For More Information Contact:
Colleen Pillus, (845) 486-2000
Colleen Pillus, (845) 486-2000
Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has announced he will increase funding for services and programs that benefit local seniors in his 2020 Executive Budget. The funding will augment the extensive array of programming already provided by the Dutchess County Office for the Aging (OFA), which serves more than 13,000 local residents each year. The 2020 Executive Budget will include funding for the development and pilot of a new, more robust and efficient model for senior transportation, a significant challenge for many senior citizens throughout the county. Other new initiatives include a fund to assist seniors with small repairs and mobility modifications in their homes, as well as additional funding for home care services, as the need for home services continues to grow.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Dutchess County is blessed with a vibrant and active population of seniors, from which we have learned and continue to learn so much. Providing our seniors with the best services and programs imaginable to enhance their lives is a top priority for our county, and I’m honored to increase our funding for programming that help seniors live independently, receive needed care in their homes; and travel safely and affordably throughout the county to visit loved ones, shop and keep doctor’s appointments. Local seniors have given Dutchess County so much for so long, and I’m proud to give back to the men and women who helped make our county great.”
Local seniors have identified transportation as one of their most pressing issues, reflecting similar issues in communities across the nation. By the year 2030, one of every five Americans will be 65 or older according the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and National Household Travel Survey data has found 21 percent of people 65+ do not drive. County Executive Molinaro has apportioned funds for OFA and Dutchess County Public Transit to review current transportation options, including Dutchess County’s Dial-A-Ride program, and explore new, more efficient models that can be implemented more effectively and with greater reach throughout the county, with the goal of developing and implementing a pilot program by the end of 2020.
To further its mission of helping seniors to continue to live independently in the community, OFA is also collaborating with Rebuilding Together Dutchess County (RTDC) to enhance a “Handyman Program.” County Executive Molinaro has allocated funding in his 2020 budget to provide minor home repairs and accessibility modifications for OFA clients. Repairs, such as the installation of grab bars, walkway repair, door peephole installation, and ADA high rise toilets, are just some of the repairs covered by this program.
The need for home care services also continues to grow, and County Executive Molinaro will expand funding in 2020 to more than $830,000, providing over 39,000 hours of home care for residents who need assistance to remain at home.
Additionally, OFA will expand outreach efforts and coordinate with the care teams at local hospitals and nursing homes throughout the county, particularly those with rehabilitation units, and various medical groups to ensure patient safety upon discharge, reducing the likelihood of rehospitalization.
County Legislator Will Truitt said, “Our local seniors are examples of living history, fountains of knowledge about Dutchess County’s culture and heritage spanning generations, and we are proud to provide them with the highest services and programs available to give back all they have given our community. I thank County Executive Molinaro for his continued support of Dutchess County’s seniors, and look forward to the many benefits this additional funding will provide our seniors.”
County Executive Molinaro will present his 2020 Executive Budget Address on Wednesday, October 30th at 10 a.m. in the Legislative Chambers, 22 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, in advance of the November 1st deadline required by the Dutchess County Administrative Code. The County Executive’s Budget Address can be viewed live on the County’s website, dutchessny.gov. Later that evening on the 30th, at 6:30 p.m., County Executive Molinaro and Budget Director Jessica White will host a countywide tele-town hall forum when residents will have the opportunity to participate in a live conversation about the 2020 County Budget, learn key details, ask questions and share feedback. County Executive Molinaro will also host a series of 2020 Executive Budget town hall forum events throughout the county during the month of November.