POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- After working for Dutchess County for 26 years, with 22 with the Office of Aging, Mary Kaye Dolan-Anderson is calling it a career.
During a final column for the county published in the Poughkeepsie Journal, Dolan-Anderson said she wanted to talk about some current and future issues facing the elderly including:
- Longevity, free time and disposable income. Older adults are a social and economic force, and should advocate for their needs and call attention to their value and contributions. While the county’s overall population grew 6.55 percent between 2000 and 2010, the age 60-plus population grew by 27.77 percent, and the 85-plus growth was an astounding 36.44 percent.
- Alzheimer’s disease is fast becoming a public health crisis. One in nine people over the age of 65 and one-third over 85 have Alzheimer’s, and the number will escalate rapidly, representing a challenge.
- Ageism sometimes seems like the last area where discrimination is tolerated. This is not acceptable. Ageism leads to age discrimination, which is illegal, and also can be a contributing factor in elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- Falls in Dutchess County represent the second-leading cause of accidental deaths for the most recent year where we have statistics. More people die of falls than from car accidents.
- Caring for an aging family member has become more common, whether it is actual hands-on care or assisting with things like bill-paying and transportation. For many caregivers, these duties come at the height of their careers or at the same time they are raising children. This informal care is worth billions of dollars, yet goes largely unrecognized.
She also wanted to remind seniors that the Dutchess County Office for the Aging is an active advocate and service provider for the issues above and many more. It has been a tremendous honor to play a role here since 1993, she said.Click here to read her entire column in the Poughkeepsie Journal.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.