In this show, co-host Sarah O’Connell interviews the co-leaders of the Center for Healthy Aging at Northern Dutchess Hospital in Rhinebeck—social worker Allison Gould and geriatrician Dr. Jodi Friedman. The purpose of the Center is to help people 65 and over remain healthy and active as they age. Friedman handles the medical issues, while Gould works with social issues such as life transitions, including retirement and dealing with losses. The focus is more on prevention than remediation Most of the clients have been referred to the Center by primary-care physicians who recognize problems of aging in individual patients. In addition to working with individuals, the Center provides free community lecture programs on topics related to healthy aging.
In March 2009 Reverend Betsy Fisher of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Amenia learned of a big need for food for the working poor in Amenia that was not being met by the nearest local Food Bank, so she started Food of Life. This program details how that works and the needs that it fills today. The pantry (at 40 Leedsville Road in Amenia), supplies supplemental food, primarily to the working poor, and is open from 3 to 5 p.m. every Friday; it has sometimes had as many as 301 customers and gave out 2400 meals in a single day. Food of Life stresses nutrition, offering as much as possible organic produce, milk, and meat. They also teach catering to women in their still-to-be-completed kitchen as part of a Woman’s Vocational Center.
Jeffery Fox, executive director of Abilities First, and Serene Morrero, director of development, describe this Dutchess-County-based program that serves all developmentally disabled children and adults. The organization has thirty different facilities in Dutchess County, which began with its original “Little Red Schoolhouse” in Poughkeepsie, and now goes from preschool to adult services. Since then, the emphasis in helping the developmentally disabled–who may be on the autism spectrum, have down syndrome , or suffer other forms of intellectual disability–has often been on “mainstreaming” students into regular classrooms, but Abilities First helps handle students not able to be integrated into ordinary schoolrooms. At the adult level, Abilities First provides help with ways to use community resources and currently aids sixty who have regular employment as well as those who are not able to work.
Elian Trumpetto, Executive Director of the Council on Addiction Prevention of Dutchess County, and Mike Hill director of the Drinking Driver Program at Dutchess Community College, discuss the program “Alive at 25,” which is sponsored by the National Safety Council. Alive at 25 is a 4-hour educational program aimed at 16- to 24-year-olds to heighten their awareness of the hazards of driving drunk, drugged, or distracted. New York State has rules for young drivers about who the other occupants of a car may be, since research has shown that other young people are a principle distraction.