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Keeping seniors without internet access informed

Our oldest seniors, who lived through World War II and the Great Depression, may be the only ones alive who have experienced challenges anything like what we’re seeing now, as Dutchess County and the nation adapt to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

We at the Office for the Aging (OFA) want you to know this: that the safety of Dutchess County’s seniors, caregivers, Office for the Aging staff and volunteers is of the highest importance. We’re in continuing contact with the office of County Executive Marc Molinaro, monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it affects the county. We’re adapting as needed to each day’s new realities.

For now, the Office for the Aging’s headquarters at 114 Delafield St. in the City of Poughkeepsie remains open during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — but call us at 845-486-2555 before coming by. We are trying to minimize in-person visits, using phone or email contact instead. Our email address for general inquiries is ofa@dutchessny.gov. Many of our own staff are working remotely whenever it is possible to do so.

OFA staff and volunteers are taking all necessary sanitary precautions, following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with additional relevant recommendations from state and county government.

Our eight Senior Friendship Centers remain closed to the public. We recognize this can leave seniors without vital social connections, and are doing everything in our power to continue keeping seniors socially connected while remaining physically distanced.

Many seniors without internet access are adapting and getting online, often for the first time in their lives. This is a time when up-to-date local and national information on the outbreak and our response to it is essential. It’s information that seniors who remain offline will miss. Those of you who are connected to a senior who’s offline can help them make the transition. Many local internet service providers are making low-cost service options available, especially for new customers.

In the meantime, information for both those who need help and those who wish to offer help is available by contacting the new “Dutchess Responds” community, available by calling 845-486-3555 or by clicking on “Dutchess Responds” at www.dutchessny.gov.

 

Todd N. Tancredi is director of the Dutchess County Office for the Aging. Golden Living is prepared by the OFA in Poughkeepsie. It can be reached at 845-486-2555, ofa@dutchessny.gov or www.dutchessny.gov/aging.

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