Focus on the Good!

Burrr! Winter is coming, perhaps sooner than we wish! Most of us living in this area love the change of seasons. We bring in our plants for the winter, get out our favorite sweaters, take drives into the woods, walk to a spot overlooking the Hudson River, and appreciate the colorful leaves, and beautiful clouds these days bring.

This year we may have to miss some of the activities we normally participate in, like attending special Fall festivals, or eating at a favorite restaurant along the Hudson. Even so, there is much to be thankful for and look forward to doing.

If you are having trouble focusing on the good there are some things you can do…

– Everyday, take some time to think about the things you are grateful for….friends, family, some of the new activities you may have started this year, etc.  Write them down and focus on why they make you happy.

– Turn off the TV and focus on the positive stories about the many wonderful things others are doing to help their neighbors…those they know and those they don’t…through volunteer work, donations, and other supportive efforts.

You could do the same!

– Say hello to a new neighbor; share fresh baked cookies with the folks across the street, support your local businesses, sew face masks for donation, spend some time at a local charity, volunteer to make supportive phone calls to those who are alone. I’m sure you can think of more.

Most important, if you find yourself thinking about the bad, turn it around, and focus on the good. Or, how you can bring more good into the lives of others. You can do it!


10 Motivational Books To Read During COVID-19
https://www.businessapac.com/motivational-books/

9 Ways to Stay Positive During the Coronavirus Pandemic
https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2020/03/15/9-ways-to-stay-positive-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/#278ee48b5a8e

9 Ways to Remain Mindful During the Pandemic
https://www.antioch.edu/new-england/2020/04/01/9-ways-to-remain-mindful-during-the-pandemic/

We’re Still Open Hudson Valley
We are your local resource for brick and mortar businesses in the Hudson Valley to let the community know that they are “still open” and to share what modifications they have made to stay open.

https://www.werestillopenhv.com/

Reimagine the Challenges of Aging Through Volunteering

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” 

– Helen Keller

 Dear Neighbor,

As the leaves begin to show off their beautiful colors, our days are slowly beginning to get cooler. And, as we begin to see a little less daylight, many of us will start to think about a season when we will be spending more time inside making those delicious warm “comfort” foods. while also wondering how we might keep ourselves fulfilled when there could be less outdoor activities to enjoy.

Social events, church gatherings, family celebrations and group outdoor recreation remain largely restricted for seniors due to the COVID-19 virus. It has been and continues to be challenging for each of us to find ways to keep our minds and bodies healthy and feel part of the whole community during these unprecedented times. However, research has shown that Seniors can reimagine aging and some of its challenges through volunteering.  

An article from Senior Community Services – Reimagine Aging Institute (Five Benefits of Volunteering in Retirement) click here to read the full article, the author:  Deb Taylor, states the top five reasons retired adults should volunteer:

  1. Helps bridge the generation gap
  2. Volunteering time makes you feel like you have more time
  3. It’s good for mental health
  4. Helps prevent senior isolation and depression
  5. It promotes physical activity

The Millbrook at Home, Inc. organization has gathered a list of just some of the local opportunities in our greater Millbrook area where you can feel part of a team that helps contribute to the well-being of seniors and others in our area. Some of the ways are  offering to make “friendly contact calls” to isolated seniors, delivering Home Delivered Meals (provided by DC Office for Aging), training to become a volunteer tax preparer to provide free tax assistance to seniors and low income individuals, and assisting with sorting donations for the local thrift store as a few examples.

Click Here http://www.millbrookathome.org/volunteer-opportunities/ to view a list of local volunteer opportunities. 

You are also invited to become part of our newly formed Millbrook at Home team in another capacity as we look to build a strong, vibrant organization that can be a valuable resource for seniors who plan to remain in their homes and our communities.  We are actively seeking seniors and new retirees who have experience, talent or interest in  writing articles, graphic arts design, social media communication, program/event planning, fundraising, leadership/organizational skills or prior non-profit board experience.   Please contact us through our website for more information. 

Let’s do this together!  

 

 

Mary McKiernan Marshall

 

Mary currently serves as volunteer Board Member on  Millbrook at Home, the  Dutchess County Office for the Aging Advisory Board, Senator Sue Serino’s Lyme Task Force and the Dutchess County Medical Reserve Corp (MERC). 

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, www.criscaivano.com 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: cris@criscaivano.com 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
http://luckyorphanshorserescue.org/ 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 www.millbrookathome.org/safety 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.