aging. The Sheriff's Office can also provide seniors with a 911 Cell Phone that can be used both inside and outside the home in an emergency. These phones are only able to be used to dial 911 and will not work for other calls. Call 486-3839 for more information on receiving a phone and how the program works.
Another service that is available for individuals who are in need of a daily contact or reassurance is the Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS). PERS can be arranged through Dutchess County Office For The Aging's DUTCHESS NY Connects, and through other suppliers.
Other Reassurance Programs
Emergency Medical Alert Systems assist people to live active, independent lives by linking them to assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) unit can be used for Fire, Police, and Medical emergencies.
PERS consists of a voice-activated emergency alert unit. This lightweight pendant is worn around the neck or wrist. In an emergency, the press of the button summons help.
PERS users and their families benefit daily when help is available at their fingertips. These units offer peace of mind and reassurance of personal safety to those who fear that victims of falls, heart attacks, crimes, injuries or physical disabilities might be left unattended.
Initiation of the PERS sometimes requires an installation fee of up to $85.00. Some companies offer free installation. Monthly monitoring fees can range from $25.00 to $50.00 per month. The fee is determined by the individual supplier. DUTCHESS NY Connects case managers are available to provide information about PERS and other home care services offered by the Dutchess County Office For The Aging.
Alert 1 (800) 693-5433 CIA Security (845) 896-9500 Hudson Valley Associates (845) 297-2260 Kingston Hospital (845) 334-2747 Lifefone (800) 882-2280 x365 Medical Alert (800) 215-4206 Mid Hudson Regional Home Care** (845) 483-5551 Philips Lifeline** (800) 543-3546 Premier Home Health Care Services (845) 214-0870 **Medication Dispenser available
Telephone reassurance is available to homebound individuals through the efforts of volunteers trained by the Friends of Seniors Program. This service is offered free of charge and is partially funded by the Dutchess County Office For The Aging. After the assessment of the client's need for a daily telephone contact or weekly social call is completed, volunteers make telephone contact to offer reassurance to those who live in isolation. The Friends of Seniors Program may be accessed by calling 485-1277.
A lifetime of experience coupled with the physical problems associated with aging often make older Americans fearful. Though they're on the lookout constantly for physical attack and burglary, they're not as alert to frauds and con games--the greatest crime threat to senior's well-being and trust. Conquer fear and prevent crime by taking these precautions:
- Go with friends and family, not alone.
- Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket.
- Don't carry credit cards you don't need or large amounts of cash.
- Use direct deposit for social security and other regular checks.
- Whether you're a passenger or driver, keep car doors locked. Be particularly alert in parking lots and garages. Park near the entrance.
- Sit close to the driver or near the exit while riding the bus, train, or subway.
- If someone or something makes you uneasy, trust your instincts and leave.
- Install good locks on doors and windows. Don't hide keys in mailboxes or under doormats. Instead, leave an extra set of keys with a neighbor.
- Ask for photo identification from service or delivery people before letting them into your home. Call the company to verify them if you are still in doubt.
- Be sure your street address number is large, clear of obstruction and well lighted so emergency personnel can find your home quickly.
- Consider a home alarm system that provides monitoring for burglary, fire and medical emergencies.
Watch For Cons
- Don't fall for anything that sounds too good to be true.
- Never give your credit card, phone card, Social Security, or bank account number to anyone over the phone.
- Don't let anyone rush you into signing anything. Read everything carefully and have someone you trust check it over.
- If you're suspicious, check it out with the police, Better Business Bureau, or Dutchess County Consumer Affairs at 486-2949.
- Join a Neighborhood Watch to look out for each other and help police.
The New York State and Dutchess County Office For The Aging would like to remind you of the following tips on avoiding consumer fraud. Don't lose in a moment what it took you a lifetime to save! Be a smart, informed consumer.
Register with New York State's "Do Not Call" registry by calling 1-800-NYS-1220, or visit their website at http://www.consumer.state.ny.us/. This will make it illegal for telemarketers to call you.
- Never call a 900 number to claim a prize, or pay ahead for shipping, delivery or handling charges to have a prize delivered.
- Don't let a telemarketer make you feel pressured to make a decision immediately. Take your time and get it in writing!
- Beware of salespeople offering quick fixes or medical cures for health problems. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is! They called you. Don't be afraid to hang up.
Home Repair Fraud
- Watch out for contractors who come to your home unsolicited. Remember that any kind of high pressure sales tactics indicate you are dealing with an unreputable company. Take the time to have all papers reviewed by a trusted relative or friend.
- Be wary of contractors who offer you a deep discount for becoming a "demonstration" home. Decide what you want to have done and how much you can afford. Get at least a few different estimates and check references.
- Get a signed contract describing in detail all work to be completed, the schedule and cost. Make sure your contractor has personal liability, workers compensation, and property damage insurance. Pay with a credit card or check so you have proof of payment. Don't make the final payment until all work is completed and all subcontractors have been paid.