Susan Koppenhaver, Director
1003 Development Court
Kingston, NY 12401
Phone: 845-340-3456 or Toll Free at 1-877-914-3456
It is the mission of the Ulster County Office for the Aging to assist Ulster County seniors to be as independent as possible, for as long as possible. This is accomplished through advocacy, development and delivery of person-centered, consumer-oriented, and cost-effective policies, programs and services which support and empower the elderly and their families. We accomplish this in partnership with the network of public and private organizations that serve them.
To view the Ulster County Senior-Friendly Community Action Plan please click here.
To View Ulster County Office for the Aging's Draft 2020-2024 Four Year Plan click here
A Message from Director Susan Koppenhaver
Post Holiday Greetings to Ulster County Seniors!
I hope everyone made it through the holidays without too much stress or overeating! Winter Weather safety is always important! Read on…
The New York State Office for the Aging reminds older New Yorkers and caregivers to take precautions in winter weather, as cold temperatures and heavy snow can create hazardous conditions for older adults. Some health and safety considerations for older New Yorkers:
• Those with cardiac issues or high blood pressure should always follow doctor’s orders about shoveling or performing any strenuous outdoor activity, dress warmly, and take it slowly.
• Take extra precautions to reduce the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Don’t ignore early warnings signs, which include shivering, confusion, memory loss, drowsiness, and slurred speech. Shivering is an important first sign that the body is losing heat and a signal to return indoors.
• To prevent falls, wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles, and avoid icy walkways. Remove shoes as soon as you return indoors and clean up melted snow.
• To avoid social isolation and combat depression, older adults are encouraged to contact NY Connects at 800-342-9871 or their local area agency on aging to find a senior center in their community.
• If you use a fireplace, wood stove, or portable kerosene heater to stay warm, be sure there is adequate ventilation to the outside. Without enough fresh air, carbon monoxide fumes can build up in your home.
• Never use a natural gas or propane stove/oven to heat your home. If you are using a kerosene heater, use K-1 grade kerosene only. Never substitute with fuel oil, diesel, gasoline or yellow (regular) kerosene.
• Follow all safety precautions when using wood stoves, space heaters, electric heaters, kerosene heaters, and pellet stoves. When adding fuel to a space heater, or wood to a wood stove or fireplace, wear non-flammable gloves. Never add fuel to a space heater when it is hot. The fuel can ignite, burning you and your home. Keep the heater away from objects that can burn, such as furniture, rugs or curtains.
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps low-income people pay the cost of heating their homes. Eligible individuals may receive one regular HEAP benefit per program year and could also be eligible for emergency HEAP benefits if they are in danger of running out of fuel or having utility service shut off. The 2019-2020 regular HEAP benefit opened November 12, 2019, and the 2019-2020 emergency benefit will open January 2, 2020. For more information, please visit the HEAP website or call 1-800-342-3009.
A Message Patrick K. Ryan, Ulster County Executive
Dear Ulster Seniors,
Happy New Year! I hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday season. I am looking forward to continuing to work for the residents of Ulster County and our seniors in the New Year.
Last month, I signed our 2020 County Budget. Our government is about priorities, and I’m committed to delivering on my “Big Five” while keeping Ulster County affordable with the lowest tax levy in a decade. This budget delivers on our commitment to move Ulster County forward by standing-up the first ever Green Careers Academy to expand opportunities and help grow our economy, by putting real money behind our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, and by opening up new avenues for residents from throughout the County to engage with County government.
I am excited to let you know that my budget also includes funding for an additional OFA Case Manager and two new Homemaker Aides who will be able to provide more personal care services to our senior citizen population. Additionally, OFA was awarded approximately $80,000 as part of the Age-Friendly Planning Grant through the NYSOFA in collaboration with the NYS Departments of Health and State. This grant allows us to create another new position, Project Coordinator, who will continue to support our senior community and our senior-related partners.
The additional funding provided for OFA in the 2020 Budget is part of my commitment to ensure Ulster County is always doing all that we can do to listen to and serve our seniors.
Wishing you and your family a happy and safe year ahead!
Patrick K. Ryan
Ulster County Executive
For many seniors seeking a way to get low-impact exercise that improves health and requires no special equipment, Tai Chi is an excellent solution. Many seniors throughout Ulster County are enjoying the benefits of Tai Chi. Research is showing that an extremely effective way for older adults to improve balance, fitness, and flexibility, and to reduce the risk of falls. Attending group Tai Chi classes is a great way to socialize with others. Watch local Tai Chi instructor Celeste Graves lead a class.