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The following is a weekly update from the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services with the latest information on upcoming events, programs, activities and services available to seniors, families and caregivers.

Dear Friends,
I want to take a few moments to send some words of comfort and kindness during this most difficult time. The Coronavirus pandemic has forced many Westchester County nursing homes to close their doors to visitors, forced families and friends to say good-bye. We recognize what a challenging time this must be for you and the people that you care for, especially when the future is uncertain.

I want to offer my own personal prayer for the continued health of your residents in this short video. If you can, please take a minute to play this for them. Let them know that they are not alone. That there are many people who love them, and care a great deal about their well-being.

Before our current health crisis unfolded, I would spend many of my days visiting our local Nursing Homes – to spend a few moments at a birthday party, to play a round of bingo, to share a cookie or two. Those moments always brought a smile to my face.

One day this will all be behind us. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and each other.

George Latimer
Westchester County Executive


SPOTLIGHT: Information on COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that can cause either mild illness, such as a cold, or can make people sick with pneumonia. A novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. A novel (new) coronavirus called COVID-19 has been detected in over a hundred thousand people worldwide. Cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S., including NY State and Westchester County, and it is expected that more cases of COVID-19 will be identified in the future. For the most recent case information, visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary webpage.

The New York State Department of Health has set up a hotline at (888) 364-3065 where Department of Health experts will be available to answer questions regarding COVID-19. The Westchester County Health Department has a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 and has added a COVID Determination Tree.

The Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health (DCMH), together with its partner agencies, will be offering guidance and support to Westchester County’s residents as they cope with the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is projected that the health crisis precipitated by COVID-19 could have a lasting impact on the mental health of the citizens of Westchester. People may experience stress, fear, grief, depression and anxiety. DCMH will be implementing educational and supportive services through various forms of communication, including a dedicated telephone resource line, social media, taped video recordings, chat lines, printed materials and linkage to counseling.

The DCMH Information, Support and Referral line is (914) 995-1900 8 a.m. to 8 p.m./Text #914-461-7281. For more information on how to cope with the impact of COVID-19, click here.

 

SPOTLIGHT: CENSUS 2020: MAKE USCOUNT

April 1, 2020 is Census Day. Data from the Census will be used for the next ten years for many things – including determining New York State' s representation in Congress as well as local districting. Census data is also used for the distribution of about $880 Billion of federal funds to Iocal municipalities according to a December 2018 report from the George Washington Institute on Policy. The Census Bureau estimates that every person that is not counted equals a loss of approximately $2,500 per year to local municipalities. This means that every 400 people who are not counted equates to a loss of about $1 Million in funding- each year. We need to get everyone living in Westchester counted. For more information, contact Heriberto Contreras at (914) 995-4406 or hqcj@westchestergov.com and/ or visit https://planning.westchestergov.com/initiatives/census-2020

 

  • Health for Life Program (HeLP) Workshop
    Delivered Virtually Via Zoom
    TUESDAYS, JUNE 16-JULY 21
    10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    914-813-6427
    Are you 55 or older with a chronic health condition or caring for someone with a health issue? If so, this HeLP virtual workshop can enhance your quality of life and provide fun while learning. This free workshop focuses on the mind/body connection, better breathing, fall prevention and getting a good night’s sleep. There is no cost to participate but advance registration is required. You must have an 1.email address,2. internet or Wi-Fi connection and 3. a device (laptop, desktop, tablet or smart phone) to take part in the workshop.
    Please contact Marikay Capasso at mqcq@westchestergov.com or call (914)813-6427 for more information and to register.

  • Help for Caregivers
    Are you a caregiver in need of one-on-one support during these difficult times? The Livable Communities Caregiver Coaching + (L3C) program trains volunteers to help family caregivers better care for an older or disabled person. The one-on-one support coaches provide enables caregivers to make more informed decisions to meet the many challenges and responsibilities they face.

    If you would like to be matched with a Livable Communities Caregiver Coach, please contact Colette Phipps at (914) 813-6441 or cap2@westchestergov.com

  • ONLINE DEMYSTIFYING MEDICARE
    WSOS’s light-hearted and interactive “Demystifying Medicare” workshops have moved online, where people can absorb audio chapters at their own pace and refer to downloadable handouts that are used in the live presentations. Audio recording can be accessed at https://wikis.westchesterlibraries.org/sbic/demystifying-medicare/ . “Demystifying Medicare” is designed not only for people currently enrolled in Medicare, but for those soon to be 65 or helping relatives and friends with their medical decisions and paperwork. Topics include Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drug plans, Medigaps (supplemental plans), EPIC, and cost-saving programs for people with limited resources.

    For questions about the “Demystifying Medicare Online” or to sign up for future live presentations, please leave your name and number at (914) 231-3236, or email SBICmedia@gmail.com. You can get individual help at the WSOS helpline, (914) 231-3260, or by emailing them at SBIC@wlsmail.org. Like the workshops, the counseling is also free.

  • DID YOU KNOW?
    The Next Stage Network will help you prepare for and take an active role in planning your future. For more information about joining this new and exciting program, contact Colette Phipps at 914-813-6441 or cap2@westchestergov.com. The full Next Stage Network Calendar of Events is available to you upon email request to fqwc@westchestergov.com.


  • NEXT STAGE NETWORK – ACTIVITIES TO ENJOY AT HOME

    YMCA https://ymca360.org/on-demand#/category/14 YMCA HEALTH & FITNESS VIDEOS

    Google Arts and Culture https://artsandculture.google.com/?hl=en Google Arts and Culture

    AARP https://games.aarp.org 

    NPR https://www.npr.org/podcasts/

    Hudson River Museum https://www.hrm.org/events/hrm-collection-and-exhibitions/

  • Special Help is Available During this Time of Covid-19
    The Partnership Innovation for Older Adults Program was designed as a local collaboration to bring mobile outreach and off-site services, including behavioral health and aging services and tele-health interventions to older adults in Westchester County, age 55+. Family Services of Westchester is the lead agency in this County-wide Partnership Innovation for Older Adults Program, funded by the N.Y.S. Office of Mental Health in collaboration with two partner agencies: the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services and the Lexington Center for Recovery. For more information, contact Tonia Monti at (914) 668—9124 x 22.

    For more information about Westchester’s Department of Senior Programs and Services, visit www.westchestergov.com/seniors.