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Pound Ridge Daily Voice serves Pound Ridge, NY

Forum Focuses on Pound Ridge Seniors’ Issues

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – More than a dozen Pound Ridge senior citizens turned out Saturday morning for the Supervisor’s Forum at the Town House to hear town officials discuss the Neighbor 2 Neighbor Program and field questions about senior issues.

Supervisor Gary Warshauer, Police Chief David Ryan and Senior Program Coordinator Louise Paolicelli discussed topics ranging from driving safety and health issues to affordable housing and Internet fraud.

Paolicelli told the group about some of the current senior programs the Recreation Department is overseeing, such as a six-week-long Living Well Seminar, Putting Life Back Into Your Life, which deals with self-management of chronic disease. The free program takes place at the library on Wednesday mornings through May 16.

“The program helps you take a second look at chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and arthritis,” Paolicelli said. “It will teach you how to relate to your doctor when it comes to these kinds of conditions.”

Paolicelli also introduced a new senior program – The Breakfast Club – that will begin on May 23. Participants will meet at Conant Hall at 10 p.m. for an informal discussion along with coffee, tea and breakfast munchies.

“This was Lisl Steiner’s idea,” Paolicelli told the crowd. “She will share her experiences about what it’s like to be in your 80s.” She added that Steiner, a world-renowned photographer, will also help fellow seniors understand their digital cameras better.

Officials reminded the seniors of the carbon monoxide detector program run by the Recreation Department and funded by PBA Car Show. Seniors can call the department at 914-764-8201 to receive an application and can also get help installing the devices.

Ryan was on hand to advise the group about crime threats to which seniors can be most vulnerable, such as contractor scams.

“It’s springtime, and that’s when these guys come out,” he said. “They will come by and say things like, ‘We see you have a leaky roof.’ They always want the money upfront. Then they’re gone without doing any work. Be leery of them. This happens around town about dozen times a year.”

Ryan told the seniors to check with the county Department of Consumer Affairs to make sure the contractor is properly licensed and insured.

He also warned seniors about email scams that target them.

“These are so common we just investigate them all,” he said. “What happens is you will get an email that says a relative has been arrested in another country and needs you to wire them money. Do not wire the money. People in this town have done this and gotten burned. Call the Police Department instead if you are concerned.”

After last year’s storms that caused weeklong power outages, seniors were also advised that now is the time to make preparations in case similar scenarios happen again.

“This is the time to prepare for those events,” Ryan said. “Get that flashlight, buy extra batteries and hand warmers. Think about this stuff now and what else you’ll need if you are without power for several days.”

Ryan noted that in such a crisis the Town House is open as a warming center and provides cots and blankets for overnight stays. He also said the town keeps a list of seniors who are on oxygen and insulin and need immediate help during storms and blackouts. He asked the seniors in attendance to help officials find others who are not on the list and may need the town’s help during emergencies.

“If you know of a senior who needs our help but won’t ask for it, let us know,” the chief said. “The ones we do find is often through happenstance. We need you to be our eyes and ears. Let them know of our services.”

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