MEDICARE  OPEN  ENROLLMENT  IS  HERE – October 15 – December 7, 2016

 

This is the time of year that all people with Medicare can make changes to their health and prescription drug plans with new coverage to begin January, 2017.

Medicare Advantage Disenrollment – January 1, 2017 through February 14, 2017:  if you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can leave your plan and switch to Original Medicare.  If you switch to Original Medicare during this time, you will have until February 14, 2017 to join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (regardless of whether you had previous coverage).

“Special Enrollment Periods” (SEP):  You can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug coverage when certain events happen in your life.  These changes are called “Special Enrollment Periods”.

2017 Medicare Insurance Plan Information Packetswill be mailed out the first week of October.  The packets include:    2017 Medicare Advantage Plan information, NYS Medigap/Supplement Plan information, 2017 Medicare Part D Plan information, tip sheets, income eligibility for EPIC, Social Security extra help and the Medicare Savings Program.  For health insurance information and counseling & assistance, contact Lynn Hill, OSR HIICAP Coordinator at 845-808-1700 ext. 47115 to have a packet mailed to you or to schedule an appointment.  Or for more information, call 1-800-MEDICARE.               hiicap-2017 – flyer

Senator Murphy Announces Securing $550,000 Grant for Renovations to OSR Friendship Center

Senator Murphy Announces Securing $550,000 Grant for Renovations to OSR Friendship Center

On October 27, 2016, Senator Terrence Murphy came to the Carmel Friendship Center to  announce that he has secured a $550,000 grant to renovate the center.  County Executive MaryEllen Odell along with OSR Director Patricia Sheehy, Legislator Carl Albano,  Undersheriff Peter Convery, Judge James Reitz and Carmel Supervisor Kenneth Schmidt were in attendance to accept the honorary check.

The below press release was posted on Senator Murphy’s website:

https://www.nysenate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/terrence-murphy/friend-seniors-senator-murphy-announces-550000-grant

“The renovations will increase the Center’s square footage and give it a more modern look, which will inspire more seniors to engage in the programs and services the Center has to offer,” said Senator Murphy. “Common sense is not so common in Albany. We have to continue to work together to keep our seniors in New York, whether this means lowering taxes or getting the funding to renovate the Friendship Center.”

The renovations will transform the Center into a state-of-the-art, energy efficient facility with a room for information and technology, as well as an area to expand the Center’s senior programs.

“Approximately one in four of Putnam’s residents are over the age of 60,” said Putnam County Executive Odell. “Our seniors are a vital foundation in our county. We depend on them for their wisdom, experience, and volunteerism, which consistently fills gaps in our community — and within our families. We owe it to our seniors to modernize the Friendship Center to make it a better place for them to socialize, stay connected and keep healthy.”

Carmel Town Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt added, “The Center is a good place for seniors to meet new friends, get involved in exercising and to have a good meal. It is time the Center was renovated, and I want to thank Senator Murphy for getting the funds to make this project a reality.”

“Our seniors are very important to us,” said Putnam County Legislator Carl Albano. “Senator Murphy has done a lot in Albany to pass legislation to help seniors throughout the state. I am looking forward seeing to the long-anticipated improvements to the Center.”

Improvements to the Carmel Friendship Center will include:

Additional space dedicated for use by seniors,

  • An improved and expanded exercise area,
  • An improved and expanded arts and crafts room,
  • New interview and counseling rooms,
  • Expanded nutrition counseling rooms,
  • Improved pantry and lunch areas,
  • And improved access to the building for the handicapped.

Looking around the room at the seniors applauding the news of the Center’s refurbishment, the Hon. James Reitz, Putnam County Court Judge commented, “There are many important people her today that deserve thanks, especially the people we serve. You have a real friend in Senator Murphy, who listened to your needs and responded. The work he is doing on behalf of seniors and his efforts to solve the heroin problem are commendable.”

“The Seniors from Patterson, Southeast, Carmel and Kent who frequent the Friendship Center in Carmel along with the team at the Office for Senior Resources are very grateful for the efforts that Senator Murphy has extended to bring this grant to fruition,” said Patricia Sheehy, Director of the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, “The funds will allow us to carry out the much needed renovations transforming our over crowed 1960’s Nutrition Center into a twenty-first century facility that will be a warm and welcoming center where our seniors can get together!”

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Opens November 14, 2017

HEAP  Opens November 14, 2017

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)will open on November 14th.  You may be eligible for a HEAP benefit if your income meets monthly income guidelines.  You may contact Marlene Hanley, HEAP Coordinator, at 845-808-1700 ext. 47121 for more information or to make an appointment.  Beginning November 14th, new clients may pick up an application at the Office for Senior Resources Carmel location at 110 Old Route 6, Building #1 or go on-line at http://www.myBenefits.ny.gov

The Sewing Group that meets at the Putnam Valley Friendship Center wanted to find a new idea to do something to give back to the community and they did!

The Sewing Group that meets at the Putnam Valley Friendship Center wanted to find a new idea to do something to give back to the community.  Since all of the seniors love their pets, an idea came into play.  In the past, this group has made many pillows which were given out during the holidays to our homebound seniors.  Making these pillows gave the Putnam Valley Sewing Group so much joy.  The group is aware of the needs of the Putnam County Humane Society and thought they could give joy to some of the animals housed at the Humane Society and thought that making dog toys would fit the bill.   What they are doing is taking old T-shirts,  cutting them into strips and then braiding the strips into dog toys.  The group has been asking for donations of the T-shirts from the seniors who attend the Friendship Center and families.  As you can see in the picture, they are having a great time doing this together and hope to be able to donate our toys for the Holiday Season.

Office of Senior Resources Summer Soiree Pictures!

A great time was had at our latest event. The Office of Senior Resources Summer Soiree Senior Luncheon.

It was a good time for all. Good food, laughs and music!

 

“Our Boots Are Made For Walking” at the Office for Senior Resource’s New Senior Walking Club

“Our Boots Are Made For Walking” at the Office for Senior Resource’s New Senior Walking Club

The seniors at the Putnam County Friendship Centers enjoy various daily activities such as bingo, cards, exercise classes and socializing with each other.  This is something that the summer interns working at the Office for Senior Resources are learning.  As part of the County Executive’s P.I.L.O.T. program, the Office for Senior Resources were assigned four interns.  One of the interns, Elizabeth Stasiak, was speaking with a group of senior at the Carmel Friendship Center, and she asked the question, “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?”  One senior simply answered, “Outside.”  Elizabeth began thinking about what she could do and came up with the idea of starting a walking club.  After conferring with her advisor, Elizabeth created the “Senior Walking Club” and it has been so well received, that the interns at the Mahopac and Putnam Valley Friendship Centers have expanded the club to include the seniors at those centers.  Elizabeth, along with Carmel’s other intern, Meredith Jennings, enjoys getting the seniors outside and walking.

Something as simple as a daily walk can help you live a healthier life because it is beneficial for both the mind and the body.  Weather permitting, the Walking Clubs meet every morning that the centers are open.  The group members go out and walk, at their own pace, for approximately twenty minutes.  They enjoy soaking in the sun, embracing the nice weather and chatting with one another while they walk.  Not even walkers and canes can hold them back.

Rosemary Homyak from Carmel said, “I enjoy it!  My doctor wants me to walk five days a week.  I’m not really a walker, but I actually look forward to coming here and walking!”  Another senior from the Carmel Center, Margaret Shultz, said, “I like walking in general.  I like everybody going out together and I usually do two laps.  I always look forward to it.”

Marie Broughton, who attends the Mahopac Center, enjoys going out every morning with the club. She states, “Walking is very good for you and is a great form of exercise. I look forward to walking because I know I am not alone and there is always a group of us out there.”  Marie completes a half a mile of walking every morning, with her walker! She is always one of the first ones to ask if we are going out and really shows us that no obstacle is too much for her to handle.

Another senior at the Mahopac Center, Felicia Gruber, states that “Walking gets my heart pumping. I use to walk 5 miles with my husband every day; this is a great activity to keep me active and walking again.”  Felicia walks about a mile every time the group goes outside.

The Walking Club at the Putnam Valley Friendship Center has been very successful too. The feedback received has been very positive. Participant Lilly Diaz says, “The program very enjoyable and therapeutic.”  Miriam Mandell says that the program is “good exercise, good moods and good feelings.” She also feels the program gives her “a boost of energy I have not had before.” Another senior says “I love the program and the support I receive from my family for exercising daily, and I’m keeping healthy and young at heart”.

At the start, a majority of the seniors only walked a lap or two every morning.  Now, they are all adding more and more laps each day.  The seniors are excited about this new, positive adventure at the Friendship Centers!  The walking, talking and laughing will continue all summer long.

 

GOLDEN MILE WALKERS : March of Dimes

GOLDEN MILE WALKERS : March of Dimes

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, sponsored by the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, held a “Golden Mile Walk” raising money for the March of Dimes.

On June 7th, thirty-two seniors from RSVP participated in the 22nd annual “Golden Mile Walk”.   Seniors met at the William Koehler Senior Center then were transported to the bike trail in Mahopac to walk the “Golden Mile”.  All participants were invited to stay for lunch; afterward they were thanked and congratulated for the contribution to a worthy cause.

The first place fundraiser was Anita Mooney who raised $414.  Anita is a very active RSVP volunteer who gave a great deal of time generously collecting money from her friends, family, and neighbors.  This is a cause very close to her heart.  Second place fundraiser was Miriam Mandel who raised $164.  Third place fundraiser was Karen Yurko who raised $150.

RSVP and Putnam March of Dimes extend many thanks to the RSVP walkers for raising $1,222. A special thanks to the Putnam County senior clubs for their generous donations.  The contributions support the mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality.  Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death.  One out of eight babies in the U.S. is born prematurely, and in nearly half these cases, the cause is unknown.

Senior Luau 2016 Wednesday June 1st!

Please join us for our Annual Putnam County Senior Citizen Picnic
to be held at the Putnam County Veterans’ Memorial Park
Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
This year’s theme: Luau
Food, Entertainment/Music, Dancing, 50/50 Raffle
We hope you can come and enjoy the fun. Be sure to wear your best Hawaiian attire!

seniorluau2016

GEORGE D’ALESSANDRO and GLORIA TROY Named “OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEERS” Among Putnam’s Senior Citizens

GEORGE D'ALESSANDRO

GEORGE D’ALESSANDRO

GLORIA TROY

GLORIA TROY

 


George D’Alessandro of Carmel and Gloria Troy of Mahopac are the County’s 2016 Outstanding Volunteers, according to County Executive MaryEllen Odell.  Both Mr. D’Alessandro and Ms. Troy were recognized by the County Executive and Director of Office for Senior Resources, Patricia Sheehy, at the R.S.V.P. Luncheon held on May 6, 2016 at the Putnam County Golf Course.  Then each were accompanied to ceremonies in Albany by the Director of Senior Resources, Patricia Sheehy, where they were recognized by the State Office for the Aging Acting Director, Greg Olsen, for the value to their communities at the Senior of the Year Recognition Event held on May 10, 2016 at the The Egg, in the Hart Pavilion located in Albany, New York.

“Both Mr. D’Alessandro and Ms. Troy demonstrate on a daily basis how Putnam County Senior Citizens enrich the lives of others when they volunteer their time and skills,” declares Director Sheehy.

George D’Alessandro is an enthusiastic man who spreads his positive attitude everywhere he volunteers.  Since 2012, George has been a Senior Fitness Instructor for Putnam County Seniors volunteering his time several days a week at the Carmel and Mahopac Senior Friendship centers.  As a Senior Fitness Volunteer Instructor, George helps many people improve themselves physically and has shown seniors that fitness can be fun.  His classes are always full and the seniors feel that he makes a big difference in their lives.  George has been volunteering his time since the 1950’s showing his commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.  Through the years, he has been a coach for many baseball and basketball teams.   George founded the Kent Day Camp and started many children’s programs such as the  gymnastic program, a kickball league, little league baseball, a softball league and flag football.  Beginning in the 1980’s and continuing until just a few years ago, George started and ran after school intramural sports programs for parochial schools and was a faculty consultant for the school newspaper.  George continues to write a sports column for local newspapers.

Gloria Troy has volunteered and served for many volunteer efforts.  Gloria has volunteered for many organizations.  Presently she volunteers at the William Koehler Senior Center in Mahopacand is the Activity Leader for the RSVP Sewing Group, a group that sews cancer pads for patients.  She also heads up the knitting group that knits baby hats and shawls for wheelchair patients.  At the center, she calls BINGO keeping the game lively for the seniors.   Gloria volunteers her time at the Mahopac Library continuing her knitting for babies and wheelchair patients.  As an RSVP Wellness Ambassador, she visits nursing homes. Gloria has been a bell ringer to help raise funds for the Salvation Army.  As well, she has volunteered her time at the Eagle Eye II Thrift Store cataloging and selling items to raise funds for the Putnam Hospital.  Gloria has walked the RSVP Golden Mile to raise funds for the March of Dimes.  Gloria is also very compassionate towards her neighbors and keeps an eye out for them.  People say that Gloria is a person who works selflessly to help her community.

We congratulate these two outstanding Seniors for the invaluable contributions to our community of Putnam County.

D.A. & SHERIFF WARN AGAINST SCAM IRS CALLS: SENIOR CITIZENS AMONG THOSE TARGETED

D.A. & SHERIFF WARN AGAINST SCAM IRS CALLS: —SENIOR CITIZENS AMONG THOSE TARGETED—

CARMEL, NEW YORK – APRIL 27, 2016:  Putnam County District Attorney Robert Tendy and Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith are warning area residents to be on guard against an IRS tax collection scam that has bilked victims throughout the nation.  In recent days, several Putnam County residents have reported that they have received bogus calls from con artists identifying themselves as IRS officials and demanding payments of money for taxes.  Many of those targeted by the thieves are senior citizens.

In the scam, imposters pretending to be from the IRS or another agency telephone people and claim they owe taxes.  The callers typically say that the persons must pay immediately or else face the loss of their driver’s license or business license, face deportation or go to jail.

The callers may alter, or “spoof,” caller ID services to make it look like they are calling from the actual agency.  Scammers often research their targets online to pick up some personal details about them, such as their age and the names of other family members, to make the intended victim believe they have official access to their tax records. Callers may use official IRS titles and give out a badge number to identify themselves.

Scammers usually demand that the targeted person pay through an online service or by using an untraceable cash or debit card, often directing victims to a bank or convenience store to make the payment through a wire service such as Western Union.

More recently, tax scammers have gone beyond using the phone. Late last summer, the IRS warned that the con artists are copying official IRS letterhead to contact victims through email or regular mail. In another twist, the thieves provide a real IRS address and tell the victim to mail the receipt for the payment to the agency.

-MORE-

 

. . . SCAM IRS CALLS

The scam has been occurring across the nation for about two years.  According to published reports, hundreds of thousands of scam contacts have occurred nationwide and thousands of victims have been collectively scammed out of millions of Dollars.

The IRS recommends that the best way of dealing with the thieves is to just hang up the phone.  According to the IRS, real agents will not contact taxpayers by phone without first sending a written tax bill in the mail. Furthermore, the IRS does not demand immediate payment of owed taxes.  The IRS also will not demand just one kind of specific payment and does not threaten to call in the local police for nonpayment of taxes.

The IRS advises taxpayers that the best defense against IRS scammers is to know your own tax situation.  If a taxpayer filed a tax return that was accepted by the IRS, and even received a refund, any tax dispute would be about specific income items or deductions, and the IRS would contact the taxpayer by mail.  If that has not happened, a taxpayer’s tax status is not an issue.

In addition to the IRS guidance, Sheriff Smith offered a general reminder to residents that they should never give out personal financial information to callers over the phone or send money to strangers. District Attorney Tendy said that any perpetrators of the scams would be prosecuted vigorously.  ###