Too Much Zoom? Not Enough Exercise?

Cris Caivano, M.A., presented a Zoom program for Millbrook at Home in June called “How to Take Care of Your Back When You Can’t Go To Your Massage Therapist.”  Cris shared some great practices with the class which included several attendees with either headaches from eye strain or the need for gentle exercise due to different physical complications. 

Participants learned how to use self-massage at acupressure points for stress and pain relief.  Cris modeled breathing practices and safe, gentle exercises to move circulation through the body.  These exercises were easy to do and provide hope to those with “Zoom headaches” and other maladies.

Cris Caivano’s book is “Strength Training, Staying Fit and Fabulous” (Dover Publication 2018) and is available locally at Merritt Bookstore, Millbrook.  Cris also provides Zoom training classes……and let’s face it, Zoom will be with us for awhile.  Learn more by subscribing to her website, where you will find a link bringing you directly to the her Zoom classes.  You’ll also find her schedule, weekly blogs describing her programs, announcements of new workshops and over 20 free, short “video tips” describing exercises for specific issues.  If you want to try a class, email Cris at: for further direction. 

An Outbreak of Scams

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to new scams targeting many people. Scammers are setting up websites, contacting people by phone, email, and posting disinformation on social media platforms. Often they are pretending to be a family member or charity in need of help and financial assistance. Some are posing as health officials offering bogus treatments,vaccines, and testing kits. Note that there is currently NO FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19 and it is not possible to order a testing kit online.

At this time please be extra cautious, and do not give out any personal information over the phone or online. Hang up on robocalls, and do not order anything from Coronavirus related Ads on social media.

When in doubt please refer to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NYS Department of Health or call the COVID-19 hotline: 1-888-364-3065. Call Dutchess County Office of the Aging at (845) 486-2555 with any further questions about scams or potential scams.

The following links will share more details on this topic:

Coronavirus Consumer Scams

Internet Phishing Scams

News31 Outbreak Leads To New Scams

Coronavirus Consumer Scams NY

Millbrook at Home Scam Prevention Resources

Volunteer Spotlight: Deanna Mancuso

For Millbrook at Home’s First Friday Lunch we were fortunate enough to welcome Deanna Mancuso who is the founder of Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, located in Dover. This horse rescue focuses on taking in horses who have been abused and neglected in their past lives and giving them a new forever home at Lucky Orphans where they can spend the rest of their lives. She came full of passion to talk about her life work and legacy regarding horses, the outreach they do with the horses, and how Lucky Orphans came to be.

Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue works with different at risk groups of people to help them heal and grow at any age. They work with juveniles, veterans, people struggling with emotional problems or substance abuse, and victims of domestic violence to name a few. Through therapy with the horses Deanna hopes to help heal both the traumatized horses that come into her care as well as the people that interact with these horses.

This was one of our largest crowds yet for our First Friday Lunch events and you could feel the energy in the room as Deanna spoke about her mission and what people can do to help out. Volunteers are always needed at Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue and there are a variety of opportunities to do that in areas such as:

● Stable / Horse Care
● Office Help
● Groundskeeping
● Fundraising

If this is a cause you are passionate about feel free to check out Lucky Orphans
Horse Rescue’s website for more information or call at (845) 877-0685 to find out about what you can do to get involved with this non profit.

Volunteer Spotlight: John Hummel with Meals on Wheels

John Hummel, a community member, runs our local Meals on Wheels of Millbrook and Verbank out of Lyall Memorial Federated Church that services seniors in the area with low cost meals right to their door. Meals on Wheels provides a lunch and hot dinner to around 40 seniors in the area who may not have the ability to produce or prepare food on their own. Every week community members volunteer on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to cook and assemble these lunches and then drivers, who are also volunteers, deliver the meals right to people’s doors. 


Community volunteer groups like Meals on Wheels are essential in small spread out communities like Millbrook and surrounding areas in the rural Mid-Hudson Valley. These volunteer based organizations service people who are in need of more assistance in their day to day lives where making or procuring food might be difficult. The work these people do is incredibly rewarding and John Hummel feels that the most rewarding part for him is seeing the gratitude from people who receive these meals. 


The number of residents they currently serve is at its limit so if you are interested in helping this Meals on Wheels group grow please call (845) 677-3485 to figure out if volunteering for this organization is something that works for you. Having more deliverers especially is needed if the Meals on Wheels program to grow its capacity of community members it is able to serve.

JUST HANG UP! Scam Prevention.

In June Millbrook at Home sponsored their second Coffee and Connections program at the parish Hall of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Once again the organization welcomed more than twenty community members to share refreshments and important information.

Brian Jones, Outreach Coordinator with the Dutchess County Office for the Aging, discussed different kinds of scams and how to protect yourself and your family. In 2019 about 50% of all phone calls are SCAMS! With this in mind, JUST HANG UP! If you pick up the phone and realize (or suspect) it is a scam don’t feel the need to say anything or even explain yourself. While phone scams are the most common, it is important to be on guard against other types of scams like social media, door-to-door, lottery, and dating scams. Never give out your personal or health information over the phone or internet, and be wary of offers that sound too good to be true. 

If you think you have been scammed contact local authorities and financial institutions. A list of scam prevention resources can be found by clicking this link Scam Prevention Resources and Brian’s full presentation can be read by clicking the Full Presentation Link. You can also visit or call Dutchess County Office of the Aging at (845) 486-2555. 


A Matter of Balance

In the month of March, Linda Hogan, the current board chair of Millbrook at Home, brought news about an award-winning program made available to Millbrook at Home by the Dutchess County Office For the Aging. The program, which started with 14 participants in April, is called “A Matter of Balance” and is designed to “help reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falling.”

Taught by volunteer coaches over the course of eight weeks, “A Matter of Balance” teaches participants how to view falls as controllable, how to set realistic goals for exercise, and how to change the living environment to reduce fall risk factors.

Millbrook at Home began to advertise the program through its ever-growing email list and posters at the local libraries. In a short while, there was a waiting list to enroll into the program!

The group had been meeting at the Parish Hall of Grace Episcopal Church, and seemed to have established good bonds. Each class included readings, discussions, lectures, and exercise. The course materials that the participants of the program have been following cover a range of topics: from attitudes to falling and being outside, to assessing actual risks in the surrounding environment, and basic exercises that strengthen joints and help people balance more confidently.

Millbrook at Home expresses its gratitude to the invigorating leadership of Class Coaches Dottie and Nancy, Linda Hogan and the generosity of Grace Episcopal Church for donation of space.